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Terry Moore

Q&A with Terry Moore, MPH, FGSA, from Insight Policy Research in Lexington, Massachusetts.

waldronMeet Terry.

"Research that can help policymakers and health care providers pay for and care for our elders is vital, yet researchers sometimes need a 'nudge' to address this population. I’m proud that I’ve been able to encourage many health services researchers to attend, present at and join GSA, because it’s important to be part of a community that understands and appreciates this work."

Q: Why did you become a member and what type of involvement do you have?
A: I became a GSA member when a team of long-term care researchers and I worked on the first set of nursing home quality measures to be publicly reported by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The team, led by Vince Mor and John Morris, routinely submitted abstracts for the annual conference and encouraged me to join in 2001 or so. I’ve enjoyed submitting abstracts and presenting at panels or poster sessions, serving as an abstract reviewer, participating in SRPP events at the annual meeting, serving as sponsor, and serving as a GSA mentor.

Q: How does GSA assist with your professional development?
A: Through GSA, I have met and learned from many other health services researchers like myself who are passionate about improving care of elders. I’ve met colleagues to collaborate with on research projects and developed a network of gerontologists to learn from.

Q: How did you get interested in the field of aging?
A: As a nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and later in community hospitals, I often cared for elderly patients with dementia and was drawn to this population. I later worked for the government as a nursing home health inspector and became highly motivated to improve the quality of nursing home care because of the wide variability in elder care that I observed in the homes I visited.

Q: Why is it important for other individuals to join GSA?
A: Research that can help policymakers and health care providers pay for and care for our elders is vital, yet researchers sometimes need a “nudge” to address this population. I’m proud that I’ve been able to encourage many health services researchers to attend, present at and join GSA, because it’s important to be part of a community that understands and appreciates this work.

Q: What are your key responsibilities at your job?
A: I’m in a new position with a new company, after 23 years at the same research firm! The company does applied research for the federal government across a range of social sectors (e.g., education, food and nutrition, health, labor). In my current position, I help senior staff build new business in federal contract research, advise on research projects across multiple social science sectors, mentor health services researchers, and assist in day-to-day operations. Long-term and post-acute care research is a priority of mine as well as the company’s, and we hope to be doing more work on these issues in the near future.

Q: What is your most memorable research/patient experience?
A: I actually have two – one work-related and one personal. I’ll never forget our work in validating the nursing home quality measures. To do this, we collected data in more than 200 nursing homes across the country. Once the data were in, I spent countless hours poring over them via phone with John Morris to try to get our findings ready for presentation to CMS – all during my maternity leave with my first daughter. We sure were a dedicated team! My most memorable patient experience was with my mom Joanne, who had Alzheimer’s. During a troublesome short stay on a locked psychiatric unit for what her assisted living team called her “behaviors,” I paced the unit corridor with her. It took me a minute, but I finally noticed that she was plotting her escape plan from this unit! We would approach the unit door, look around to see if staff were paying attention, then try to slip out when the door opened. She wasn’t quite fast enough at that point to succeed, but I so enjoyed being her partner in crime as she tried!

Q: Do you have any tips for emerging gerontologists?
A: Network and get involved with like-minded gerontology scholars and advocates! And if you’re an academic, partner with applied researchers as a way to create tangible change in elder care policies.

Q: Tell us a little about your most recent activities/accomplishments.
A: Much of the past year has been spent transitioning to my new executive position, and I’ve enjoyed the challenges and rewards I’ve encountered along the way.

Q: Have you had an important mentor in your career? If so, how did s/he make a difference?
A: I have not had one individual mentor, but the gerontology researchers I’ve had the privilege of working with have influenced me greatly. They’ve taught me that you can be both passionate about this work and maintain research objectivity, and that staying close to care delivery is vital to designing feasible long-term or post-acute care research studies.

Want to ask Terry a question? Contact her on GSA Connect!

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