Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York
 



AREAS OF RESEARCH


The Ravazzin Center on Aging conducts research that will help further understanding of aging and strengthen the role of social work in our aging society.

The Center’s areas of research address the following major issues in the field of aging: 


Social Work and End of Life Issues
The Center has engaged in a variety of research projects designed to examine the role of social work in helping older adults and family members understand end of life issues and planning tools. Current or completed projects include:

Strengthening the Role of the Healthcare Agent: Knowledge, Attitude, Comfort and Communication
Principal Investigator: Irene A. Gutheil, D.S.W.
Co-Principal Investigator: Janna C. Heyman, Ph.D.
Funded by: The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation

Strengthening Health Care Agency: A Protocol for Use with Hispanic Elders and Hispanic Elders and Adult Children Speak about End-of-Life Planning
Co-Principal Investigator: Irene A. Gutheil, D.S.W.
Co-Principal Investigator: Janna C. Heyman, Ph.D.
Funded by: The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation

Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviors of Korean Elders with Repect to Advance Directives

Principal Investigator: Cathy S. Berkman, Ph.D., ACSW
Co-Principal Investigator: Eunjeong Ko, MSW
Funded by: Faculty Research Development Fund, Graduate School of Social Service

Evaluation of an Informational Workshop on Advance Directives For Korean Seniors
Principal Investigator: Cathy S. Berkman, Ph.D., ACSW
Co-Principal Investigator: Eunjeong Ko, MSW
Funded by: Faculty Research Development Fund, Graduate School of Social Service

Advance Directives: An Emerging Role for Social Workers
Principal Investigator: Irene A. Gutheil, D.S.W.
Co-Investigator: Janna C. Heyman, Ph.D. 

The Experience of Being a Health Care Agent
Co-Principal Investigator: Irene Gutheil, D.S.W
Co-Principal Investigator: Terry Peak , D.S.W. (Utah State University)
Co-Investigator: Jane Edwards, Ph.D.



Social Work with Minority Elders
As the minority older population is projected to grow significantly over the coming years, more research needs to be done to understand the needs of minority elders. The Center is currently engaged in or has completed the following studies: 

Strengthening Health Care Agency: A Protocol for Use with Hispanic Elders and Hispanic Elders and Adult Children Speak about End-of-Life Planning
Co-Principal Investigator: Irene A. Gutheil, D.S.W.
Co-Principal Investigator: Janna C. Heyman, Ph.D.
Funded by: The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation

Migration at Older Ages: Insights into the Lives of Older Dominican Immigrants in New York City and Their Host Community
Principal Investigator: Nadia Cohen, Ph.D.

Older Hispanics in New York City: An Assessment of Their Circumstances and Their Needs
Principal Investigator: Nadia Cohen, Ph.D.

Culturally Competent Long Term Care
Co-Principal Investigator: Roslyn Chernesky, D.S.W.
Co-Principal Investigator: Carole Cox, D.S.W.
Funded by: The Foundation for Long Term Care (subcontract on a Commonwealth Foundation Grant)

Interpretation of Psychiatric Symptoms and Help-Seeking Preferences of Hispanic and Non-Hispanic White Seniors
Principal Investigator: Cathy S. Berkman, Ph.D., ACSW
Funded by: National Institute of Mental Health

Evaluation of an Informational Workshop on Advance Directives for Korean Seniors
Principal Investigator: Cathy Berkman, Ph.D, ACSW
Co-Prinicpal Investigator: Eunjeong Ko, MSW
Funded by: Faculty Research Development Fund, Graduate School of Social Service



Social Work Health Care Research
The Center conducts research that demonstrates the effectiveness of social work practice in enhancing the well being of older persons. The projects focus on improving individual, organizational, and/or systematic outcomes. Some of the work in this area has been part of the Hartford Geriatric Social Work Scholars Program.

