The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) — the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging — has chosen Nancy L. Wilson, MA, LMSW, of Baylor College of Medicine as the 2013 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 66th Annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held from November 20 to 24 in New Orleans. This conference is organized to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers, educators, and practitioners who specialize in the study of the aging process. Visit http://www.geron.org/annualmeeting for further details.
At Baylor College of Medicine, Wilson is the assistant director for program development in the Huffington Center on Aging, an assistant professor within the Geriatrics Section in the Department of Medicine, and the associate director of the Texas Consortium of Geriatric Education Centers. She also serves as an investigator for the Behavioral Health & Implementation Program within the Houston VA Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, and a clinical instructor of gerontology at the University of Texas School of Nursing. For over a decade she has been a leader within Care for Elders, a Houston partnership from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors dedicated to informing public policy and influencing community practice.
Wilson is widely recognized for being the catalyst driving development and wide scale dissemination of the evidence-based Healthy IDEAS (Identifying Depression, Empowering Activities for Seniors) project into a national model. Healthy IDEAS improves outcomes of mental health conditions including a reduction in depression severity and pain in diverse populations of older adults. Wilson's efforts have influenced policy at the federal level, gaining the attention and funding from the U.S. Administration on Aging.
She also has led efforts to prepare social workers with the essential competencies to promote older adults' well-being in community-based settings. She has been heavily involved in the Practice Change Leaders Program sponsored by the John A. Hartford Foundation and Atlantic Philanthropies. Since 2007, Wilson has helped shape this program as an advisor to the developers and as a member of the National Advisory Committee. Moreover, she has worked to recruit social workers to apply and has been a mentor to several promising social workers by guiding their innovative practice change projects. Wilson is a GSA fellow, which represents the Society's highest class of membership.
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 Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.
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