Gerontology Institute Leading Healthy Aging Research in Massachusetts for the Tufts Health Plan
October 10, 2012
McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies
The Tufts Health Plan Foundation (THPF) has awarded a grant to a team of Gerontology Institute researchers, being led by Beth Dugan.
The aim of the project is threefold:
1. To report indicators of healthy aging across Massachusetts.
2. To conduct an environmental scan of current healthy aging programs in the state.
3. To provide leadership to a healthy aging coalition in Massachusetts.
The researchers are now developing the methodology for reporting on key indicators of healthy aging in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Preliminary research involves establishing feasibility, data acquisition, and querying key stakeholders on what information is most needed to advance healthy aging in the state. The initiative is a major endeavor of the foundation and will be formally announced at the 3rd annual forum on Healthy Aging on December 10, 2012.
The products of this project will be tools for the THPF and allies who seek to advance the health of older adults (age 65 and older) in Massachusetts. Researchers will identify areas of highest priority as well as areas of success. The Healthy Aging Scorecard Report will be useful and understandable to policymakers, service providers, older persons, and to the press. The release of the report will create new opportunities to advance public understanding of aging well. The project is unique in some sense because it not only creates new knowledge by analyzing health indicators at an actionable level. It takes the next step and activates an existing healthy aging coalition to advocate for interventions to address problems identified by the indicators. The Foundation, research team, and state aging service leaders are working collaboratively on the effort to improve the state of aging in Massachusetts.
Many institute researchers and PhD students are or will be working on the project. Faculty investigators include:
Frank Porell is an outstanding quantitative gerontologist, who offers a rare combination of advanced statistical methodology, analytic creativity, and extensive experience analyzing complex CMS data.
Beth Dugan is a noted expert in health and aging. She brings to this project a background in multiple research methodologies and the ability to translate important issues into everyday language.
Nina Silverstein, a natural networker and proven leader in the aging field, will work to broaden, strengthen, and activate the Healthy Aging in the Commonwealth coalition. This living entity will help champion changes needed to promote healthy aging now and in the future.
The Gerontology Institute and THPF have complementary interests and resources that are brought together in this project to advance healthy aging in Massachusetts.