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Faculty - Keela Herr

Keela Herr
Kelting Professor in Nursing, Associate Dean for Faculty
306 CNB

PhD in Nursing, University of Texas at Austin
MSN in Medical-Surgical Nursing, University of Texas at Austin
BSN, Northeast Missouri State University 

Research Focus/Clinical Interests: 
  • Pain in older adults
  • End-of-life care
  • Promoting evidence-based practice
  • Translation science

Keela A. Herr, PhD, RN, AGSF, FGSA, FAAN, is Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty in the College of Nursing at the University of Iowa and is Co-Director of the Csomay Center for Gerontological Excellence. For more than 30 years, Dr. Herr has engaged in a program of research, scholarly, and professional activities focused on the problem of pain in older adults, with emphases in assessment strategies, improving practices through translation research and end-of-life care. Her research focusing on improving pain management practices for older adults in diverse settings has been funded by AHRQ, NINR, NCI, and private foundations. 

Dr. Herr is co-PI of the College of Nursing's NINR T32 pre- and post-doctoral training grant focused on Pain and Associated Symptoms and of the University of Iowa's interdisciplinary Center of Excellence in Pain Education, which is funded by NIDA. She presents nationally and internationally on strategies for improving assessment and management of pain in elders and has published extensively on the topic of elder pain. Dr. Herr served on the 1998, 2002 and 2009 American Geriatric Society persistent pain guideline expert panels and provided leadership to determine quality measures for palliative care through the AAHPM/HPNA Measuring What Matters initiative. She also provided national professional leadership in service on the Board of Directors for the American Geriatrics Society, the American Society for Pain Management Nursing (ASPMN), and the American Pain Society (APS). Dr. Herr consults with national and federal groups regarding effective pain care for older persons, including the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Health Pain Consortium, and the FDA, and is leading a national effort to provide best practice tools and resources to improve pain care for older adults in long term care settings (

Dr. Herr has received numerous awards for her contributions to geriatrics and pain care for older adults. Recent accolades include the John A. Hartford Foundation/MNRS Award for Leadership in Geriatric Nursing Research (2011); the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Gerontological Nurses Association (2012); and the Distinguished Researcher Award from the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association. She is a Robert Woods Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow alumni and Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, the American Geriatric Society, and the Gerontological Society of America.