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Posted: 11/30/2011

AgingA new, inter-professional initiative to develop, advance, and support the well-being of older adults and their families is now a reality at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON).  The Center for Innovative Care in Aging is working to shorten the time from intervention to implementation of clinical trial evidence and enhance the yield of programs, policies, practices, and tools to help diverse older adults and family members remain healthy, independent, and living in their own homes and communities.

The interdivisional center is creating a national and international impact by: serving as a think tank for advancing intervention and implementation science; engaging in research to develop and test innovative interventions to enhance care programs and health outcomes for diverse aging populations; translating and implementing evidence-based programs in community and practice settings; and providing research training, education and mentorship in gerontologic and geriatric evidence-based programs to emerging scholars and practitioners in nursing and other health and human service professions.

“As the nation’s population gets older, more and more people would rather live in their own homes than move to an assisted living or nursing facility,” professor Laura N. Gitlin, PhD, observes. “The Center works to equip older adults with the behavioral, physical and environmental tools to live longer, healthier, more productive lives in their advancing years.”

Gitlin leads the Center and the efforts of fellow JHUSON researchers Cheryl Dennison Himmelfarb, PhD, RN, FAAN; Nancy Hodgson, PhD, RN; Sharon Kozachik, PhD, RN; Marie Nolan, PhD, RN, FAAN; Sarah Szanton, PhD, CRNP; Miyong Kim, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Elizabeth (Ibby) Tanner, PhD, RN and others.

The Center brings together experts in trial methodology, bioethics, health policy, health disparities, community-participatory research, bio-behavioral measurement, implementation science, epidemiology, health economics, health systems design, and geriatrics throughout Johns Hopkins University and elsewhere. A soon-to-be-launched Center-specific website presence will assist in outreach and dissemination and make available data sets of completed studies by core Center leaders and faculty.

Planned activities of the new Center include: monthly research meetings examining topics of importance in behavioral intervention research; Summer Research Institute on Development of Behavioral Interventions; lectureship series on topics pertinent to behavioral intervention research; creation of a network of behavioral intervention scientists for meaningful exchange and consultation; and establishment of a network of practice and community sites seeking to participate as a research site or interested in implementing evidence-based programs generated by Center faculty.

The Summer Research Institute on Development of Behavioral Interventions (SRI-DBI), a state-of-the-art mentorship-oriented three-day institute scheduled for Summer 2012 at the JHUSON, will advance knowledge and skills of the next generation of behavioral intervention researchers.

Participants will include new faculty/investigators in the initial stage of designing a health-related behavioral intervention, investigators with K awards who have proposed developing an intervention, and seasoned investigators in other areas of research who seek to develop a program of behavioral intervention research. At the Institute, they will learn new research models and pipelines, and explore approaches that enhance intervention responsiveness to the needs of diverse aging populations.