Laura N. Gitlin, PhD, professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (JHSON), has been named chair of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services. She will lead the council’s efforts in developing and furthering initiatives to improve care for individuals living with Alzheimer’s and related dementias and their caregivers.
“This is an exceptional opportunity for which I am honored to have been chosen,” said Gitlin. “Current chair Dr. Ronald Peterson has provided skillful leadership and strategic direction, and I look forward to continuing the important work done by the committee.”
As Director of the JHSON’s Center for Innovative Care in Aging, Gitlin is internationally recognized for her work in nonpharmacologic approaches to dementia care. During her career, she has received funding from organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association and National Institutes of Health to study adaptive processes in old age, aging in place, mental health disparities in older African-Americans, and evidence-based interventions for family caregivers.
Through her research, she has developed interventions like New Ways for Better Days and Tailoring Activities for Persons with Dementia and Caregivers (T.A.P.), which helps treat dementia’s neuropsychiatric and behavioral symptoms and functional decline. She is currently investigating a web-based tool called WeCareAdvisorTM with colleagues that provides family caregivers with specific strategies to address behavioral symptoms they find challenging.
Gitlin joined the HHS advisory council in 2015 through an invitation from then HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell. The council, established in 2011, meets quarterly to provide consultation and recommendations for the national plan and consists of members from federal agencies like Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Veterans Affairs as well as nonfederal members including health care providers, family caregivers, researchers, and more.
Located in Baltimore, the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing is a globally-recognized leader in nursing education, research and practice and ranks No. 2 nationally among graduate schools of nursing and No. 2 for DNP programs in the U.S. News & World Report 2018 rankings. In addition, the school is ranked by QS World University as the No. 2 nursing school in the world and is No.1 by College Choice for its master’s program. The school is No. 1 among nursing schools for total Federal Research Grants and National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. For more information, visit www.nursing.jhu.edu.