The Gerontology Hall of Fame

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Gerontologists work in a wide range of situations, and some of these individuals excel at their professions. They may work in colleges or universities, edit publications, make public policy, work as family nurse practitioners or simply track the age of supercentenarians — but they all do their jobs to the best of their abilities. The following list, chronicled alphabetically by surname, offers 14 individuals who merit a “hall of fame” status in this field.

  1. Dr. AbramsDr. Robert Abrams is Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University and Associate Attending Psychiatrist at the New York Presbyterian Hospital. He is the Director of Geriatric Psychiatry Services in the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and practices at Weill Cornell’s Irving W. Wright Center on Aging and at the Amsterdam Nursing Home. He is the co-editor of Personality Disorders in Older Adults: Emerging issues in Diagnosis and Treatment.
  2. Dr. AllmanDr. Richard M. Allman is the director of the Birmingham/Atlanta VA Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) and is the Parrish Endowed Professor of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He serves as the director of the Center for Aging and the Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care at UAB. He also serves as Director of the Deep South Resource Center for Minority Aging Research.
  3. Fox-GrageWendy Fox-Grage is the strategic policy advisor for the AARP Public Policy Institute, where she works on long-term care issues, writes public policy papers and provides technical assistance to the AARP state offices. She also is involved in research with the Olmstead v. L.C and E.W. decision by keeping track of communities that are integrating programs in their repertoire that include the disabled.
  4. Dr. GarrettDr. Mario D. Garrett coordinated a five-year project looking at support for the elderly in the People’s Republic of China. While with the United Nations, professor Garrett founded the international aging magazine BOLD. After joining the faculty at San Diego State University in 2004, he was appointed director of the International Institute for Health and Human Service Development (2004-05), and was selected as the director for the Center for Injury Prevention and Research, and the Center on Aging (current). Garrett was the mayoral nominee and elected, for the fourth year, as chairman of the La Mesa Commission on Aging.
  5. Dr. HodesDr. Richard J. Hodes has been the director of the National Institute on Aging (NIA), a federal government agency that is a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1993. In 1995, Dr. Hodes was elected as a member of The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives; in 1997, he was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and, in 1999, he was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. As author of more than 250 research papers, he is an influential scientist in and contributor to the field of immunology.
  6. Dr. HoweDr. Judith L. Howe is an Associate Professor in the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Associate Director/Education and Evaluation, VISN 3 Geriatrics Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) based at the James J. Peters VAMC. She also holds a secondary appointment in the Mount Sinai School of Medicine Department of Preventive and Community Medicine, is the Director of the Consortium of New York Geriatric Centers, and is Director of the VISN 3 GRECC Interprofessional Palliative Care Fellowship Program.
  7. Dr. MillerDr. Susan Miller is an Associate Professor of Community Health (Research) at the Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Currently, Dr. Miller is principal investigator (PI) on a Retirement Research Foundation-funded study, which through a nationally representative survey, will estimate the prevalence of culture change practices in U.S. nursing homes and study how this prevalence may vary in relation to a state’s LTC policies.
  8. Dr. MorrisonR. Sean Morrison, MD is Director of the National Palliative Care Research Center, Vice-Chair for Research at the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Adult Development, Director of Research at the Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute and Hermann Merkin Professor of Palliative Care at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York. He has received numerous awards for his research in geriatrics and palliative care and has been named a Brookdale National Fellow, an Open Society Institute Project on Death in America Faculty Scholar and an American Federation for Aging Research Paul Beeson Faculty Scholar.
  9. Dr. PergrinDr. Jessie Pergrin is a local Arizona leader, educator and advocate for elders and caregivers. She also is one of America’s foremost authorities on gerontology and brain health. Instrumental in founding the Southern Arizona Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, Pergrin was a member of its board of directors for 13 years. Pergrin currently conducts four caregiver support groups in Southern Arizona. She serves as secretary of the Pima Council on Aging and as president of the Caregiver Consortium.
  10. Dr. PoonDr. Leonard W. Poon is Director, Georgia Geriatric Education Center and chair of the Faculty of Gerontology. His primary research area, funded by NIMH and NIA since 1988, is focused on survival and longevity of the oldest old, the Georgia Centenarian Study. The current NIA-funded program project focuses on genetics, neuropathology, functional capacity, and successful adaptation of centenarians.
  11. Dr. RosielleDrew Rosielle, MD, directs the University of Minnesota Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship and is the founder of Pallimed, a hospice and palliative medicine blog. He serves on several palliative care journal editorial boards and is a member of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine planning and clinical education committees.
  12. Dr. GreenDr. Dena Schulman-Green is a gerontologist whose program of research focuses on palliative care at the Yale University School of Nursing. Dr. Schulman-Green’s work has included clinician education in palliative and end-of-life care; evaluation of palliative care and hospice services, and self-management among women with breast and ovarian cancer. Her current work, supported by a 5-year Career Development Award from the American Cancer Society, focuses on patients’ management of physical and psychosocial transitions over the care trajectory.
  13. Dr. ThomasDr. William “Bill” H. Thomas is an international authority on geriatric medicine and eldercare. In the early 1990’s he and his wife Judith Meyers-Thomas developed the Eden Alternative. In 1999, he published In the Arms of Elders, a novel that highlighted the dignity and value of older people. In 2007, he was appointed as Professor of Aging Studies and Distinguished Fellow at UMBC’s Erickson School in Baltimore, MD. Most recently he developed the Green House, a radically new approach to long term care.
  14. Robert YoungRobert Young, 31, a Georgia State University student, researches Supercentenarians — persons 110 and older — for The Guinness World Records (since 2005) and for gerontology research centers. His specialty is confirming or disproving claims of advanced age from around the world. Young’s master’s thesis, titled “African-American Longevity Advantage: Myth or Reality? A Racial Comparison of Supercentenarian Data” won the 2008 ESPO award from the Gerontology Society of America for the best interdisciplinary graduate paper in gerontology.
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