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Iren Bischofberger

(Switzerland) Harkness/Careum Fellow Professor of Nursing and Health Services Research Kalaidos University of Applied Sciences

Harkness Project Title: Family-Friendly Care Coordination: From Obstacles to Policy

Placement: Visiting Nurse Service of New York

Mentors: Penny H. Feldman, Ph.D.,Vice President, Research & Evaluation, and Director, Center for Home Care Policy & Research, Visiting Nurse Service of New York 
Carol Levine, Director, Families and Health Care Project, United Hospital Fund

Biography at time of Harkness Fellowship: Iren Bischofberger Lerch, Ph.D., M.Sc.N., a 2010-11 Harkness/Careum Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice, oversees research, policy, and practice activities on nursing and health service research in general, and family caregiving in particular.  Her research team focuses especially on working caregivers.  Bischofberger is also program director of the graduate programs, "Master of Science in Nursing by Applied Research" and "Master of Advanced Studies in Care Management."  She is scientific board member of the Swiss policy and practice journal Care Management, and editorial board member of Case Management.  She serves on the State Secretary's Health Advisory Board of Canton Appenzell Ausserrhoden.  Previous positions include research assistant at the University of Bielefeld, Institute of Nursing Science, Germany, and numerous clinical nursing positions.  Bischofberger is author of 10 peer-reviewed journal articles and holds a master of science in occupational health from the University of Surrey, U.K., a master of science in nursing, and a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of Basel, Switzerland.   

Project: Bischofberger’s project explored how health care policy and practice can support and complement family caregivers.  A particular focus was on these caregivers’ multiple roles and responsibilities, and the challenges they face in managing family members’ chronic illnesses and disabilities.  She conducted expert interviews with academics, policymakers, advocates, and providers; analyzed focus group interviews with family caregivers on care transitions; and performed field observations of clinicians in home care, hospitals and nursing homes.

Career Activity since Fellowship:

  • Vice Dean, Kalaidos University of Applied Sciences, Department of Health Sciences (2011-present)
  • Professor of Nursing and Health Services Research, Kalaidos University of Applied Sciences 

Current Position: Vice Dean, Kalaidos University of Applied Sciences, Department of Health Sciences (Updated October 2014) 

Email : [email protected]