The Hebrew Home's Research Division and National Alzheimer Center are at the forefront of elder care research, committed to improving the quality of life of older persons. Founded in the mid-1980s, the Research Division is internationally known for its contributions to long term health care. The division is funded by grants from both the federal and state governments and from foundations. The Research Division is uniquely positioned to develop new approaches to address the needs of the elderly, including those with Alzheimer’s Disease and their caregivers.
The Research Division has approximately 20 full and part-time staff, including three at the Ph.D. level, and several persons with Masters' Degrees (Public Health, and Biostatistics). It maintains collaborative relationships with major academic and government institutions such as Columbia University Medical Center, Faculty of Medicine, Stroud Center and Biomedical Informatics; The Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Department of Neurology; Georgetown University, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center; Mount Sinai Medical Center, Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine; New York University Center for Healthful Behavior Change, College of Nursing; Northwestern University, Medical Social Sciences; Weill Cornell Medical College, Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Care; Yale University, School of Medicine; and the New York State Department of Health.
The Research Division obtains funding from federal, foundation and state grants, primarily through federally-funded subcontracts to major medical centers. Federal funding sources have included: the Agency for Healthcare, Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institute of Justice (NIJ), National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), and the National Institute for Nursing Research (NINR). Foundation grants have included: The Fan Fox and Samuels Foundation, the Fetzer Institute, and the Brookdale Institute. State funding has been received through the New York State Department of Health.
The Research Division produced an award-winning training video sponsored by a grant from the New York State Department of Health titled, "Freedom of Sexual Expression: Dementia and Resident Rights in Long Term Care Facilities." The training video has received national media attention. The Research Division has produced training programs on recognizing and working with long-term care residents with dementia and depression titled, “Depression in Nursing Homes, Assisted Living and Other Long-Term Care Settings” and on recognizing and working with residents with vision problems in long-term care settings titled, “Vision Awareness: A Staff Training Program.” Most recently, the Research Division produced a training program titled “Resident-to-Resident Elder Mistreatment Training and Education Guide” narrated by distinguished journalist Charles Osgood that was distributed to all New York State nursing homes and is available through the NYS Department of Health website.
Staff members of the Research Division have served on the editorial boards of several journals including Psychology and Aging, The Gerontologist, and the Journal of Mental Health, Policy and Economics, and have served as associate editors of Biometrics and Medical Care. Staff members have served as the senior editors of special issues of Alzheimer's Disease and Associated Disorders: An International Journal, Research and Practice in Alzheimer’s Disease, The Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics, the Journal of Mental Health and Aging, and Medical Care. Staff members have published over 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals. One article (published in 2013 on comparative effectiveness research) examining a training program was cited as an outstanding resource for medical and nursing professionals.
The Research Division is also affiliated with multi-site Centers that aim to reduce health care disparities between minority and non-minority older adults: National Institutes of Health, Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR), and Excellence in Partnerships for Community Outreach, Research on Health Disparities and Training (EXPORT). Two additional multi-site Centers examine pain management and palliative care for older adults: National Institute on Aging (NIA) Roybal Center- Cornell-Columbia Institute for Translational Research on Aging, NIA Mount Sinai Pepper Older Americans Independence Center.
The division has been the coordinating center for ten studies on special dementia care funded by the National Institute of Aging. The Research Division is also the Coordinating Center for 15 NIH funded studies of health conditions such as cognition and Alzheimer’s Disease, cardiovascular disease and hypertension, colorectal cancer, end stage renal disease, diabetes, stroke and stroke-related illness, and mental health including depression. The Research Division is at the forefront in the study of telehealth and bioinformatics; as well as minority health, disparities, discrimination, social determinants, minority caregivers to elders in the community, and indigenous community health workers; and social issues such as elder abuse and mistreatment. The Research Division collaborates with the Weinberg Center in studies of elder abuse. Finally, the Research Division in collaboration with Weill Cornell Medical Center Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Care is conducting the first prevalence study of resident-to-resident mistreatment.
The Research Division has been at the forefront of development and applications of statistical methods related to culture fair assessment. Experts have conducted psychometric analyses for a variety of measures used to assess chronic care populations. Several members are consultants to the Statistical Coordinating Center to Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement and Information System (PROMIS), the NIH roadmap initiative that aims to provide infrastructure for establishing item banks and computerized adaptive testing in health.
The Research Division hosts a formal interest group of the Gerontological Society of American (GSA). Research in Quality of Care (RESQCARE) promotes quality of care and best practices related to care delivered to older individuals in acute and long-term care settings, and in the community. Members of this group include the internationally acclaimed leaders in the field of long-term care.
Members of the Research Division are frequent presenters at national and International conferences. Topics of investigation include: epidemiology of dementia, depression and vision disorders; impacts of programs such as primary care nursing and special dementia care units; development and evaluation of staff training programs regarding recognition of depression; methods for increasing functional vision, methods for reducing behavioral disorders, and resident-to-resident-elder mistreatment.