The Ladies Hospital Aid Society’s annual fundraising gala benefitted research in aging and longevity at the Graduate School of Public Health. Co-chaired by Ruby Kang and Mary Ellen Wampler, the gala was held on August 28, 2010, at the Westin Convention Center Hotel.
Researchers at GSPH are actively engaged in initiatives—from basic research to understand the aging process at the chromosomal level to health policy changes that affect elders—that are aimed at improving longevity and quality of life. GSPH Dean Donald S. Burke, MD, announced at the gala that all funds raised from event will support a new, interdisciplinary program called Innovations in Aging. The program will offer pilot grants to facilitate collaborative research across the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
In addition the LHAS recognized the research excellence of four GSPH faculty members by naming them Honored Guests for the evening. They are:
• Steven M. Albert, PhD, professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences and the department’s associate chair for research and science. His research examines how societies can ensure optimal aging. This effort includes a wide variety of topics, from how health in midlife affects prospects for old age to ways we can promote quality of life at the end of life. His efforts focus directly on physical, cognitive, and mental health, rather than primary prevention of chronic disease alone, because the senescent changes of aging directly affect these domains.
• Jane A. Cauley, DrPH, professor in the Department of Epidemiology. She has spent the past 15 years as an investigator of numerous research projects examining the physical and psychological changes that occur in postmenopausal women. Her work has focused on use of estrogen, risks of hip fractures, bone density, and cholesterol levels of women who are going through menopause.
• Lewis H. Kuller, MD, DrPH, distinguished university professor of public health and past chair of the Department of Epidemiology. He has spent the past 30 years studying risk factors for individuals with heart disease and women going through menopause. In addition, as the director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute’s Cancer Control and Prevention Program since 1990, he has spent many years studying prevention of cancer and cancer risks.
• Anne B. Newman, MD, MPH, professor in the Department of Epidemiology and director of the Center for Aging and Population Health (CAPH). She is internationally renowned for her work in the epidemiology of aging, longevity, and disability and has served as the principal investigator for several long-term studies of aging and longevity. Newman’s research has established the clear potential for old age to be a productive and active period of life that far exceeds previous expectations.
LHAS was founded in 1898 to address the pressing needs of the sick, the poor, and immigrants. Among its many community service accomplishments was the opening of the original Montefiore Hospital in 1908, and the construction of the current site in 1929. LHAS raised more than $5 million for Montefiore Hospital and initiated and funded the Follow-Me-Home Program and the LHAS Ambulatory Surgical Center. In 1990, Montefiore Hospital was sold to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
LHAS in turn expanded its mission and has remained responsive to changing health care needs of the entire Western Pennsylvania community. LHAS has implemented programs for the elderly and women’s health care, including the LHAS Arbor at Weinberg Village, LHAS Prevention and Early Detection Center at the Hillman Cancer Center, and the LHAS Women’s Heart Center. Fulfilling its commitment to education, LHAS has allocated thousands of dollars for college scholarship grants to future health care professionals and nursing students.