Dr. Thomas to receive inaugural Terrie Fox Wetle Rising Star Award in Health Services and Aging Research


Credit: Courtesy of Brown University

New York, NY – The American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR), a national non-profit organization whose mission is to support and advance healthy aging through biomedical research, is proud to recognize the outstanding contributions of Kali Thomas, MA, PhD, with the inaugural Terrie Fox Wetle Rising Star Award in Health Services and Aging Research.

This award honors a health services researcher in an early or middle phase of his/her career who has already made important contributions with work that respects the value of multidisciplinary health services science and that is likely to be highly influential in shaping practice and research for decades to come.

Dr. Thomas is Associate Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice at Brown University’s School of Public Health and a Research Health Science Specialist in the Center of Innovation in Long-Term Services and Supports at the Providence VA Medical Center.

Dr. Thomas is recognized for her work in applying health services research to inform policies and practices that secure better health and quality of life outcomes for individuals who are aging and disabled, particularly those who require long-term services and supports (LTSS). Her research and publications have focused on the organization and delivery of LTSS, with an emphasis on access, measurement, and quality. Funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Institute on Aging, and various foundations, she has led research projects examining the organization, delivery, and financing of LTSS to meet older adults’ medical and non-medical needs across the LTSS continuum, ranging from in-home services to long-term care provided in institutional settings. Dr. Thomas is a devoted and effective advocate, and her work has been used to influence policy and improve services for older persons.

The award is named in honor of Terrie Fox Wetle, PhD, who has devoted her professional career to three related domains. She has been a tireless advocate for inclusion of aging-related health services research in Public Health. She has lovingly and effectively mentored hundreds of new investigators in a broad array of disciplines. As inaugural Dean, she built a thriving School of Public Health at Brown University, while leading efforts to improve aging-relevant content in public health curricula. Professor Wetle sets an example of visionary leadership, mentoring and administrative excellence. In her honor, AFAR established the Terrie Fox Wetle Rising Star Award in Health Services and Aging Research in 2019.

Nominations for the award are by invitation, and are judged by an independent panel of leading aging researchers. The award is a framed citation and carries a cash prize of $5,000. Dr. Thomas will have an opportunity to present research findings at the AFAR Symposium at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America in 2020.

“The needs of America’s growing older population demand innovative health services,” notes Stephanie Lederman, EdM, AFAR Executive Director. “The visionary work of Dr. Thomas and Dr. Wetle exemplify applying research to improving the wellness of seniors and communities. AFAR is proud to support the future of health services and aging research with this award.”


About AFAR

The American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) is a national non-profit organization that supports and advances pioneering biomedical research that is revolutionizing how we live healthier and longer. For nearly four decades, AFAR has served as the field’s talent incubator, providing more than $181 million to more than 4,200 investigators at premier research institutions nationwide. A trusted leader and strategist, AFAR also works with public and private funders to steer high quality grant programs and interdisciplinary research networks. AFAR-funded researchers are finding that modifying basic cellular processes can delay–or even prevent–many chronic diseases, often at the same time. They are discovering that it is never too late–or too early–to improve health. This groundbreaking science is paving the way for innovative new therapies that promise to improve and extend our quality of life–at any age. Learn more at http://www.afar.org or follow AFARorg on Twitter and Facebook.

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