Eileen M. Sullivan Marx headshot

Eileen M Sullivan-Marx

Erline Perkins McGriff Professor

1 212 998 5303

433 First Avenue
Room 618
New York, NY 10010
United States

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Professional overview

Eileen Sullivan-Marx is dean of the New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing and the Erline Perkins McGriff Professor of Nursing since 2012. She is serving currently as president of the American Academy of Nursing. Prior to NYU, Dr. Sullivan-Marx had a distinguished career at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, where she was the associate dean for practice & community affairs, creating community partnerships for care of older adults and promotion of healthy activities entitled Healthy in Philadelphia. She is a distinguished nursing leader, educator and clinician known for research and innovative approaches in primary care, testing methods of payment for nurses particularly with Medicaid and Medicare, sustaining models of care using advanced practice nurses locally and globally, and developing health policy in community-based settings. With a strong belief in the integration of practice, research, education, and interdisciplinary team work, Dr. Sullivan-Marx has built and sustained models of team care including a private family practice, growing a Program of All Inclusive Care for Elders (PACE) from 75 persons to 525 persons in five years that saved the state of Pennsylvania fifteen cents on the dollar in Medicaid funding, and launched numerous older adult team programs in academic centers as well as the Veterans Administration. Dr. Sullivan-Marx has been on numerous community planning and advisory boards including the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Patient and Safety Board from 2009-2012.

She was the first nurse to serve as the American Nurses Association representative to the American Medical Association’s Resource Based Relative Value Update Committee and did so for 11 years, demonstrating through research that nurse practitioner and physician work can be valued equally in that payment structure. Dr. Sullivan-Marx has been active in regional, state, and national policy. She has served as Chair of the Pennsylvania Commission on Senior Care Services in 2008, as a member of the Philadelphia Emergency Preparation Review Commission in 2006, and as an American Political Science Congressional Fellow and Senior Advisor to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Medicaid and Medicare Coordination in 2010, just after passage of the Affordable Care Act. As part of this position, she worked to bring promising models of care to scale such as the PACE Programs. She is a former member of the American Academy of Nursing’s (AAN) Board of Directors and is currently an AAN Edge Runner. Dr. Sullivan-Marx is a Fellow in both the New York Academy of Medicine and the Gerontology Society of America.

Among the numerous awards that she has received are the international Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society Best of Image research award (1993) and its excellence in practice award (2011), the Springer Publishing Research Award, the Doris Schwartz Gerontological Nursing Research Award. She is a Distinguished Alumni of the University of Rochester School of Nursing.

Dean Sullivan-Marx began her nursing career in 1972 in Philadelphia, earned a BSN (1976) from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MS (1980) from the University of Rochester School of Nursing as a family health nurse practitioner. She received a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in 1995. Her nurse practitioner career was exemplified by forging and sustaining primary care practices which she successfully and uniquely integrated into her academic research and teaching career.


PhD, Gerontology - University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing (1995)
MS, Family Health Nurse Clinician - University of Rochester School of Nursing (1980)
BSN - University of Pennsylvania (1976)
Nursing Diploma - Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing (1972)


Home care

Professional membership

American Nurses Association
American Nurses Association, Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science, ANA-New York
Eastern Nursing Research Society
Gerontological Society of America
Fellow, Institute on Aging, University of Pennsylvania
Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics University of Pennsylvania
Sigma Theta Tau, Xi Upsilon Chapter

