Courtney Demko

Courtney Demko’s research focuses on caregiver health and well-being. She is particularly interested in Alzheimer’s caregivers and young adult caregiver burden. Courtney’s dissertation uses national survey data and focuses on the multidimensional factors associated with caregiver burden among young adult caregivers from the millennial population. This research is of particular importance given the increase of the older adult population in the U.S. and will demonstrate to policymakers and program planners the unique needs of an overlooked population.

Courtney has training and experience in both quantitative and qualitative methodologies and has used her research skills on several grant-funded research projects at UCLA. She is a member of the Latino Economic Security (LES) team at UCLA which researches the economic impact of a nation growing older and more diverse. Courtney served as the Project Director for the team’s latest project which included conducting focus groups and surveying older white conservative adults in Orange County, CA looking at their attitudes and beliefs towards immigration and immigration policy. She has published in peer-reviewed journals such as The Journal of the American Society on Aging and book chapters on topics related to aging and diversity.

As part of Courtney’s doctoral training, she has also acquired management and administrative experience as the Assistant Director for the Center for Policy Research on Aging at UCLA’s Department of Social Welfare and Public Policy. Courtney’s expertise includes writing grants for leading foundations.

Courtney also has several years of teaching experience. She has assisted in teaching both master’s and undergraduate courses at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs Department of Social Welfare. These include classes in Social Work Research Methods, Social Work Policy and Diversity and Aging. She’s also served as a Guest Lecturer at UCLA’s Department of Social Welfare including topics on Caregiving and Public Policy. Prior to entering the doctoral program, Courtney acquired training leading support groups and providing one-on-one counseling with homeless women at the Downtown Women’s Center on Skid Row in Los Angeles. She also gained experience providing care consultations and co-facilitating support groups for early-stage Alzheimer’s patients and their family caregivers at the Alzheimer’s Association in Los Angeles.

Courtney earned her B.A. in Political Science from Davidson College (2005), and an M.S.W from UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs, Department of Social Welfare with a specialization in Gerontology (2013).

SELECTED BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS

The Politics of Aging in a Majority-Minority Nation and Later-Life Social Support and Service Provision in Diverse and Vulnerable Populations.

Mark A. Peterson

A specialist on American national institutions, much of Professor Peterson’s scholarship focuses on the Presidency, Congress, interest groups, and public opinion, evaluating interactions among them, and their implications for policy making, both within the general domain of domestic policy and with special attention to national health care policy, Medicare reform, and HIV/AIDS politics and policy.  He also studies the role of evidence in policy making, including the contextual factors that promote or inhibit its influence.

He has written extensively on how Congress responds to presidential legislative initiatives, exploring how different political, economic, and institutional settings affect coalition building, promote inter-institutional conflict or cooperation, influence the president’s legislative performance, and establish the baseline for assessing the performance of individual leaders (including Legislating Together: The White House and Capital Hill from Eisenhower to Reagan, Harvard University Press). He has also investigated the ways in which presidents use relationships with organized interests to promote their administration’s political or programmatic agendas, based on the presidential objectives and strategic calculations.

As a participant in the Annenberg Institutions of American Democracy Project, with Public Policy Department colleague Joel Aberbach he co-chaired the Commission on the Executive Branch and co-edited the volume it produced on the politics and performance of the presidency and bureaucracy (Institutions of American Democracy: The Executive Branch, Oxford University Press), which won the Richard E. Neustadt Award from the Presidential Research section of the American Political Science Association.  He also contributed to its study of public and elite opinion on the performance of American institutions (Institutions of American Democracy: A Republic Divided, Oxford University Press).

In addition, specific to the domain of health and health care policy, he edited Healthy Markets?  The New Competition in Medical Care, Duke University Press; and co-edited both Uncertain Times:  Kenneth Arrow and the Changing Economics of Health Care, Duke University Press) and the four-volume edited series Health Politics and Policy (Sage), as well as edited the special health policy journal issues, The Managed Care Backlash and Who Shall Lead?

