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May 3, 2023

Linked Studies of Aging U.S. Population Recognized with Policy Impact Award

Contact: Jon Meerdink ([email protected])

ANN ARBOR — The National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) and National Study of Caregiving (NSOC) will be recognized for their policy impact by the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) this month

AAPOR will confer its 2023 Policy Impact Award to NHATS and NSOC during its 78th annual conference on May 12 in Philadelphia. According to AAPOR, the award recognizes “outstanding research that has had a clear impact on improving policy decisions, practice and discourse, either in the public or private sectors.”

The studies are led by faculty from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research (ISR), with data collection by Westat, a professional services firm.

NHATS is designed to support policy-relevant demographic research investigating trends, trajectories and consequences of late-life disability for individuals and families. NHATS also serves as a foundation for NSOC, which interviews family and unpaid caregivers of NHATS participants.

Funding for NHATS and NSOC is provided by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Institutes of Health (NIH).
“Through NHATS and NSOC, the NIH National Institute on Aging aims to foster research that guides efforts to reduce disability, improve care, maximize health and independent functioning, and enhance the quality of life for older people and their caregivers. This kind of recognition underscores the importance of these resources as tools for building an evidence base for policymakers, practitioners, and the public to support better function and care, including care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and their families,” said John W. R. Phillips, PhD, chief of the NIA Population and Social Processes Branch.

Brad Edwards,Vice President and Director of Field Services at Westat and NHATS co-investigator, will accept the award on behalf of the leadership team, which includes ISR’s Vicki Freedman, PhD, and the late Judith Kasper, PhD, of the Bloomberg School, who co-led NHATS and NSOC until her death in 2021, and Jennifer Schrack, PhD, and Jennifer Wolff, PhD, of the Bloomberg School, who co-lead NHATS and NSOC, respectively, with Freedman. Westat’s Laura Branden has also contributed to the studies’ data collection activities since the study began in 2011.

NHATS and NSOC have grown to become a catalyst for policy- and practice-relevant analyses of aging, disability, and care. As of 2023, more than 6,000 individuals had registered to use the data and nearly 700 peer-reviewed articles using NHATS and NSOC have been published.

Funding for NHATS and NSOC was provided from NIA/NIH under award numbers U01AG032947, R01AG054004, and R01AG062477. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NIA or the broader NIH.