Mercedes Bern-Klug is a social work faculty member specializing in gerontology. Professor Bern-Klug is an Associate Professor at the University of Iowa in the School of Social Work and she serves as Director of the UI Aging Studies Program. The Aging Studies Program facilitates the development of classes for students to be able to earn a minor or certificate in Aging Studies. In addition to coordinating the Aging Studies Program, Professor Bern-Klug teaches the following gerontology classes: Basic Aspects of Aging, Global Aging, and Introduction to Nursing Homes, as well as social work courses.
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.