2010 Recipient: Karl Pillemer, Ph.D.
Karl Pillemer, Ph.D. is the Hazel E. Reed Professor of Human Development at Cornell University and Professor of Gerontology in Medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical College. Since 1993, he has been Director of the Cornell Institute for Translational Research on Aging, a center devoted to using research to create interventions to improve the quality of life of older persons. For the past two decades, he has conducted a program of research and intervention involving staff in nursing homes and other long-term care environments.
He has developed and evaluated a number of evidence-based interventions for long-term care staff, including Partners in Caregiving, which builds cooperation and communication between nursing home staff and family members, and the Retention Specialist Program, which improves the ability of nursing homes to retain CNAs. Additionally, Dr. Pillemer has conducted a career-long program of research and intervention on the mistreatment of older persons. He conducted the first large-scale epidemiological survey of elder abuse and neglect, which established the benchmark prevalence rate for elder mistreatment. Dr. Pillemer has also studied elder abuse in long-term care settings, including the most extensive survey of mistreatment of residents in nursing homes by staff. He has developed programs based on this research to reduce mistreatment in nursing homes. He is currently collaborating with Dr. Mark Lachs on the first major study of resident-to-resident abuse in nursing homes, funded by the National Institute on Aging. Dr. Pillemer has also focused on studying and improving methods of research translation in aging. In recent work, he has developed new techniques of bridging the research – practice gap, including an innovative consensus workshop model, the use of concept mapping techniques to determine research priorities, and using community-based participatory research models to create more effective innovations.