The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has awarded gerontologist Dr. Joan Teno, professor of health services, policy and practice in the Brown University School of Public Health, an Investigator Award through its Health Policy Research program. Teno is one of 11 scholars nationwide to win the honor, which comes with $335,000 in support for her work. “We are eager to support these new investments in cutting-edge research, especially at a time when the health care landscape is rapidly changing and the way Americans care for their health is changing with it,” said Alan B. Cohen, director of the RWJF Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research program based at the Boston University School of Management. Teno said she will use the funding over the next three years to study the role of palliative care teams and hospice providers, including publicly traded chains, in the evolving health care system. Her previous research has found that although Medicare has made hospice mainstream, many elderly patients still experience unnecessarily aggressive care and burdensome transitions, for instance from the nursing home to intensive care, shortly before dying. She will use a variety of methods including in-depth interviews and Medicare data analysis in her research “to envision a future that promotes patient- and family-centered medical care.”

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