Evaluation and Insights on Project IMPACT: Screening Depression in Older Adults
Principal Investigator: Janne C. Heyman, Ph.D.
Co-Principal Investigator: Irene Gutheil, D.S.W.
Funded by: The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation 

Social Work Services and Patient Outcomes in Home Health Care
Principal Investigator: Ji Seon Lee Ph.D .
Funded by: John A Hartford Foundation

Womens Empowerment in Later Life (WELL): An Elder Abuse Intervention Project in New York City
Principal Investigator: Patricia Brownell, PhD, MSW
Funded by: John A. Hartford Foundation

Healthy Encounters Project

Principal Investigator: Jacquelin Berman, Ph.D. (NY DFTA)
Director of Research: Cathy S. Berkman, Ph.D., ACSW
Funded by: The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation

Reduction of Physical Restraint Use in an Acute Care Hospital

Principal Investigator: Joyce Fogel, Ph.D. (Saint Vincents Hospital and Medical Center)
Director of Research: Cathy S. Berkman, Ph.D., ACSW
Funded by: The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation



Social Work Education
With the growing older population, there is an urgent need for well trained geriatric social workers. The Center is committed to preparing social workers to provide services to our aging communities. The Center has been involved in the following projects relating to social work education:

master’s advanced curriculum project gero innovations grant
Project Director: Meredith Hanson, D.S.W.
Project Co-Director: Irene A. Gutheil, D.S.W.


Geriatric Enrichment in Social Work Education

Project Director: Irene A. Gutheil, D.S.W.
Curriculum Consultant: Roslyn H. Chernesky, D.S.W.
Funded by: The John A. Hartford Foundation

Andrus Scholars Program
Project Director: Irene A. Gutheil, D.S.W.
Funded by: The Helen Andrus Benedict Foundation

Project Jumpstart: Pilot Scholarship Program for Pre-Professional Public Sector Workers Serving Vulnerable Older Adults in New York City
Project Director: Patricia Brownell, Ph.D., CSW



Social Work in a Global Context
The Center has housed several projects that provide a global perspective to social work practice:

Ageing In Bermuda: Meeting the Needs of Seniors
Principal Investigator: Irene A. Gutheil, D.S.W.
Co-Principal Investigator: Roslyn H. Chernesky, D.S.W.
Research Director: Cathy S.Berkman, Ph.D., ACSW
Funded by: The Atlantic Philanthropies

Grandmothers Raising HIV-Affected Orphans in Uganda
Principal Investigator: Cynthia Cannon Poindexter, MSW, Ph.D.
Funded by: Faculty Research Development Fund, Graduate School of Social Service 

Migration at Older Ages: Insights into the Lives of Older Dominican Immigrants in New York City and Their Host Community
Principal Investigator: Nadia Cohen, Ph.D.



Community Program Evaluation
The Center has worked with a number of community agencies and programs on evaluation projects: 

Westchester county Millennium Aging Project: Phase II
Co-Principal Invesigator: Irene A. Gutheil, D.S.W.
Co-Principal Invesigator: Janna C. Heyman, Ph.D.
Funded by: Westchester County Public/Private Partnership for Aging Services

Mount Kisco Intergenerational Community Evaluation
Co-Principal Invesigator: Janna C. Heyman, Ph.D.
Co-Principal Invesigator: Irene A. Gutheil, D.S.W.
Funded by: Mount Kisco Day Care Center

Westchester County SPEAK-UP Evaluation

Principal Invesigator: Janna C. Heyman, Ph.D.

Living History Institute Evaluation
Principal Invesigator: Janna C. Heyman, Ph.D.
Co-Invesigator: Irene A. Gutheil, D.S.W.
Co-Invesigator: Martha Bial, Ph.D.



Additional Completed Research

Family Elder Caregiving: The Grotta Report on Philanthropic Trends and Best Practice Models
Co-Principal Investigator: Irene Gutheil, D.S.W
Co-Principal Investigator: Roslyn Chernesky, D.S.W.
Funded by: The Grotta Foundation

Cutting Edge Issues in Aging

Co-Principal Investigator: Irene Gutheil, D.S.W
Co-Principal Investigator: Roslyn Chernesky, D.S.W.
Funded by: The Philanthropic Group

Factors in Congregate Luncheon Utilization for the New York City Senior Center
Co-Principal Investigator: Pat Brownell, Ph.D.
Co-Principal Investigator: Jacquelin Berman, Ph.D. (NY DFTA)
Funded by: New York City Department for the Aging

Agencies Serving Older Adults: Responses to a Changing Funding Environment
Co-Principal Investigator: Roslyn Chernesky, D.S.W.
Co-Principal Investigator: Irene Gutheil, D.S.W.

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