Public Release:  Young earns GSA's 2014 Doris Schwartz Gerontological Nursing Research Award

The Gerontological Society of America

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Heather M. Young, PhD, RN, FAAN, of the University of California, Davis, as the 2014 recipient of the Doris Schwartz Gerontological Nursing Research Award.

This distinguished honor, presented by GSA's Health Sciences Section, is given to a member of the Society in recognition of outstanding and sustained contribution to gerontological nursing research.

The award presentation will take place at GSA's 67th Annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held from November 5 to 9 in Washington, DC. 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 UC Davis, Young is the associate vice chancellor for nursing, founding dean of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, and a professor. She is a nationally recognized expert in gerontological nursing and rural health care. Her research and clinical interest is the promotion of healthy aging with a particular focus on the interface between family and formal health-care systems. She played an instrumental role in shaping long-term care policies in Washington state and beyond through her research. In addition, she conducted several longitudinal studies of family caregiving in the context of cognitive decline.

Her systems research focused on medication management and safety in rural, assisted-living settings, and technological approaches to promoting medication safety in rural hospitals, as well as the use of telehealth and community-based strategies to promote health for rural older adults. Young is a collaborator of the Initiative for Wireless Health and Wellness at UC Davis and the Center for Information Technology Research for the Interest of Society, initiatives bringing together nursing, medicine, engineering and computer science to address compelling health issues. She is co-director of the Latino Aging Research Resource Center, a National Institutes of Aging-funded Research Center for Minority Aging Research.

She is active in the implementation of the recommendations of the landmark Institute of Medicine report, "The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health," serving on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Strategic Advisory Committee that guides the national campaign as well as the California Action Coalition executive committee, which leads activities at the state level. She recently served as a member of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Working Group on Systems Engineering for Healthcare.

Earlier in her career, Young practiced as a geriatric nurse practitioner in community-based long-term care and served as chief operations officer for a company designing and managing retirement communities. In previous faculty positions, Young directed the de Tornyay Center for Healthy Aging at the University of Washington, then became the director of the John A. Hartford Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence at Oregon Health and Science University.

Young is a UC Davis alumna, graduating in 1981 with a bachelor's degree in dietetics. She later earned an associate degree in nursing from Sacramento City College and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Southern Oregon State College. She then went on to the University of Washington, where she earned a Master of Science in Nursing degree with a specialty in gerontology and a Doctor of Philosophy in nursing science.

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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 5,500+ 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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