Heather M. Young, PhD, RN, FAAN, founding dean for the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis, Sacramento, was named the 2014 recipient of the Doris Schwartz Gerontological Nursing Research Award by the nations largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging the Gerontological Society of America.
The honor, presented by GSAS Health Sciences Section, is bestowed upon a member of the society in recognition of outstanding and sustained contribution to gerontological nursing research, according to a
This honor means a great deal to me because GSA is the first major research organization I joined as a doctoral student in 1986, Young said in the release. GSA has offered me a foundational perspective on gerontology and research because it is so interdisciplinary. I am able to understand the field from so many perspectives beyond the clinical, including policy, urban planning, the arts and humanities, as well as basic sciences.
Young has attended more than 20 of the annual meetings and is a regular presenter and convener.
Through this organization I have established a strong network of collaborators and colleagues in gerontology experts who have helped shape my research and provided advice and mentorship over the years, she said in the release. I also had the opportunity to meet and mentor many up-and-coming scholars and learn from them about their priorities and perspectives in this field. In large part, due to GSA, the field of gerontology has grown and flourished. It is exciting to be part of this development over almost three decades.
Background and research
In addition to serving as the founding dean for the 5-year-old nursing school at UC Davis, Young also serves as associate vice chancellor for nursing and a member of the executive leadership team for UC Davis Health System. She is a nationally recognized expert in gerontological nursing and rural healthcare. Her research and clinical interest is the promotion of healthy aging with a particular focus on the interface between family and formal healthcare systems.
Her systems research focused on medication management and safety in rural, assisted-living settings and technological approaches to promoting medication safety in rural hospitals, as well as the use of telehealth and community-based strategies to promote health for rural older adults, according to
Young leads an interprofessional team of UC Davis researchers on a recently approved $2.1 million Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute study looking to improve health for individuals with diabetes. Young also is a collaborator of the Initiative for Wireless Health and Wellness at UC Davis and the Center for Information Technology Research for the Interest of Society, initiatives bringing together nursing, medicine, engineering and computer science to address compelling health issues. She is co-director of the Latino Aging Research Resource Center, a National Aging-funded Research Center for Minority Aging Research.
She is active in the implementation of the recommendations of the landmark Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, serving on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundations Strategic Advisory Committee that guides the national campaign as well as the California Action Coalition executive committee, which leads activities at the state level. She served as a member of the Presidents Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Working Group on Systems Engineering for Healthcare.
Earlier in her career, Young practiced as a geriatric nurse practitioner in community-based long-term care and served as chief operations officer for a company designing and managing
Award presentation details
The award presentation will take place at GSAs 67th Annual Scientific Meeting, which is set for Nov. 5-9 in Washington, D.C. The conference is organized to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers, educators and practitioners who specialize in the study of the aging process.