Investigator of the Month (August 2023): Donna Fick, PhD, RN, GCNS-BC, FGSA, FAAN

Dr. Donna Fick

Dr. Donna Fick

Dr. Donna Marie Fick is the Elouise Ross Eberly Endowed Professor of the Ross & Carol Nese College of Nursing at The Pennsylvania State University, and Director of the Tressa Nese and Helen Diskevich Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence. Dr. Fick is nationally and internationally recognized as a leading expert in geriatric care and research.

She has been a member or co-chair of the interdisciplinary panel for the American Geriatrics Society Beers Criteria for inappropriate medication use in older adults for over 20 years. She additionally serves on the American Geriatrics Society Board as President through 2024 and as a faculty and advisory member on Creating an Age Friendly Health System Initiative with the John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and the Revisiting the Teaching Nursing Home Project.

Dr. Fick’s NIH funded work focuses on mentation, delirium superimposed on dementia (DSD) and ultra-brief delirium detection at the bedside.. Dr. Fick has completed or has in progress as PI or MPI 4 National Institute of Health (NIH) funded R01s focused on delirium. Two grants were randomized nurse led screening and cognitive stimulation intervention trials on delirium and DSD.

The third grant, with MPI Dr. Ed Marcantonio tested the cost and accuracy of a rapid delirium screen they co-developed as a two-step detection process called the Ultra-Brief Confusion Assessment Method (UB-CAM). The UB-CAM, along with the shorter UB-2, are used in health systems across the world, and is available as a free app for Apple and Android devices. Their current study READI-SET-GO, which launched in 2023, will test the implementation of widespread delirium screening with the UB-CAM and the impact of delirium screening on patient and care partner-centered outcomes.

Dr. Fick widely disseminates her work through over 150 publications, national media coverage, and presentations. She has been Editor of the Journal of Gerontological Nursing since 2011 and is board certified as a Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist through 2024. The goal of her research and service is to improve the care of older adults, persons with disabilities, and their care partners. She lives in rural PA near her three adult children and enjoys gardening and trail running in the mountains.

Posted in Investigator of the Month & Spotlights.

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