Public Release: 

Naylor earns GSA's 2015 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 Mary Naylor, PhD, RN, FAAN, of the University of Pennsylvania as the 2015 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 68th Annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held from November 18 to 22 in Orlando, Florida. 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/2015 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. For the past two decades, Naylor has led an interdisciplinary program of research designed to improve the quality of care, decrease unnecessary hospitalizations, and reduce health care costs for vulnerable community-based elders. As the chief architect of the Transitional Care Model, Naylor's work is elucidating the unique needs of chronically ill older adults and their family caregivers and offering high quality, cost-effective, evidence-based solutions to address a major health concern in the U.S. and across the globe.

The model has been clinically proven to reduce hospital re-admissions by up to 30 percent while producing substantial savings for hospitals and Medicare. The model assigns an advanced practice nurse to support patients and their families through critical transitions, such as hospital-to-home. An individual nurse can manage as many as 20 patients at a time over a 60-day period. This model has been proven in multiple National Institutes of Health-funded randomized clinical trials to significantly improve patients' experience with care and health, while reducing avoidable re-hospitalizations.

As a result of her work, insurance companies have begun to adopt Naylor's vision for the care of older adults and the chronically ill. She 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.

In 2005, Naylor was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine. She also is a member of the Rand Health Board of Advisors, the National Quality Forum Board of Directors, and was the founding chair of the Long-Term Quality Alliance Board of Directors. Naylor also co-led the Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation national program, focused on generating, disseminating, and translating research to understand how nurses contribute to quality patient care. In 2010, she was appointed to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and continues to serve.

Her accomplishments have been recognized with 29 distinct awards from her peers and professional organizations. Naylor was the 2012 recipient of GSA's Maxwell A. Pollack Award for Productive Aging.

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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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