Academic journal article Generations

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Academic journal article Generations

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Article excerpt

Larry Branch is a research professor at Duke University's Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development and director of Duke's M.D.-M.PH. Program and its LongTerm Care Research Program. He has amassed more than twenty-five years of distinguished experience in healthcare and health policy research, teaching, and administration.

Branch says he first became interested in aging when he was an I8-year-old working as an aide in a nursing home. 'That really got my attention, he says. Then, years later, after he had earned his doctorate in social psychology, Branch was working as a population survey researcher in Boston and did several studies that had older people as their subjects. "Gerontology as a career was almost handed to me,' Branch says. "With the passage of Title xx of the Social Security Act (the social services companion to Medicare and Medicaid), the data that I had gathered provided the perfect planning base for communitybased long-term-care programs. For the State of Massachusetts, we put together an integrated homecare program statewide that had more clients than institutional programs did. We were the first state to do that."

Branch was also the first researcher (with Alan Jette) to do performance testing in the home of a random sample of older people, and Branch has conducted pathbreaking longitudinal studies of various aspects of aging and health. He has served as director of the Massachusetts Health Care Panel Study since its inception in I974 and was director of the Disability Substudy of the Framingham Heart Study. From 1991 to 1995, he was responsible for the evaluation of the On Lok replications. He is also a prolific author, with a long list of articles, chapters, and monographs to his credit. …

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