Mercedes Bern-Klug, M.S.W., Ph.D.

Director, School of Social Work,
Hartford Faculty Scholar,

Mercedes Bern-Klug CV

Mercedes Bern-Klug is Director of the School of Social Work and a Professor specializing in gerontology, with a focus on long-term services and supports for older persons and persons with disabilities.

Bern-Klug conducts research on how social workers and other health care providers can support older adults and their family members with the psychosocial implications of with medical decision-making in long-term care settings. Her research has been supported by the AARP Andrus Foundation, the John A. Hartford Foundation, The Soros Foundation, the UI Cancer and Aging Program, and the Retirement Research Foundation. In 2010 she was awarded the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Faculty Achievement Award for excellence in research, teaching, and service. In 2011, she was inducted as a fellow in the Gerontological Society of America. In 2014, she was appointed by the Iowa City Council to the Ad Hoc Senior Services committee to review the senior center and senior services in the Iowa City area. She edited the book Transforming Palliative Care in Nursing Homes: The Social Work Role (Columbia University Press, 2010).

Research Interests 

Gerontology, demography; long-term care; psychosocial issues in advanced chronic illness; nursing home social work; end-of-life issues; funeral arrangements; creative writing for social workers

Teaching Areas 

Introduction to Nursing Homes; Global Aging; Research Methods

Work Experience

Administration in the field of aging; community organizing and education

Research areas
  • Aging, Longevity, and End of Life
Mercedea Bern-Klug
Ph.D. in Social Welfare, University of Kansas, 2003, M.A. in Applied Demography, Georgetown University, 1991, M.S.W. (Administration), The University of Iowa, 1984

308 North Hall (NH)
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States