Richard Henker

Nurse Anesthesia


Current research activities are related to thermoregulation and include threads on malignant hyperthermia (MH) and perioperative hypothermia.  Research on MH includes evaluation of chronic symptoms in patient that are MH susceptible. Other areas of research include genomics related to post operative pain, and infection, prevention and control projects conducted with the Ministry of Health in Cambodia.  Infection, prevention, and control (IPC) projects include hand washing studies, sharp injury evaluation and IPC planning. These projects are funded by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Eschborn, Germany.

Clinical Emphasis

I conduct my faculty practice at UPMC-Presbyterian as a nurse anesthetist. I also provide anesthesia care at Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap Cambodia, and Lao Friends Hospital for Children in Luang Prabang Lao PDR.


I currently teach undergraduate, DNP and PhD students. Areas of teaching include pathophysiology, research, evidence-based practice and other areas as needed. I received the Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1998 and the Chancellors Distinguished Teaching Award in 2006. I enjoy integrating simulation methods into my courses to enhance my teaching, i.e., mock induction, standardized patients, ultrasound workshops, etc.  

I am a clinical preceptor for nurse anesthesia students at UPMC-Presbyterian, Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap, and Lao Friends Hospital for Children in Luang Prabang.  I am currently a Visiting Professor at Keio University in Tokyo and I have been a Visiting Professor at Harbin Medical University, in Harbin China; Boromarajonani College of Nursing at Nakon Phanom University, in Nakon Phanom Thailand; Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University in Bangkok, and International University of Health and Welfare – Narita, Narita Japan.  I have provided lectures at eight universities in Japan including Kitasato University, Kyoto University, Jikei University, Kobe City College, Osaka Dental University, Asahikawa Medical University, Sapporo City University, and The Open University of Japan. I have lectured on many occasions for the Korean Association of Nurse Anesthetists at their annual meeting.  I have also lectured at the following international hospitals: Karl Heusner in Belize City, Belize, the National Pediatric Hospital in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tokyo Bay Hospital in Tokyo, Japan, and Kyoto University Hospital in Kyoto Japan.


I am currently a site reviewer for the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. I am the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiologists representative for The Global Alliance for Surgical, Obstetric, Trauma and Anaesthesia Care - The G4 Alliance, and a member of the Board of Directors for the G4 Alliance.  I am the Secretary for the Board of Directors for Health Volunteers Overseas and I am currently the program coordinator for the Health Volunteers Overseas Anesthesia program at Lao Friends Hospital for Children in Luang Prabang Lao PDR.  I have served as the program coordinator or program consultant for Health Volunteers Overseas Nurse Anesthesia Programs in Belize, Cambodia, and Bhutan.  I am a member of the Practice Committee for the International Federation for Nurse Anesthetists.  And I am a member of the Editorial Board for Critical Care Explorations, the online journal for the Society of Critical Care Medicine. I am also a reviewer for the AANA Journal.