URI gerontology professor Phillip Clark honored by LeadingAge RI for advocacy work for older adults

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KINGSTON, R.I., April 8, 2016—Phillip G. Clark, a University of Rhode Island gerontology professor, has been honored with the “Making a Difference Award” from LeadingAge RI.

Clark was recognized for his work promoting quality care for Rhode Island’s older population and advocating for educational opportunities and training for the people who take care of older adults. He received the award at the nonprofit’s annual conference in Warwick.

Clark is director of the Rhode Island Geriatric Center and the URI Program in Gerontology, and he is also a professor in URI’s Human Development and Family Studies program.

Last year, Clark, of West Kingston, and his colleagues were awarded a federal grant to implement a health care program for older adults through the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program.

The purpose of the grant is to provide professional training opportunities to enhance the knowledge and skills of people who take care of older adults.

“By dedicating his scholarly career to the field of gerontology, Professor Clark has improved the quality of life for seniors in our state through innovative programming and research,” says Jim Nyberg, director of LeadingAge RI. “And by securing funding to help advance caregivers’ skills and education, he will leave his mark on generations of Rhode Islanders to come. His leadership and commitment to ensuring quality of life for people of all ages is inspiring.”

The award comes as URI moves ahead with its newly created Academic Health Collaborative, an initiative to spark cooperation and innovation in the areas of research, interprofessional education, population health, health promotion, and recognition and elimination of health disparities. Clark has been a leader in interprofessional education and will continue that work with the Collaborative.

“I’m honored to receive this,” says Clark. “I accept it on behalf of the many colleagues with whom I have collaborated over the years in our united efforts to improve the geriatrics knowledge and skills of health and human service providers. This is an example of the kind of interprofessional and community collaboration that the new Academic Health Collaborative is intended to promote.”

LeadingAge RI, based in Providence, was founded in 1989 and represents long-term care providers in Rhode Island, including nonprofit nursing homes, assisted living facilities and senior housing providers, as well as adult day health centers. The organization’s mission is to expand the world of possibilities for aging by fostering innovation, collaboration and ethical leadership; advocating for sound public policy; providing education, collaboration and professional development; valuing older people and their right to make choices; and promoting services.

Pictured above: Phillip Clark, director of the Rhode Island Geriatric Center and the URI Program in Gerontology.

Photo courtesy of Phillip Clark.