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Naylor Earns GSA’s 2012 Maxwell A. Pollack Award for Productive Aging

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For Immediate Release
August 13, 2012

Contact: Todd Kluss
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(202) 587-2839

Naylor Earns GSA’s 2012 Maxwell A. Pollack Award for Productive Aging

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) — the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging — has chosen Mary Naylor, PhD, RN, FAAN, of the University of Pennsylvania as the 2012 recipient of the Maxwell A. Pollack Award for Productive Aging.

This honor, given annually, recognizes instances of practice informed by research and analysis, research that directly improved policy or practice, and distinction in bridging the worlds of research and practice. Individuals who are mid-career and actively engaged in the conception and development of innovative programs that demonstrate excellence in translating research into practical application or policy are eligible. The award is made possible through a generous grant from The New York Community Trust’s Maxwell A. Pollack Fund.

The award presentation will take place at GSA’s 65th Annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held from November 14 to 18 in San Diego. This conference is organized to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers, educators, and practitioners who specialize in the study of the aging process. Visit www.geron.org/annualmeeting for further details.

Naylor is the Marian S. Ware Professor in Gerontology and director of the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Since 1989, she has led an interdisciplinary program of research designed to improve outcomes and reduce costs of care for vulnerable community-based elders.

Findings from her clinical trials have consistently supported the hypothesis that patients who were discharged in the care of a nurse-led transition team achieve better functional status, quality of life, and are more satisfied with their care than those who do not receive transitional care. More importantly, she provided the empirical support that transitional care significantly decreases hospital re-admissions and healthcare costs.

As a result of her work, insurance companies have begun to adopt Naylor’s vision for the care of the older adults and chronically ill. Naylor also has used the findings from her program of research to advocate for legislation on reimbursements for services. In 2009, she testified at a Senate Finance Committee Hearing about the value of investing in evidenced-base transitional care and the positive outcomes resulting from this team-based care coordination model. Due to her advocacy and testimony, the Senate introduced a bill supporting payment for transitional care. Naylor’s contributions to the care of chronically ill people furthermore has resulted in her appointment to a number of key national groups, including the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, the RAND Health Board of Advisors, and the National Quality Forum Board of Directors. She was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2005 and currently serves on its Board on Health Care Services. She also was the founding board chair of the recently formed Long-Term Quality Alliance.

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The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society — and its 5,400+ members — is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA’s structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society, and an educational branch, the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education.

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