University of Southern Indiana

M. Catherine (Katie) Ehlman

M. Catherine (Katie) Ehlman

Professor of Gerontology
Health Services Program

Director, Center for Healthy Aging and Wellness
Health Services Program

Health Professions Center - 3068


Dr. Mary Catherine (Katie) Ehlman is professor of Gerontology, director of the Center for Healthy Aging and Wellness and recipient of the Hershel B. Whitney Endowed Professorship in Gerontology in the College of Nursing and Health Professions (CNHP). Ehlman is a licensed Indiana nursing home administrator and is a certified health education specialist. Since 2013, Ehlman has mentored over 30 students in graduate and undergraduate research-related projects. Her own research and scholarship in the areas of nursing home quality and student attitudes about aging have been published in numerous peer-reviewed and refereed publications.

Ehlman’s efforts have been awarded more than $4.7 million dollars in grants, both internally and externally, where she is principal investigator. The most significant is the $3.7 million grant awarded in 2019 from the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) for the USI Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP). Recently, Ehlman led a CARES Act telehealth-funded initiative, funded by HRSA and connected with the GWEP, in the amount of $90,625. Additionally, Ehlman brought together a regional team to participate as a subawardee with Indiana University Nursing Home COVID-19 Action Network funded at $70,000.

At USI, Ehlman helps plan the Mid-America Institute on Aging and Wellness and was a member of the project leadership team for USI’s MAGIC Project, a collaboration with renowned geriatrician Dr. Bill Thomas. She also developed a nursing home administrator residency program resulting in USI becoming the first academic institution in the state of Indiana to create and implement an AIT Residency program. She is co-faculty sponsor for two student groups: STELLAR and Sigma Phi Omega.

Outside of the University, Ehlman is a member of the Indiana Governor’s Council on Aging, a member of the Indiana Dementia Care Advisory Group Meeting statewide task force. Ehlman was a recent 6-year board member for SWIRCA & More, and does consultation and service work with Southwest Regional Nursing Home Collaborative, is a past member of Sigma Phi Omega National Gerontology Honors Society, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, and the Gerontological Society of America, among other councils and advisory boards. She is also the head coach for the Evansville Harrison High School Girls Soccer Team.

She has been recognized with the USI Dr. Jane Davis-Brezette Faculty Excellence Award in 2019 for her contributions to the success of USI student athletes through mentoring and classroom achievement. In 2017, she received the CNHP Excellence in Teaching award, and in 2016 with the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) Distinguished Honorary Member for Scholarship, Leadership and Service awarded by the USI NSCS chapter.

Curriculum Vitae

Education and Certifications


PhD, Health Related Sciences, Gerontology Concentration
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia

MBA, Master of Business Administration
Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri

MSW, Master of Social Work
St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri

BA, Bachelor of Arts (History)
Quincy University, Quincy, Illinois


Indiana Health Facilities Administrators License (license #: 14005127A through August 2019)

Certified Health Education Specialist Certification (Certification #:11054 through March 2019)

Positive Approach to Dementia Care (PAC) Certified Independent Trainer (Certification # 87; awarded in 2015; annually re-certified through Fall 2018)

Respecting Choices First Steps Certified Facilitator, March 6, 2017

Respecting Choices Last Steps Certified Facilitator, January 16, 2018

Respecting Choices Last Steps Certified Instructor, January 16, 2018

Positive Approach to Dementia Care (PAC) Certified Independent Coach (Certification # 131; through October 2017)

Missouri Nursing Home Administrator License (retired license #:5237 as of May 2013: held active license for 1999-2013)

Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Professional Certification (as of 9/2009)


Health Care Aspects of Gerontology GERO 215.001  (traditional class)
Health Care Aspects of Gerontology GERO 215.001  (online class)
Health Care Continuum & Community Services GERO 317.001 (traditional class)
Health Facilities Administration GERO 425 (traditional class)
Special Topics: Person Centered Care HP 490 (traditional class)
Health Care Continuum & Community Services GERO 317.N01 (online class)
Healthy Aging GERO 318.N01 (on-line class)
Healthy Aging GERO 318.001 (traditional and online class)


Nursing Home Quality


Attitudes about Aging


Ehlman, M.C., Nimkar, S., Nolan, B. Thomas, P., *Caballero, C., & Snow, T. (2018). Health Workers’ Knowledge and Perceptions on Dementia in Skilled Nursing Homes: A Pilot Implementation of Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach® to Care Certification Course. The Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions,38(3):190-197. doi: 10.1097/CEH.0000000000000216.

Ehlman, K., *Green, J., Wilson, G., McCullough, J. (2017). Click and Care: Academic Integration of a Nursing Home Electronic Health Records System.  The Journal of Health Administration Education, 34(4), 601-609.

Ehlman, K. (2017). Positive interactions with older adults: Introduction. In Baker, Kruger, & Karasik (Eds.) A Hands-on Approach to Teaching About Aging: 32 Activities for the Classroom and Beyond. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.

Moriello, G., Ligon, M., Ehlman, K. (2016). Don’t [have to] talk to strangers? Findings from an intergenerational oral history project. The International Journal of Reminiscence and Life Review, 3(1), 1-7.

Reynolds, E., Daum, D., Frimming, R. Ehlman, M.C. (2016). Pickleball Transcends the Generations in Southwest Indiana: A University and Area Agency on Aging Partnership Changing the Face of Aging. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships. 14(3), 242-251, doi: 10.1080/15350770.2016.1194730

Arvin, M.K., Ehlman, M.C., McCullough, J., & Ramos, E. (2015). An Interprofessional Education Nursing Home Dining Simulation Promotes Changes in Student Attitudes. Health and Interprofessional Practice, 2 (4), 1-8.

Wilson, A., Dugger, R., Ehlman, M.C., Eggleston, B. (2015). Implementation science in nursing homes: A case study of the integration of bladder ultrasound scanners. Annals of Long-Term Care, 23(6), 21-26.

Ehlman, K., Ligon, M., & Moriello, G. (2014). The Impact of Intergenerational Oral History on Perceived Generativity in Older Adults. Journal Of Intergenerational Relationships, 12(1), 40-53. doi:10.1080/15350770.2014.870865

Ligon, M., Ehlman, K., *Moriello, G., *Russo, C., & Miller, K. (2014). Validation of the Attitude-Older Adult and Aging-Visual Analogue Scales (At-O-A). Educational Gerontology, 40(8), 572-583. doi:10.1080/03601277.2013.858467

DeCoster, V., Ehlman, K., & Conners, C. (2013). Factors Contributing to Readmission of Seniors into Acute Care Hospitals. Educational Gerontology, 39(12), 878-887. doi:10.1080/03601277.2013.767615

Mathis, S, Ehlman, M. C.,  Dugger, R. *Harrawood, A., Kraft, K. (2013). Bladder Buzz: The Effect of a 6-Week Evidence- Based Staff Education Program on Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding Urinary Incontinence in a Nursing Home.The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing. Vol 44(No 11), 2013.

Huang, G., Shi, X., Gibson, C., Huang, S., Coudret, N., & Ehlman, M. (2013). Controlled aerobic exercise training reduces resting blood pressure in sedentary older adults. Blood Pressure, 22(6), 386-394. doi:10.3109/08037051.2013.778003

Ehlman, M. C. & Ligon, M. (2012).  The Application of a Generativity Model for Older Adults. International Journal of Aging & Human Development. 74:4, 331-344.

Ehlman, M. C., Wilson, A., Dugger, R., Eggleston, B., Coudret, N., Mathis, S. (2012). Nursing Home Staff Members’ Attitudes and Knowledge About Urinary Incontinence:  The Impact of Technology and Training. Urologic Nursing. 32(4), 205-213.

Ehlman, M. C., Ligon, M. B., Moriello, G. & Welleford, E. A. Schuster, K. (2011). Oral History in the Classroom: A Comparison of Traditional and On-line Gerontology Classes. Educational   Gerontology. 37:9, 772-790.

Ehlman, M.C., Coudret, N., Dugger, R,Eggleston B, Mathis, S, & Wilson, A. (2010). Assessing the Benefits of Bladder Ultrasound Scanners in Nursing Homes: The Impact on Quality of Life [Abstract].  Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 58(4, S1-S280), S70.

Ligon, M. B., Ehlman, M. C., Moriello, G. & Welleford, E. A. (2009). Oral History in the Classroom: Fostering Positive Attitudes toward Older Adults and the Aging Process. Journal of Aging, Humanities and the Arts. 1(3):1-14.

Ligon, M., Ehlman, M. C., & Moriello, G. (2019). Connecting the generations: A practical guide to implementing an oral history project in the gerontology classroom. The International Journal of Reminiscence and Life Review, 6, 1, 21-28.

Under Review

Ehlman, M. C., Moriello, G.,  Ligon, M. B. The Relationship between Young Adults’ Attitudes Toward Older Adults and their Attitudes Toward their Own the Aging Process (Manuscript under review. July, 2018).

*mentored undergraduate or graduate students

Funded Projects - External

Ehlman, M.C (Principal investigator). National Nursing Home COVID-19 Action Network (NNHCAN) ECHO. Sub-Award Recipient – Indiana University. $70,000. Nov 1, 2020-March 30, 2021 (funded).

Ehlman, M.C (Principal investigator), Leahy, S. USI Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program COVID. Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA T1MHP39039); $90,625; 5/1/2020 – 4/30/2021 (funded).

Ehlman, M.C. (Principal investigator); Butler, R; Nimkar, S.; Valadares, K. USI Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP). Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA U1QHP33084); 3,700,000; 7/1/2019 – 6/30/2024 (funded).

Ehlman, M.C. (Principal investigator); Nolan. B.T, (submitted 2018). Building a Dementia-Competent Nursing Home Workforce (ISDH CMP 2018-02); $789,000 (funded).

Valadares, K. (primary investigator); Ehlman M.C. (co-investigator), Pease, M. (co-investigator) Advance Care Planning in Southwest Indiana Nursing Homes: Promoting Quality of Life and Person-Directed Culture. Indiana State Department of Health $332,360 (funded).

Ehlman, M.C. (Primary investigator). (submitted 2016). Positive Approach™ to Dementia Care in Southwest Indiana. Indiana State Department of Health; $75,000 (funded).

Ehlman, M.C. (primary investigator). Metzger, R. (submitted July, 2012). Community Transformation Plan. Subaward through Welborn Baptist Foundation (WBF), Centers for Disease Control (CDC); $68,858 (funded)

Ehlman, M.C. (primary investigator). (submitted August, 2013). Community Transformation Plan. Additional funds for Subaward through Welborn Baptist Foundation (WBF) to create bi-lingual website, Centers for Disease Control (CDC); $14,238 (funded) 

Ehlman, M.C., Conners, C., & Friona, J. (submitted, May 2010). Home Modification: Building Ramps to Promote Independent Living. Home Depot; $5000 (funded); written in conjunction with the local Area on Aging (SWIRCA & More)

Professional Organizations

Sigma Phi Omega, Past-President

Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, past member

Gerontology Society of America, member

International Institute for Reminiscence and Life Review, past member                                        

  • © 2022 University of Southern Indiana
  • 8600 University Blvd.
  • Evansville, IN 47712
  • 812/464-8600
Send Email to