Addressing the needs of an unprecedented and understudied older adult population living in the community, Melissa O’Connor is among a small number of national nurse experts in the delivery of home health services to vulnerable older adults. Dr. O’Connor seeks to develop and test evidence-based interventions in home health to ensure vulnerable older adults receive the care they need to improve outcomes. Her current work focuses on creating a clinical decision support system to determine readiness for discharge to support home health clinicians as they make the critical decision to discharge vulnerable older adults from services.
Dr. O’Connor is in the inaugural cohort of the Betty Irene Moore Fellowships for Nurse Leaders and Innovators. This fellowship program, recognizes nursing scholars and innovators with a high potential to accelerate leadership in nursing research, practice, education, policy and entrepreneurship. Dr. O’Connor is the recipient of several research awards and is a Fellow in the Gerontological Society of America. Dr. O’Connor is founder and Director of the Gerontology Interest Group at Villanova University, an interprofessional and campus-wide group of faculty and students.
In addition to serving as Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia, Dr. O’Connor serves on the Executive Committee for the Eastern Nursing Research Society. Dr. O’Connor is a former Patricia Archbold Scholar, Claire M. Fagin Postdoctoral Fellow and Doyle Research Fellow at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.