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About Us For Patients and their Families Office of Geriatric Research Medical Education Newsletter
Gerontologic Enviromental Modifications
Martha Bruce, PhD, MPH, Receives First Ever NIMH IP-RISP Award

Dr. Martha Bruce, Associate Research Professor of Sociology in Psychiatry at New York Weill Cornell's Westchester Division, has received the first Intervention and Practice Research Infrastructure Support Program (IP-RISP) award from The National Institute of Mental Health.  A major goal of the IP-RISP program is to bridge the gap between academic research to community-based practices.  The overall aim of Dr. Bruce's five-year, 1.8 million dollar award is to improve the treatment and outcomes of depression in elderly patients receiving home health care. 

According to Dr. Bruce, depression in older people has been linked to disability, mortality, medical burden, institutionalization in nursing homes, recovery from illness, burden on families, excess cost, and longer length-of-stay in hospitals.  The IP-RISP award will foster research leading to a series of projects in partnership with the three largest home care agencies serving Westchester County.  Dr. Bruce states, "It is exciting that this infrastructure program funds us to collaborate actively with community organizations.  A unique aspect of this research is the active involvement of clinicians practicing in the real world with real patients."

Co-Investigators on this new infrastructure project include George Alexopoulos, MD (see Spotlight on Dr George S. Alexopoulos) who is on the Executive Committee of the Weill Cornell Center for Aging Research and Clinical Care, and Mark S. Lachs, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Medicine in Geriatrics and Co-Chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology.  Center Pilot Grant Awardee Ellen L. Brown, RN, Ed.D., is also a collaborator on the project.

Dr. Bruce is highly active in CCARCC and aging activity throughout Cornell, sitting on the Center's Internal Advisory Committee.  She also serves on the External Advisory Board of the Cornell Gerontology Research Institute (CGRI), Cornell University's NIA-funded Roybal Center in Ithaca.  She has also mentored two summer student scholars in the American Federation for Aging Research program at Cornell, Maria Duda in the summer of 2000, and this year, David Halpern, who is currently Co-President of the Medical Students Geriatric Interest Group.  

Dr. Bruce is the recipient of much private and federal funding, including an NIMH R01 for the epidemiological study of depression in home health care patients. "There is a big gap between knowing what the problems of the frail home care patient with depression are and knowing how to solve them," says Dr. Bruce.  "Research has already demonstrated that depression can be treated, but how you take that wisdom and make changes in community practice is a science in and of itself.  This grant  reflects the importance of this goal and NIMH's commitment to improving patient care in actual practice settings." 

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