Honors and awards

Faculty Honors Awards

United Hospital Fund Special Tribute (2019)
Top 50 Health Care Leaders, Irish America Magazine (2019)
VillageCare Distinguished Service Award (2016)
Herman Briggs Society, NY (2013)
Fellow, Gerontological Society of America (2013)
Doris Schwartz Gerontological Nursing Research Award, Gerontological Society of America (2013)
Fellow, New York Academy of Medicine (2012)
American Academy of Nursing Edge Runner Designation (2012)
Research Associate, Penn Institute for Urban Research University of Pennsylvania (2012)
Dean’s Professional Practice Award, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing (2011)
Board Member, American Academy of Nursing (2011)
Distinguished Alumni Award, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing (2011)
Health and Aging Fellowship, American Political Science Association (2011)
Marie Hippensteel Lingeman Award for Excellence in Nursing Practice, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society (2011)
American Academy of Nursing Edge Runner Designation (2011)
American Academy of Nursing Edge Runner Designation (2010)
Health and Aging Fellowship, American Political Science Association (2010)
Legislative Award, Pennsylvania State Nurses Association Advocacy (2010)
American Academy of Nursing Edge Runner Designation (2009)
Faculty Fellow, Penn Institute for Urban Research (2009)
Eastern Nursing Research Society, The John A. Hartford Foundation Geriatric Research Award (2008)
American Academy of Nursing Edge Runner Designation (2008)
American Academy of Nursing Edge Runner Designation (2007)
American Academy of Nursing Edge Runner Designation (2006)
Society of Primary Care Policy Fellows (2004)
Department of Health & Human Services Primary Care Health Policy Fellowship (2004)
Undergraduate Student Advising Award, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing (2002)
Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Rochester, School of Nursing (2001)
Society for Advancement of Nursing Science (2000)
Springer Publishing Company Research Award for most outstanding project, “Relative Work Values of Nurse Practitioner Services,” American Nurses Association Council for Nursing Research 1998 Research Utilization Conference (1998)
Ethel F. Lord Fellowship, Soroptomist Organization scholarship for graduate study in field of gerontology (1993)
Sigma Theta Tau International Best of Image Award for scholarly excellence in research, "Functional Status Outcomes of a Nursing Intervention in Hospitalized Elderly" (1993)
Nursing Practice Award, Pennsylvania Nurses' Association (1986)
Louise Wilson Haller Memorial Prize for Excellence in Professional Nursing, University of Rochester, School of Nursing (1980)
fellow, American Academy of Nursing



Nursing and midwifery advocacy to lead the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda

Rosa, W. E., Kurth, A. E., Sullivan-Marx, E., Shamian, J., Shaw, H. K., Wilson, L. L., & Crisp, N. (2019). Nursing Outlook, 67(6), 628-641. 10.1016/j.outlook.2019.06.013
The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was implemented on January 1, 2016 and is composed of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and further delineated by 169 targets. This article offers background information on the 2030 Agenda as it relates to nursing and midwifery, professional organizational initiatives currently advancing the SDGs, the ethos of global citizenship, the urgency to respond to dwindling planetary health, the salience of nursing and midwifery advocacy in SDG attainment, and the myriad opportunities for nurses to lead and collaborate toward realizing these Global Goals. A US-based perspective is employed to underscore the Agenda's relevance to the US nursing workforce and healthcare system. The SDGs, with their holistic bio-psycho-social-environmental approach to health, present enormous opportunities for nurses and midwives. The SDG framework is naturally aligned with the foundational philosophy and purpose of our professions.

Policy Research Challenges in Comparing Care Models for Dual-Eligible Beneficiaries

Van Cleave, J. H., Egleston, B. L., Brosch, S., Wirth, E., Lawson, M., Sullivan-Marx, E. M., & Naylor, M. D. (2017). Policy, Politics, and Nursing Practice, 18(2), 72-83. 10.1177/1527154417721909
Providing affordable, high-quality care for the 10 million persons who are dual-eligible beneficiaries of Medicare and Medicaid is an ongoing health-care policy challenge in the United States. However, the workforce and the care provided to dual-eligible beneficiaries are understudied. The purpose of this article is to provide a narrative of the challenges and lessons learned from an exploratory study in the use of clinical and administrative data to compare the workforce of two care models that deliver home- and community-based services to dual-eligible beneficiaries. The research challenges that the study team encountered were as follows: (a) comparing different care models, (b) standardizing data across care models, and (c) comparing patterns of health-care utilization. The methods used to meet these challenges included expert opinion to classify data and summative content analysis to compare and count data. Using descriptive statistics, a summary comparison of the two care models suggested that the coordinated care model workforce provided significantly greater hours of care per recipient than the integrated care model workforce. This likely represented the coordinated care model's focus on providing in-home services for one recipient, whereas the integrated care model focused on providing services in a day center with group activities. The lesson learned from this exploratory study is the need for standardized quality measures across home- and community-based services agencies to determine the workforce that best meets the needs of dual-eligible beneficiaries.

