Welcome to the Hartford Center of Gerontological Excellence at OHSU

In order to meet the complex health care needs of an aging adult population in Oregon and across the Pacific Northwest, we at the Hartford Center of Gerontological Excellence have over twenty years of accomplishments toward meeting our goal to increase the geriatric expertise of providers, faculty, and students put forth by the John A. Hartford Foundation.

Featured news

Hartford Award for Research and Practice

MinKyound Song 2019 HARP
MinKyoung Song, Ph.D., R.N., F.N.P., F.A.H.A.

MinKyoung Song, Ph.D., R.N., F.N.P., F.A.H.A., is the 2019 recipient of the Hartford Award for Research and Practice (HARP). Congratulations to her and her team on this one year, $25,000 grant! This study, “Using Grandparent Caregivers as Agents of Change for Addressing Childhood Obesity”, is designed to build upon previous findings that targeted “skipped-generation” households as an extremely important, but largely under-investigated, demographic group at high risk for obesity. A skipped-generation household is one where grandparent(s) are raising their grandchildren without the aid of the parent.

Dr. Song is an Assistant Professor in the OHSU School of Nursing. “As a behavioral scientist and epidemiologist, [her] research is organized around investigating the benefits of healthy behaviors… to prevent and enhance the management of chronic disease (Retrieved from https://www.ohsu.edu/people/minkyoung-song/ )”. In this study, she will implement a commercial weight loss program intervention with grandparent-caregivers from skipped-generation households to leverage them as agents for improving weight-related outcomes for their grandchildren.

Mentorship in research

For this study, Dr. Song will collaborate with an interdisciplinary team of researchers with aims to improve the grandchildren’s health behaviors and grandparents’ caregiving self-efficacy, and the feasibility of recruitment and retention methods. 

Co-Investigator, Kerri Winters-Stone, Ph.D., F.A.C.S.M., is a Distinguished Professor in the OHSU SON and the Co-Program Leader for Cancer Prevention and Control at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. Dr. Winters-Stone will work closely with Dr. Song on the design and execution of this randomized control trial and maintain a rigorous study protocol.

Karen Lyons, Ph.D., F.G.S.A., will serve as a consultant for the study. Dr. Lyons is an Associate Professor in the William F. Connell School of Nursing at Boston College and will provide input on assessing grandparent caregiver/grandchild dyadic relationships, family functioning, and caregiver/caregiving characteristics.

By sharing their expertise and serving as role models, the mentorship provided to Dr. Song, an early-career scientist, is sure to benefit her and her future research. Team-based science is one thing, but team-based mentorship is an extra-added benefit!

The Hartford Center is honored to steward the HARP program made possible through an endowment by the Frances Price Estate Fund.

Interprofessional HARP Awarded to Miranda Lim

Miranda Lim, M.D., Ph.D.
Miranda Lim, M.D., Ph.D.

Congratulations to Miranda Lim, M.D., Ph.D. who will serve as Principal Investigator on the 2019 Interprofessional Hartford Award for Research and Practice (IP-HARP), “Tunable White Light Technology for Elders (TWLITE): a pilot study”. This study will test an innovative light technology with healthy older adults to see if it will improve daytime alertness and nighttime sleep, compared to the subject's native home lighting system. This one year, $25,000 grant is evidence of the team-based science the IP-HARP is intended to advance.

Dr. Lim is Assistant Professor in the OHSU School of Medicine, Department of Neurology and Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences, and Staff Physician at the VA Portland Health Care System Sleep Disorders Clinic.

For this pilot study, she will team up with Co-Investigators (Co-Is) from the OHSU Layton Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Center and Oregon Center for Aging and Technology (ORCATECH), the OHSU School of Nursing, and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).

More about the Co-Is on the IP team

In addition to serving as Co-I on this grant, Jeffrey Kaye, M.D., will be a senior mentor and provide expertise in home-based sensing and monitoring among older adults. He is Director of the Layton Center and Layton Endowed Professor of Neurology and Biomedical Engineering at OHSU.

He is also PI on the ORCATECH Living Laboratory where the “Life Lab” home assessment platform will be used to get the objective measures of sleep required for this study. Leveraging these data collection resources is a valuable asset to this study that will facilitate recruitment and, hopefully, translate into outcomes that improve the health and wellness of older adults.

Kristianna B. Weymann, Ph.D., R.N. is Clinical Assistant Professor at the OHSU SON and recently completed a VA Nursing Postdoctoral Research Fellowship studying sleep disorders with Dr. Lim. "Kris" noted this study potentially, “advances our understanding of the effects of sleep on the elderly by evaluating a home-­based sleep intervention on symptoms and functional outcomes”. As a former John A. Hartford Foundation Building Academic Nursing Capacity Predoctoral Scholar, she brings a wealth of geriatric nursing expertise to the team. 