Much of his most recent scholarship has linked these themes and extensive original research to produce a book manuscript entitled “American Sisyphus: Health Care and the Challenge of Transformative Policymaking.” Encompassing the last 100 years, it examines how recognized problems in the health care system, the influence of public opinion, transformation of the interest group community, institutional dynamics in Congress, changes in the context and demands of political leadership, various dimensions of social learning by policy makers, and strategic and tactical choices by presidents both thwarted health care reform in the past and ultimately made possible the enactment of President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, but in a context that also primed the challenge of the law before the U.S. Supreme Court and prompted enduring partisan attacks on its implementation and continuation.

Professor Peterson was a founding team member of the UCLA-based multidisciplinary Blue Sky Health Initiative to transform the U.S. health and health care system, which helped advise Congress on the inclusion of disease prevention and health promotion strategies in the Affordable Care Act.  Previously, as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow, he served as a Legislative Assistant for Health Policy in the Office of U.S. Senator Tom Daschle.  During 2000-2003 he was on the Study Panel on Medicare and Markets organized by the National Academy of Social Insurance.

From 1993 to 2002, Professor Peterson was the editor of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, a leading bimonthly scholarly journal in the field. He later chaired the journal’s Executive Committee, on which he remains a member, and also served on the Board of Editors of PS: Political Science & Politics and the Board of Editors of the Journal of Politics.  He has often been interviewed for television, radio, and print media stories, including for CBS News, National Public Radio and state public radio networks, CNN Money.Com, local television in Boston and Los Angeles, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Christian Science Monitor, San Diego Union Tribune, Arizona Republic, Milwaukee Journal SentinelAtlanta Constitution, U.S. News & World Report, CQ Weekly, The Hill, American Medical News, Internal Medicine News, The Lancet Oncology, and newspapers and broadcast news in Latin America, Europe, and Asia.

Professor Peterson has been an elected member of the Council of the American Political Science Association (2008-2010) and a member of its Administrative Committee, a founding member of the Association’s Organized Section on Health Politics and Policy, and was elected President of its Organized Section on Public Policy.  He has served on various committees for the American Political Science Association, Midwest Political Science Association, the Western Political Science Association, and AcademyHealth.  He chaired the National Advisory Committees for both the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Scholars in Health Policy Research program and its Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization (HCFO) program, and was a member of the National Advisory Committees for the Foundation’s  Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research Program and Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico.  He is an elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance.  Other honors include the Pi Sigma Alpha Award from the Midwest Political Science Association, the E. E. Schattschneider Award from the American Political Science Association, the Richard E. Neustadt Award from the President and Executive Politics Section of the APSA, and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research.

At UCLA, he is Professor of Public Policy, Political Science, and Law, and has twice been the Chair of the Department of Public Policy.  He is a Faculty Associate of the Center for Health Policy Research, the Center for Healthier Children, Families, and Communities, and the Institute for Society & Genetics; member of the Policy Impact Core for the Center for HIV Identification, Prevention, and Treatment Services; and is on the Internal Advisory Board for the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at UCLA.  He previously served on the faculty boards of the Center for Policy Research on Aging, the Institute for Social Research, and the Center for American Politics and Public Policy.  He is also currently a member of the University of California’s Academic Senate Health Care Task Force and the Academic Advisory Committee for the University of California Washington Center (UC in DC), and was on the University of California Office of the President’s Health Benefits Working Group.

Prior to coming to UCLA, he was Professor of Public Affairs, Political Science, and Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh, and Henry La Barre Jayne Associate Professor of Government at Harvard University.

 

SELECTED BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS

American Sisyphus: Health Care and the Challenge of Transformative Policymaking.
Mark A. Peterson.  Book manuscript in progress.

Reversing Course on Obamacare:  Why Not Another Medicare Catastrophic? 
Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 43(4) (August 2018): 605-650.

In the Shadow of Politics: The Pathways of Research Evidence to Health Policy Making. 
Special Issue on Policy Analysis and the Politics of Health Policy.   Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 43(3) (June 2018): 341-376.

