Healthy Aging Catalyst
Catalyst Healthy Aging
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NJACTS

The New Jersey Alliance for Clinical and Translational Science, Community Engagement Core Kick-Off event was held on Wednesday, Oct. 2, at the Rutgers Club. The Catalyst event focused on community-engaged, dissemination and implementation science that addresses issues of health equity, and solutions that enhance and expand engagement.

Featured guest speakers included Dr. Geoffrey Curran, PhD, and Dr. Melissa Simon, MD, MPH.

Dr. Curran is a medical sociologist and Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Psychiatry at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). He is the Director of the UAMS Center for Implementation Research, which is partially supported by the Translational Research Institute, UAMS’s Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program from the NIH National Center for Advancing TranslationalSciences. Dr. Curran is a health services researcher, with focus areas in (1) predictors of treatment engagement and outcomes for mental health and substance use disorders, and (2) diffusion of innovation in a variety of health care settings (e.g., primary care, specialty care, and community settings). Dr. Curran also has written widely on research design and methodology in implementation science. His work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (US) and the US Department of Veterans Affairs to develop and test a range of implementation strategies designed to support the uptake and sustainment of evidence-based practices.

Dr. Melissa Simon, MD, MPH, is the George H. Gardner Professor of Clinical Gynecology, Vice Chair of Clinical Research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, the Founder and Director of the Center for Health Equity Transformation and the Chicago Cancer Health Equity Collaborative, a Northwestern Medicine physician, and co-program leader for cancer control and survivorship at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center. She leads a diverse portfolio of research directly impacting local, state, and national level thought and policy regarding inclusion and health equity. She has been recognized with numerous awards including a recent White House and NSF recognition the Presidential Award in Excellence in Science Mathematics and Engineering Mentorship (PAESMEM) and the American Public Health Association’s Excellence Award for her research integrating Public Health and Medicine. She was appointed a Presidential Leadership Scholar through the Clinton, Bush and Johnson Foundations.


The event culminated with a multi-stakeholder panel discussion featuring:

Mary O’Dowd, MPH, Executive Director, Health Systems and Population Health Integration, Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research.

Karen D'Alonzo, PhD, RN, APN-c, FAAN, Associate Professor, Director, Center for Community Health Partnerships, Rutgers School of Nursing

Diane Hill, PhD, Assistant Chancellor, University-Community Partnerships, Rutgers University–Newark

Anita Kinney, PhD, Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Rutgers School of Public Health

Amanda Medina-Forrester, MA, MPH Executive Director, Office of Minority and Multicultural Health, NJ Department of Health

Mariam Merced, MA Director, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Community Health Promotion Program, RWJ Barnabas Health System

Dorothy Reed, Co-Founder and President of Sister2Sister


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