Kimberly Acquaviva

Photo of Kimberly Acquaviva, Tenured Professor
Tenured Professor
Foggy Bottom Campus
1919 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Suite 500
Washington, District Of Columbia 20006
United States
[email protected]

Kimberly D. Acquaviva, PhD, MSW, CSE, is both Founding Faculty at GW Nursing and the first non-nurse to receive tenure at the school. As a social worker teaching within the school, Dr. Acquaviva’s research and scholarship are interdisciplinary and collaborative. 

Dr. Acquaviva is nationally known as an innovator and authority on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning (LGBTQ) aging and end-of-life issues. She is the former Co-Chair of the American Society on Aging’s LGBT Aging Issues Network (LAIN) and she served as one of four LGBT aging researchers responsible for overseeing the development, implementation and analysis of Still Out, Still Aging: The MetLife Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Baby Boomers, a national survey of 1200 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender baby boomers and 1,200 of their heterosexual counterparts. Dr. Acquaviva developed the content, script and storyboards for “Aging and End-of-Life Issues in the LGBT Community” for the Hospice Foundation of America’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)-funded online course as part of a national education/outreach initiative on hospice care. She serves on the editorial boards of several refereed journals including Sexuality Research and Social Policy, Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, and Journal of Ethnographic & Qualitative Research. Her book, LGBTQ-Inclusive Hospice and Palliative Care: A Practical Guide to Transforming Professional Practice, was published by Harrington Park Press and distributed by Columbia University Press in April 2017. Learn more about the book.

In addition to her work in the field of LGBT aging, Dr. Acquaviva is a leader and innovator in the development of technology-facilitated educational innovations for health care providers, serving as both lead author and co-investigator of The National Emergency Medical Services Preparedness Initiative, a $4.7 million federally-funded training and policy initiative, as well as project manager for The National Nurse Emergency Preparedness Initiative (NNEPI), a $2 million federally funded web-based training initiative designed to increase nurses’ awareness of strategies for preparing for, responding to and recovering from emergencies and disasters. More than 28,000 nurses have completed the NNEPI online course to date.

Dr. Acquaviva's policy and advocacy work at the Federal level had made tangible advances in funding for aging research. Dr. Acquaviva recently completed a term as Special Government Employee (SGE) on the National Advisory Council on Aging (NACA), advising the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Director of the National Institutes of Health, and the Director of the National Institute on Aging on its mission. Prior to her appointment to the NACA, Dr. Acquaviva completed a two-year term as Chair of the Friends of the National Institute on Aging, a broad-based coalition of almost 50 aging, disease, research, and patient groups supporting the mission of the National Institute on Aging. In her capacity as Chair, Dr. Acquaviva led the coalition in efforts to advocate on behalf of the NIA through the annual congressional budget and appropriations process and promote NIA research activities by sponsoring briefings for congressional staff. Regarding this work, President and CEO of the Alliance for Aging Research Sue Peschin writes that Dr. Acquaviva "is a politically astute advocate for aging research, and led the way to an increase in funding in the President's budget for Alzheimer's research at the NIH by $130 million, by systematically enlisting support from the White House, NIH, and Congress." The founder of the Alliance for Aging Research, Dan Perry, writes that Dr. Acquaviva "performed superbly... advocating for the science-based agency before Members of Congress and staff, media, and other key stakeholders" and "is recognized by her peers as a leader in the science and public policy realms of medical and social gerontology."


  • University of Pennsylvania, Doctorate in Human Sexuality Education
  • University of Pennsylvania, Masters in Social Work
  • University of Pennsylvania, Bachelor of the Arts in Sociology



  • Acquaviva, K. D. (2017). LGBTQ-Inclusive Hospice and Palliative Care: A Practical Guide to Transforming Professional Practice. Harrington Park Press.

Book Chapters

  • Acquaviva, K. (2009). Diversity and Aging in the 21st Century (P. Standford, Ed.). In Re-Defining Health Care Disparities for LGBT Older Adults (and for All Seniors). AARP Press.
  • Acquaviva, K., Johnson, J., & Dawson, E. (2008) Chapter 17: The quality improvement landscape. In E.
  • Acquaviva, K., Johnson, J., & Dawson, E. (2008). Chapter 17: The Quality Improvement Landscape (M. Joshi, Ed.). In The Healthcare Quality Book: Vision, Strategy, & Tools (Second ed.). Health Administration Press.
  • Acquaviva, K. and Johnson, J. (2014). Chapter 18: The Quality Improvement Landscape (Joshi, M, Ransom, E., Nash, D., and Ransom, S. Eds.). The Healthcare Quality Book: Vision, Strategy, & Tool, (3rd ed.). Health Administration Press: Chicago, Illinois.

Refereed Journals

  • Acquaviva, K. D., Posey, L., Dawson, E. M., & Johnson, J. E. (2012). Using Algorithmic Practice Maps to Teach Emergency Preparedness Skills to Nurses. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 43(1), 19-26. doi:10.3928/00220124-20111228-05
  • Acquaviva, K., Haskell, H., & Johnson, J. (2013). Human Cognition and the Dynamics of Failure to Rescue: The Lewis Blackman Case. Journal of Professional Nursing, 29(2), 95-101. doi:10.1016/j.profnurs.2012.12.009
  • Falk, N. L., Phillips, K. M., Hymer, R., Acquaviva, K. D., & Schumann, M. J. (2014). Using a Student-Faculty Collaborative Learning Model to Teach Grant Development in Graduate Nursing Education. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 45(5), 212-218. doi:10.3928/00220124-20140421-01
  • Acquaviva, K. D., & Krinsky, L. (2015). Bridging politics, policy, and practice: Transforming health care in Massachusetts through the creation of a statewide commission on LGBT aging. Geriatric Nursing, 36(6), 482-483. doi:10.1016/j.gerinurse.2015.10.006

Professional Association Publications

  • Acquaviva, K. (2012). Caring for LGBT Patients: A Primer for Hospice and Palliative Care Professionals. National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Newsline, (February), 8-11.

Other Publications

  • Acquaviva, K. (2011). Physician Assisted Dying: A book review. Invited book review of Physician-Assisted Dying: The Case for Palliative Care & Patient Choice (Timothy E. Quill & Margaret P. Battin, Eds.). Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging, 23(3), 369-371.


  1. Strategic
  2. Input
  3. Learner
  4. Connectedness
  5. Restorative


  • As a Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Acquaviva taught at Khon Kaen University Faculty (School) of Nursing in Thailand, delivering lectures on aging, sexual health, chronic illness, grant writing, interdisciplinary collaboration, and end-of-life care.
  • Silver Best Practices Award for Distance Learning Programming from the U.S. Distance Learning Association for her work on Nurses on the Front Line: Preparing for and Responding to Emergencies and Disasters – The National Nurse Emergency Preparedness Initiative
  • Sigma Theta Tau International Computer-Based Professional Education Technology Award for the NNEPI online course (2009) 
  • One of 400 social workers nationwide invited to serve as a delegate to the Social Work Congress (2010)
  • GW’s Bender Award for Outstanding Teaching recipient (2011)