The Third Rail of Politics The Rise and Fall of Medicare’s Untouchability
Mark A. Peterson.  In Alan Cohen, David Colby, Keith Wailoo, and Julian Zelizer, Medicare and Medicaid at Fifty.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Interest Groups and the Executive Branch
Mark A. Peterson.  In Burdett A. Loomis, ed., Guide to Interest Groups and Lobbying in the United States.  Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011.

Who Wants Presidential Supremacy? Findings from the Institutions of American Democracy Project
Joel D. Aberbach, Mark A. Peterson, and Paul J. Quirk.  Presidential Studies Quarterly 37 (September 2007): 515-53.

It Was a Different Time: Obama and the Unique Opportunity for Health Care Reform
Mark A. Peterson.  Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 36(3) (June 2011): 429-436.

The Ideological and Partisan Polarization of Health Care Reform and Tax Policy
Mark A. Peterson.  Tax Law Review 65(4), 2012: 627-667.

Institutions of American Democracy: A Republic Divided
Annenberg Democracy Project.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.

Health Politics and Policy, Four-Volume Set
Sue Tolleson-Rinehart and Mark A. Peterson, Editors.
Volume 1.  Defining Health Systems: Path Dependence and Policy Emergence
Volume 2. Tensions in Health Policy: Ethics, Interests, and the Public
Volume 3. Health Systems in Comparative Perspective
Volume 4. The Contemporary Politics of Health System Reform
London: Sage Publications, 2010.

Legislating Together: The White House and Capitol Hill from Eisenhower to Reagan
Mark A. Peterson. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1990.

 

Lené Levy-Storms

Lené Levy-Storms’ core research concerns communication issues between health care providers and patients. Older adults with their increased risk of having chronic care needs and limited social relationships may depend on formal health care providers for technical assistance as well as emotional support. In 2003, Dr. Levy-Storms received career development award from the National Institute on Aging titled, “Therapeutic Communication during Nursing Home Care.” In this five year study, she is focusing on communication issues between nursing home staff and frail, older residents during care.

Dr. Levy-Storms has approached this problem in three ways. First, she has devised a way to code open-ended comments from nursing home residents about their interactions with staff into indicators of perceived emotional and instrumental support. Second, she has adapted audio and video-based measures of communication between providers and patients in medical care settings to that of the nursing home setting. She is in the process of linking the residents’ perceived support to the nursing aides’ communication behaviors. Nursing aides provide the most care to residents of all nursing home staff. Third, she has been piloting a communication training program to improve the way nursing aides communicate with residents during care.

Dr. Levy-Storms has B.S. degree in psychology from UC Davis, a MPH in biostatistics and PhD in public health. From 1998-2000, she was an assistant professor in the Department of Health Promotion and Gerontology and a fellow of the Sealy Center on Aging at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX. In 2000, she joined the UCLA Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics as an assistant professor. At that time, she also became an associate director of the UCLA/Borun Center for Gerontological Research, an appointment which she continues to hold. The Borun Center is based at the Jewish Home for the Aging in Reseda, CA and focuses on applied research to improve the quality of life of older adults in long-term care settings. She now holds a joint appointment with Medicine and Social Welfare.

SELECTED BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS

Factors related to Excessive In-Bed Times among Nursing Home Residents
Bates-Jensen BM, Schnelle JF, Alessi CA, Al-Samarra N, Levy-Storms, L. (2004). “Factors related to Excessive In-Bed Times among Nursing Home Residents.” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 52: 931-8

Predictors of Different Levels of Non-adherence to Mammography Screening
Levy-Storms L, Bastani R, Reuben DB. (2004). “Predictors of Different Levels of Non-adherence to Mammography Screening: Implications for Interventions.” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 52: 768-773

Disciplinary Split
Reuben DB, Levy-Storms L, Nitta-Yee M, Lee M, Cole K, Waite M, Nichols L, Frank JC. (2004). “Disciplinary Split: A Threat to Geriatrics Interdisciplinary Team Training” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 52: 1000-6

A Comparison of Methods to Assess Nursing Home Residents’ Unmet Needs
Levy-Storms, Lené, John Schnelle, Sandra F. Simmons. (2002). The Gerontologist, 42, 454-461

Use of mammography screening among older Samoan women in Los Angeles county
Levy-Storms, Lené, Steven P. Wallace. (2003). Social Science and Medicine, 57(6): 987-1000

Patterns of Family Visiting with Institutionalized Elderly
Yamamoto-Mitani, Noriko, Carol Aneshensel, Lené Levy-Storms (2002). Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 57B, (4), S234-S246

The Transition from Home to Nursing Home: Mortality among People with Dementia
Aneshensel, Carol, Leonard Pearlin, Lené Levy-Storms, Roberleigh Schuler. (2000). Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences,55B, (3), S152-S162

Social Relationships, Gender, and Allostatic Load across Two Age Cohorts
Seeman, Teresa E., Burt Singer, Carol Ryff, Gayle Dienberg Love, Lené Levy-Storms. (2002). Psychosomatic Medicine, 64(3), 395-406

Family Caregiver Involvement and Satisfaction with Institutional Care during the First Year after Admission
Levy-Storms L, Miller D. Journal of Applied Gerontology

The Minimum Data Set Depression Quality Indicator
Simmons SF, Cadogan MP, Cabrera GR, Al-Samarrai NR, Jorge JS, Levy-Storms L, Osterweil D, Schnelle JF. The Gerontologist

Ailee Moon

Dr. Moon’s areas of research interest include social welfare policy, program evaluation, and gerontology.

As a principal investigator on a five-year inter-university consortium research project funded by the California Department of Social Services, she recently completed an evaluation study of the implementation of family preservation and support programs in California.

Her recent research activities also include “Evaluation of the API Dementia Care Network,” funded by the Alzheimer’s Association of Los Angeles, “Evaluation of General Relief Time Limit Policy in Los Angeles County” and “Evaluation of the ‘Community Empowerment Project: Domestic Violence Prevention in the Korean American Community,'” funded by the California Department of Health. Dr. Moon, with Dr. Young In Song at California State University, Hayward, is a co-editor of two books, entitled Korean American Women Living in Two Cultures and Korean American Women: From Tradition to Modern Feminism.

Dr. Moon is also active in gerontological research, particularly, in the areas of elder abuse, mental health, and service utilization. Currently, she is a Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholar, funded to study “Cultural and Non-Cultural Factors in Elder Abuse Assessment and Intervention.” Dr. Moon and her colleagues completed a study, titled “A Multicultural Study of Attitudes toward Elder Mistreatment and Reporting,” funded by the National Center on Elder Abuse.

She was a co-principal investigator with Dr. James Lubben on a four-year study funded by the National Institute on Aging that examines social supports and long-term care use among elderly Korean and non-Hispanic white Americans. Dr. Moon has published 55 articles, book chapters, research reports and monographs.

Dr. Moon is serving as the director of the Department’s Ph.D. program.

SELECTED BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS

Tolerance of Elder Abuse and Attitudes toward Third- Party Intervention Among African American, Korean American, and White Elderly
Moon, A. & Benton, D. (2000). Journal of Multicultural Social Work, 8 (3/4), 283-303.

Impact Study Report 1 and 2: System Changes and Client Impacts
Moon, A., Furman, W., Hawes, R., Potts, M., & Ortiz, E. (2001). The California Family Preservation/Family Support Program Statewide Evaluation Study. Report submitted to California Department of Social Services, Child Welfare Service Policy Bureau.

Awareness of Formal and Informal Sources of Help for Victims of Elder Abuse Among Korean American and Non-Hispanic White Elders in Los Angeles
Moon, A., & Evans-Campbell, T. (1999). Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect, 11(3), 1-23.

Awareness and Utilization of Community Long-Term Care Services by Elderly Koreans and Non-Hispanic White Americans
Moon, A., Lubben, J. & Villa, V. (1998). The Gerontologist, 38(3), 309-316.

Fernando Torres-Gil

Fernando M. Torres-Gil’s multifaceted career spans the academic, professional, and policy arenas.  He is a Professor of Social Welfare and Public Policy at UCLA, an Adjunct Professor of Gerontology at USC, and Director of the UCLA Center for Policy Research on Aging.  He has served as Associate Dean and Acting Dean at the UCLA School of Public Affairs, and most recently Chair of the Social Welfare Department.  He has written six books and over l00 publications, including The New Aging: Politics and Change in America (1992) and Lessons from Three Nations, Volumes I and II (2007).  His academic contributions have earned him membership in the prestigious Academies of Public Administration, Gerontology and Social Insurance.  His research spans important topics of health and long-term care, disability, entitlement reform, and the politics of aging.

Professor Torres-Gil is more than an academic.  He has an impressive portfolio of public service and national and international recognition as a leading spokesperson on demographics, aging, and public policy.  He earned his first presidential appointment in 1978 when President Jimmy Carter appointed him to the Federal Council on Aging.  He was selected as a White House Fellow and served under Joseph Califano, then Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW), and continued as a Special Assistant to the subsequent Secretary of HEW, Patricia Harris.  He was appointed (with Senate Confirmation) by President Bill Clinton as the first-ever U.S. Assistant Secretary on Aging in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). As the Clinton Administration’s chief advocate on aging, Torres-Gil played a key role in promoting the importance of the issues of aging, long-term care and disability, community services for the elderly, and baby boomer preparation for retirement.  He served under HHS Secretary Donna Shalala, managing the Administration on Aging and organizing the 1995 White House Conference on Aging, in addition to serving as a member of the President’s Welfare Reform Working Group.

In 2010 he received his third presidential appointment (with Senate Confirmation) when President Barack Obama appointed him as Vice Chair of the National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency that reports to the Congress and White House on federal matters related to disability policy.  During his public service in Washington, D.C., he also served as Staff Director of the U.S. House Select Committee on Aging under his mentor, Congressman Edward R. Roybal.

At the local level, Torres-Gil has served as the Vice President of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission and a member of the Harbor and Taxi Commissions for the city of Los Angeles.  He currently serves Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as an appointed member of the Board of Airport Commissioners.  At the state level, he was appointed by former Governor Gray Davis to the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Veterans’ Homes and by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as a delegate to the 2005 White House Conference on Aging.

He continues to provide important leadership in philanthropy and non-profit organizations as a board member of the AARP Foundation, and he is a former board member of The California Endowment, National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California and the Los Angeles Chinatown Service Center.

Dr. Torres-Gil was born and raised in Salinas, California, the son of migrant farm workers.  He earned his A.A. in Political Science at Hartnell Community College (1968), a B.A. with honors in Political Science from San Jose State University (1970), and an M.S.W. (1972) and Ph.D. (1976) in Social Policy, Planning and Research from the Heller Graduate School in Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

SELECTED BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS

California, Where Brown and Gray America Collide
TIME magazine, June 24, 2015

Policy, Politics and Aging: Crossroads in the 1990s
Torres-Gil, F. (1998) in J.S. Steckenrider and T.M. Parrott (Eds.), New Directions in Old-Age Politics, Albany: State University of New York Press, 75-87

The New Aging: Politics and Change in America
Torres-Gil, F. The New Aging: Politics and Change in America. Westport, CT: Auburn House, 1992

The Emerging Nexus of Aging and Diversity: Implications for Public Policy and Entitlement Reform
Torres-Gil, F. and Bickson-Moga, K., Elder’s Advisor: The Journal of Elder Law and Post-Retirement Planning, Vol. 4, No. 1, Summer 2002

Social Policy and Aging
Torres-Gil, F. and Villa, V., in J. Midgley, M. Tracy and M. Livermore (Eds.), The Handbook of Social Policy, 2000, Sage Publications

The Art of Aging Well: Lessons From Three Nations
Carmel, S., C. Morse, and F. Torres-Gil (Eds.). Volume I. Amityville, New York: Baywood Publishing Company, Inc., In Press

The Art of Caring for Older Adults
Carmel, S., C. Morse, and F. Torres-Gil (Eds.). Volume II. Amityville, New York: Baywood Publishing Company, Inc., In Press

JoAnn Damron-Rodriguez

Dr. Damron-Rodriguez, Retired Adjunct Professor, was awarded a UCLA 2006 Distinguished Teaching Award. This honor, given to selected faculty since 1963, recognizes exemplary teaching and education innovation. She also received the Robert Stevenson Faculty in Residence Award in 1998 and again in 2000. In 2000 she spearheaded the creation of an interdisciplinary GE Honors Cluster class titled “Frontiers in Human Aging: Biomedical, Social, and Policy Perspectives” to explore the reciprocity of biological, psychological, and social dimensions of human aging (http://www.college.ucla.edu/ge/clusters/ge80.html).

She is Co-PI on a statewide Archstone Foundation grant to research geriatric social work labor force demand in California. She is PI of evaluation of the Hartford Foundation funded Social Work Leadership Institute Practicum Partnership Program involving 65 schools of social work. As the Co-Principle Investigator on the Hartford/Archstone Geriatric Social Work Education Consortium (GSWEC), she played a pivotal role in the creation of a new field-training model that advances preparation of competent geriatric social workers.

Dr. Damron-Rodriguez is a federally appointed member of the Veterans Health Administration Gerontology and Geriatrics Advisory Committee, which reports to congress. For 10 years Dr. Damron-Rodriguez was the Associate Director of the VA Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC) of Greater Los Angeles and Co-Principle Investigator of a Health Services Research Development project to examine access to healthcare for minority veterans.

Since 1992 JoAnn has been a core faculty for the Bureau of Health Professions funded California Geriatric Education Center. She is on the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) National GeroEd Center Board. She is a Past President of the Board of the California Council on Gerontology and Geriatrics (CCGG). She has been instrumental in the organization of state legislative hearings in partnership with the Senate Subcommittee on Aging and Long-Term Care and the Senate Committee on Education. Dr. Damron-Rodriguez has testified at both state and federal levels on policy issues, workforce competency standards, and demographic trends related to California’s aging population. She was appointed by Governor Gray Davis to serve on a Blue Ribbon panel to investigate the state nursing homes. She is currently an advisor to the World Health Organization, Kobe Center for Health Development regarding community-based care in developed and developing countries.

Additionally, Dr. Damron-Rodriguez, L.C.S.W., has twenty years of practice experience in health, mental health, and hospice care. She serves on multiple editorial boards and scientific review committees. Dr. Damron-Rodriguez has published extensively on geriatric education, diversity in aging, and community based elder care.

Thomas Rice

In addition to his appointment in Public Policy, Thomas Rice is Distinguised Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management.

Dr. Rice previously served as the UCLA campus as Vice Chancellor for Academic Personnel from 2006 to 2011 and as Interim Dean of Public Health in 2012. As Vice Chancellor he was responsible for overseeing the promotions, recruitment, and retention of faculty at the campus level. He also served as Chair of the Department of Health Services from 1996 to 2000 and 2003 to 2004.

Dr. Rice is a health economist, having received his doctorate in the Department of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley in 1982. His areas of interest include health insurance, competition and regulation; physicians’ economic behavior; and Medicare. He was lead author of a book about the U.S. health care system, for the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, published in 2013. The fourth edition of his book, The Economics of Health Reconsidered, was published in 2015. He served as editor of the journal Medical Care Research and Review from 1994 to 2000.

Dr. Rice was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2006. He was chair of the AcademyHealth Board of Directors in 2005-6, and previously he had been awarded its Article of the Year Award and its Young Investigator Award.