Using ethical frameworks in times of transition and uncertainty

Sullivan-Marx, E. M. (2017). Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 43(3), 8-12. 10.3928/00989134-20170214-04
Health care policy is never easy and always fraught with concerns about quality, access, and cost. Currently, uncertainty abounds regarding new federal and state policies on the horizon for older adult care and quality. Empirics undergird most policy-making decisions regarding risk/benefit, cost, and knowing the best action to put in place for the best results. However, in times of great change in policy direction and political viewpoints, empirical knowledge must be combined with ethical knowledge for planning and implementation. Ethical and moral judgment has long been a mainstay of nursing practice and organizational leadership. Using ethical knowledge as a framework will be a crucial guide for nurses and health professionals and society to prioritize action and decisions in policy.

A case exemplar for national policy leadership: Expanding Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)

Cortes, T. A., & Sullivan-Marx, E. M. (2016). Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 42(3), 9-14. 10.3928/00989134-20160212-04
In November 2015, President Obama signed the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) Innovation Act, which expands a proven model of care to serve high-cost and high-need populations. Specifically, the law provides the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services with the authority to waive Medicaid requirements that could not be waived without additional statutory authority. Those requirements include the age of the beneficiary to be served and nursing home eligibility as a condition for PACE enrollment. The law also allows providers and other entities who are not current PACE providers the opportunity to become PACE providers and serve a predominately dually eligible population that has high needs and high cost through a coordinated, integrated model. The current article describes the impact of nursing on the legislation and policy that has shaped the evolution of the PACE program for more than 40 years.

Looking Ahead After 50 Years of Medicare

Sullivan-Marx, E. M. (2015). Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 41(9), 15-18. 10.3928/00989134-20150814-01
Fifty years of Medicare have led to enormous improvements in care of older adults in the United States. Policy changes in Medicare and Medicaid have undergirded the care of older adults and the workforce and professional development of nurses and advanced practice nurses. Refl ecting on the decades of change in these 50 years and the context in which these changes occurred can prepare health care providers for future strategies to address needs of the rapidly growing older adult population.

Inflammation, functional status, and weight loss during recovery from cardiac surgery in older adults: A pilot study

DiMaria-Ghalili, R. A., Sullivan-Marx, E. M., & Compher, C. (2014). Biological Research for Nursing, 16(3), 344-352. 10.1177/1099800413503489
Objective: To determine the nutritional, inflammatory, and functional aspects of unintentional weight loss after cardiac surgery that warrant further investigation. Research Methods and Procedures: Twenty community-dwelling adults ≥ 65 years old undergoing cardiac surgery (coronary artery bypass graft [CABG] or CABG + valve) were recruited for this prospective longitudinal (preoperative and 4-6 weeks postdischarge) pilot study. Anthropometrics (weight, standing height, and mid-arm and calf circumference), nutritional status (Mini-Nutritional Assessment™ [MNA]), appetite, physical performance (timed chair stand), muscle strength (hand grip) and functional status (basic and instrumental activities of daily living), and inflammatory markers (plasma leptin, ghrelin, interleukin [IL]-6, high-sensitivity[hs] C-reactive protein, and serum albumin and prealbumin) were measured. Results: Participants who completed the study (n = 11 males, n = 3 females) had a mean age 70.21 ± 4.02 years. Of these, 12 lost 3.66 ± 1.44 kg over the study period. Weight, BMI, activities of daily living, and leptin decreased over time (p <.05). IL-6 increased over time (p <.05). Ghrelin, hs-CRP, and timed chair stand increased over time in those who underwent combined procedures (p <.05). Grip strength decreased in those who developed complications (p =.004). Complications, readmission status, and lowered grip strength were found in those with low preoperative MNA scores (p <.05). Conclusion: After cardiac surgery, postdischarge weight loss occurs during a continued inflammatory response accompanied by decreased physical functioning and may not be a positive outcome. The impacts of weight loss, functional impairment, and inflammation during recovery on disability and frailty warrant further study.