Andrea Wilkerson, Ph.D. is a Lighting Engineer and member of the Advanced Lighting Team at PNNL. She will provide expertise in architectural lighting and guidance on the dosing, timing, duration, and delivery of the home lighting intervention in this study. PNNL’s support will contribute significantly to the success of this project and we look forward to future collaborations!

Our Interprofessional HARP is offered annually to all OHSU faculty, including the Schools of Nursing, Dentistry, Public Health, and Medicine, and the College of Pharmacy.

The Hartford Center is honored to steward the HARP program made possible through an endowment by the Frances Price Estate Fund.

2019 Hearst Scholars Lisa Pusateri, Priya Keane, and Allison Miles

The Hearst Foundations' endowed scholarship awarded

Our Hartford Center of Gerontological Excellence is proud to announce three new recipients of The Hearst Foundations’ Endowed Scholarship for AY 2019-20. Please join us in congratulating , Lisa Pusateri, Priya Keane, and Allison Miles (shown above) who are all in the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) program. These students graduated in June with a Master of Nursing degree. They will all continue on in the DNP program in the coming academic year.

Lisa plans to be a leader in the improvement of cancer care and recognizes that cancer treatment can be more challenging and complicated for older adults. Her proposed DNP project is to review the reasons for ED visits by older adult cancer patients and then analyze which visits could have been managed at home or in clinic. Her ultimate goal is to create urgent care protocols that help patients avoid unnecessary ED visits.

Priya is planning her DNP project on patient’s understanding of palliative care, with a focus on what matters to the patient and culturally competent palliative care. Her long-term goal is to participate in an intensive palliative care fellowship for advanced practice providers in Alaska.

Dr. Benjamin Schultze, Assistant Professor and Director of the AGACNP program, wrote, “[Allison] is held in high esteem by not only her peers, but [also] her professors due to her robust academic performance.” Allison’s DNP project plans to retrospectively investigate whether early pressor use versus liberal fluid resuscitation changed overall sepsis mortality.

As our population ages it becomes vital that nurses, the largest segment of the nation’s health care system, be trained and competent in the care of older adults. These three outstanding nurses exemplify the passion and compassion, professionalism, dedication to excellence, and critical thought required of our next generation of nurse leaders.

Since 2002, $397,680 has been awarded to 63 graduate students who are preparing to become the next generation of advanced practice nurses in the field of geriatrics. The HCGE is honored to steward this significant endowment.

JAHF - 30 years of grant-making

Two reports just released about the John A. Hartford Foundation (JAHF) provide an overview their accomplishments in the field of geriatrics over the last 30 years.

One was published in Health Affairs this January and written by Stephen Isaacs, Paul S. Jellinek and Terry Fulmer. "The JAHF and the Growth of Geriatrics" is a synopsis of an evaluation commissioned by the JAHF in 2017. The full report, "Assessment of the Accomplishments and Impact of the John A. Hartford Foundation's Grantmaking in Aging and Health: 1983 - 2015" was prepared by Isaacs/Jellinek, a division of Health Policy Associates.  

They got me thinking about what the JAHF has meant to our Hartford Center and the differences we have made, and continue to make, with the generous support of our School of Nursing and the OHSU Foundation. (Our JAHF funding ended in 2016.)

Through 2015 the nine geriatric nursing centers were awarded 280 prestigious pre- and post-doctoral fellowships. Our OHSU Hartford Center had 25: 20 pre-docs and 5 post-docs. Of the 14 pre-doctoral graduates I have been able to contact, 12 are currently on the faculties of nursing schools, including several here!

For more on the JAHF's impact on geriatric nursing check out page 22 of the final report, but these are the highlights, "…[their] interlocking strategies created a cadre of geriatric nursing scholars and educators, fostered strong and enduring geriatric nursing institutions and programs, and embedded geriatrics content in nursing education and credentialing."

Our Hartford Center also brought opportunities for geriatric training and scholarship to post-masters nurses through a PMCO-Advanced Practice Gerontological Nursing program; to undergraduate (UG) faculty through several programs including a summer "Faculty Scholars" program, ACES (Advancing Care Excellence for Seniors) training, a two-day FLAG (Facilitated Learning through Advanced Geriatrics) workshop; and to ALL students. The UG Gerontological Nursing Honors Program, currently in its final year, will have graduated 37 students by year's end. They will all bring to their practice gerontological expertise that goes beyond our baccalaureate curriculum. These nurses live in all regions of our State and two honors graduates are currently on faculty!

We are grateful for our OHSU Foundation's continued support of our research mission through the endowed "Hartford Award for Research and Practice" (HARP). For the HARP program, faculty applicants must have a clinical or research doctorate and the focus must be on improving the health and health care of older adults through research and/or innovations in care.