The National Palliative Care Research Center

Curing suffering through palliative care research.


Mary Ersek PhD, RN

University of Pennsylvania

Mary Ersek, PhD, RN, is the Director of the Veterans Health Administration PROMISE (Performance Reporting and Outcomes Measurement to Improve the Standard of care at End-of-life) Center and Professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Over the last 20 years, Dr. Ersek has developed and led an externally-funded research program  focused on pain and palliative care in older adults, with an emphasis on residents of nursing homes, and especially those with dementia. Through her work at the VA, she has examined the associations among patient and family characteristics; structural factors such as facility characterizes; and process of care, on patient and family outcomes of end-of-life care.