The Bear and the Canyon: Toward an Understanding of Personal Leadership

Sullivan-Marx, E. M. (2013). Nursing Science Quarterly, 26(4), 373-375. 10.1177/0894318413501961
Using Carper's fundamental patterns of knowing in nursing as a framework, the author reflects upon and intertwines experiences as a nurse leader and experiences in nature that called for resilience and courage.

Is it time for a public health nursing approach to aging?

Sullivan-Marx, E. M. (2013). Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 39(9), 13-16. 10.3928/00989134-20130731-02
Following the enactment of Medicare in 1965, access to health care for older adults in the United States improved. At the same time, nurse researchers and policy leaders developed individual and family-centered care interventions and programs that led to improvements in quality of health and life. In the next 20 to 30 years, U.S. and global projections of an expanding aging cohort with potential increases in health care needs, coupled with continued nursing shortage projections, present challenges and opportunities to enhance gerontological nursing's approach to aging care. Invigorating a public health nursing focus on the needs of a population of older adults could enhance nursing's ability to create policy and programs of care that promote quality of life for older adults and their families. Nurses using public health approaches can lead and support social policies regarding the physical environment and daily life circumstances that contribute to health equity. Heightened attention to competencies in community/public health nursing education and promotion of public health nursing careers will be important policy considerations as we face the looming increase in a population of older adults throughout the world.

Preventing waterborne diseases: Analysis of a community health worker program in rural Tamil Nadu, India

Gupta, N., Mutukkanu, T., Nadimuthu, A., Thiyagaran, I., & Sullivan-Marx, E. (2012). Journal of Community Health, 37(2), 513-519. 10.1007/s10900-011-9472-5
Community health worker (CHW) programs have become popular tools in reducing the burden of childhood illnesses. However, the efficacy of CHWs in facilitating behavior change, as a means of preventing waterborne diseases, remains unclear. Using a household survey (n = 225),in rural Tamil Nadu, South India, we assessed the effects of a CHW program on knowledge, attitudes and practices related to diarrheal illness through comparison with a control population that was not enrolled in the program. The CHW program in the experimental village entailed behavior change aimed at preventing diarrheal illness through home visits, community events and health education. Correlates of four key variables on knowledge of drinking water contamination and behavior change were examined by using logistic regression models. We found that while the program was effective in raising awareness of drinking water contamination, it did not significantly increase hygiene and water sanitation practices in the village community in comparison to the control population. Furthermore, villagers enrolled in the CHW program were unable to recognize the connections between contaminated drinking water and disease. The results of our survey indicated the CHW program did not significantly affect behavior in the experimental village. Possible shortcomings in the program are discussed.

Recruitment and retention strategies among older African American women enrolled in an exercise study at a PACE program

Sullivan-Marx, E. M., Mangione, K. K., Ackerson, T., Sidorov, I., Maislin, G., Volpe, S. L., & Craik, R. (2011). Gerontologist, 51, S73-S81. 10.1093/geront/gnr001
Purpose: This study examined employment of specific recruitment and retention strategies in a study evaluating outcomes of a moderate activity exercise program for older African American women with functional impairments attending a Program for All-Inclusive Care of Elders (PACE). Design and Methods: Recruitment and retention strategies focused on (1) partnership between researchers and participants, (2) partnership between researchers and clinicians, (3) overcoming administrative issues, and (4) reducing burden on clinicians and participants. The exercise protocol consisted of strength and endurance activity 2 to 3 times per week for 16 weeks. Results: Fifty-two African American women (61.2% of target) were enrolled and 37 (71.2%) completed the 16-week exercise program. Fifteen did not complete due to non-descript reasons and/or preference for other program activities (n = 11), medical problems (n = 2), or need for physical therapy (n = 2). Implications: Success in recruitment and retention included use of a PACE program, hiring an advanced practice nurse to improve retention, and integration with site activities and sustaining the exercise program at the site. Challenges for recruitment and retention remain to engage older, frail adults in exercise as a life habit, and availability of time and place to do so.

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