Penn State University Nursing School Partners with Abramson Senior CareAbramson_RGB_Logo_PolisherResearch-Primary.png

Partnership Overview

Abramson Senior Care’s internationally recognized Polisher Research Institute (PRI) has a longstanding partnership with the Penn State College of Nursing Program for Person-Centered Living Systems of Care (PPCLSC) to spur innovation and collaboration among care providers, researchers, faculty and students. Kimberly VanHaitsma, Ph.D., serves as Senior Research Scientist at PRI as well as Professor and Director of PPCLSC at Penn State. The goal of the partnership is to bridge the translational divide between research and practice in effective new ways that improve quality of life and wellbeing for older adults who receive long term services and supports in all settings of care.

This relationship, established in 2015, connects PRI with researchers and faculty within Penn State’s College of Nursing and beyond, while Abramson Senior Care serves as a teaching site and living laboratory for research. The result is a highly productive collaboration for nursing education as well as to pioneer and test advances in the practice of person-centered care for older adults. These innovations enable Abramson Senior Care to enhance the lives of older adults by providing them with the latest evidence-based care, as well as continue its role as a national leader in long-term services and supports.

The Program for Person-Centered Living Systems of Care (PPCLSC) is an academic initiative and collaborative partnership between the Penn State College of Nursing Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence and the Polisher Research Institute of Abramson Senior Care.

PPCLSC’s mission is to be a leader in person-centered care research as well as to educate a professionally diverse workforce and apply person-centered, evidence-based practices across the long-term care continuum.


Sample Achievements from the Partnership includes:

New versions of the Preferences for Everyday Living Inventory (PELI) – A series of tools co-developed and tested at Abramson Senior Care to help providers elicit older adults' preferences and track how well those preferences are being met. New versions of this nationally recognized tool are under development for LGBTQ+ older adults living in nursing homes and as well as for older people served by adult day care, home health, transitional care unit, and end-of-life care programs. (See Person-Centered Care Starts with a Conversation:

Communication technology test site – A new component of the PELI asks older adults and their family caregivers about preferences for using evolving technology to assist with care communication. The new subscale was tested and refined with the help of Abramson Senior Care’s home health program.

Match-Quality Indicator – A new tool that helps older adults maximize their activities based on preferences. This dynamic tool measures resident recreational preferences and activity involvement. It generates color-coded graphics indicating whether individual preferences are met and is used by staff to create better care plans. The Match-Quality Indicator won the 2014 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Gold Award in the High Tech/High Touch category.

ComPASS pilot test site – A new mobile responsive website designed to help nursing home teams capture residents’ preferences and gauge their satisfaction with the way preferences. The app -- designed for desktop, laptop, tablet and smart phone – has been tested by Abramson Senior Care staff and soon will be launched nationally. (See

Care provider training– At the invitation of national, statewide and local organizations, Abramson Senior Care and collaborating researchers lead workshops and training on person-centered, preference-based care assessment, care delivery and quality improvement.

All About Me Interview – The All About Me interview serves as a one-page snapshot of newly admitted client preferences for daily living. Developed by Abramson Senior Care, this interview helps care team members welcome newcomers to the community and begin tailoring their care from day one in providing service to an older adult.

Internship site - Abramson Senior Care trustee and past chairman, Arnold Hoffman and his wife, Bette, funded a scholarship program through the Penn State College of Health and Human Development that support  student summer internships placements focused on projects related to person-centered care at Abramson Senior Care.

Support the development of next generation of researchers– Abramson Senior Care serves as a living laboratory for Penn State doctoral students’ exploration of new ways to enhance person-centered care in the future.


For more information, please visit:

Abramson Senior Care Polisher Research Institute:

Penn State Program for Person-Centered Living Systems of Care:

Preference Based Living: