With increased longevity and population aging, new concerns are raised about the quality of Americans’ longer lives. To address these concerns, the Center for Population Health and Aging provides a coordinated focus for research and practice on strategies for understanding and promoting successful aging. Specifically, the Center coalesces a number of distinct but related aging and health promotion oriented research programs under the leadership of Dr. Marcia Ory.

Our overall mission is to promote population health and successful aging through innovations in research, education and practice that examine social, behavioral, economic, environmental, and technological solutions linking academic and real-world clinical and community settings. Topical areas of interest include promoting evidence-based practices and policies; chronic disease prevention and management; building healthy communities; exploring interactions between health, aging and technology; improving geriatric care, evaluating economic and policy issues related to population aging, and growing the pipeline of experts in gerontology and geriatrics.

Working collaboratively with colleagues across diverse fields, we engage in basic and applied research that advances knowledge on the:

  • Social, behavioral, economic, environmental and technological determinants for health and illness in older populations with an emphasis on identifying factors associated with optimal self-management and living independently with chronic illnesses and disabilities later in life;
  • Design and evaluation of multi-level interventions to promote health, prevent disease, postpone disability in older adults, and create more age-friendly environments; and
  • Dissemination and implementation of evidence-based programs for seniors and other vulnerable populations, including providing technical assistance and direction at multiple levels.

Our Center investigators are concerned with understanding and modifying behavioral, social and environmental determinants of health and well-being across the life course. There is emphasis on the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based programs, technologies, and policies for improving the lives of aging adults, their caregivers, and surrounding environments.  Taking a broad systems approach, we are concerned with strategies that will strengthen linkages and coordination between community and clinical care options.  We draw upon the Health Science Center expertise in public health, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, and biosciences and technology, but are also interested in One Health considerations.  Further, we add substantive expertise and population focus to other Center/Institute activities.

Our Center's mission, goals, and vision are consistent with those of the School of Public Health and Department of Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences. Specifically, we are interested in understanding the role of social, behavioral, and environmental determinants of health and identifying appropriate interventions for promoting healthy aging across the life course. Our unique contribution is to bring needed attention to the aging processes and the needs and special situations of an aging population.