The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) — the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging — has chosen Robyn Golden, MA, LCSW, FGSA, of the Rush University Medical Center as the 2017 recipient of the Maxwell A. Pollack Award for Productive Aging.
This honor, given annually, recognizes instances of practice informed by research and analysis, research that directly improved policy or practice, and distinction in bridging the worlds of research and practice. Individuals who are mid-career and actively engaged in the conception and development of innovative programs that demonstrate excellence in translating research into practical application or policy are eligible. The award is made possible through a generous grant from The New York Community Trust's Maxwell A. Pollack Fund.
The award presentation will take place at GSA's 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held from November 18 to 22 in Boston, Massachusetts. This conference is organized to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers, educators, and practitioners who specialize in the study of the aging process.
Golden leads population health and aging at Rush University Medical Center (RUMC), where she also holds academic appointments in the Departments of Medicine, Nursing, Psychiatry and Health Systems Management. She is responsible for developing and overseeing health promotion and disease prevention, mental health, care coordination and transitional care services for older adults, family caregivers and people with chronic conditions. Golden consistently aims to ensure that practice and education are informed by evidence and in turn that research is influenced by the experience and preferences of consumers, families, community members, and clinicians.
Throughout her career, Golden has taken a collaborative approach that engages national and community partners in program design and shares lessons learned with stakeholders across the country. She has earned widespread recognition for developing the Bridge Model of Transitional Care, a person-centered, social work-led, interdisciplinary model of transitional care. Bridge emphasizes collaboration among hospitals, community-based providers, and the Aging Network in order to ensure a seamless continuum of health and community care across settings. The model has demonstrated positive qualitative and quantitative outcomes, and nearly seventy sites across the nation and in Canada have been trained to replicate it in their communities. More recently, she developed the Ambulatory Integration of the Medical and Social (AIMS) care coordination model, which uses a standardized protocol in primary and specialty care settings to provide risk-focused care coordination and intervention to assist people with biopsychosocial and functional issues impacting their medical care plan adherence or physical condition. To further spur practice change at Rush and across the country, Golden has worked with RUMC leadership to establish the Rush Center for Excellence in Aging and with local and national collaborators to found the Center for Health and Social Care Integration. She currently is principal investigator for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)-funded Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program and for a study funded through The Commonwealth Fund.
Golden has a long track record of advocating for systemic changes, building coalitions, and advancing movements to accelerate practice change. From 2003 to 2004, she was the John Heinz Senate Fellow based in the office of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in Washington, DC. Golden is also a past chair of the American Society on Aging and has built a coalition of social work academic and practice leaders to advance plans for a consensus study on integrating health care and social services in partnership with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. She is a National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Social Work Pioneer and recently named fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare. She is also a GSA fellow, which is the highest level of membership within the Society.
The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society — and its 5,500+ members — is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA's structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society, and an educational branch, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.