Mount Sinai Older Americans Independence Center (OAIC)

Mount Sinai Older Americans Independence Center (OAIC) aims to bring experts from many different disciplines together to conduct research and to train young scientists in the development of function promoting anabolic therapies for the prevention and treatment of functional limitations and disability among older Americans patients and families living with serious and chronic illness.

Mount Sinai is home to the first academic department of Geriatrics in the nation and the #1 ranked geriatrics program according to the 2013-2014 U.S. News & World Report annual survey on "America's Best Graduate Schools." Our OAIC builds upon the foundation of pioneering research in aging and palliative care conducted at Mount Sinai over the past 15 years with the express purpose of developing and fostering research.

Claude D. Pepper was the primary congressional advocate for aging Americans. Today, Pepper Centers across the country work to increase scientific knowledge that will lead to better ways to maintain older persons’ independence and in the words of Pepper himself, “will lighten the burden of those who suffer and improve the quality of life and independence for the millions of older adults living with serious and advanced illness.”

We intend to accomplish our goal by addressing the following specific aims:

  1. To establish a comprehensive trans-disciplinary research program focused on:
    1. Exploring the relationship of pain and other distressing symptoms on quality of life, independence, function, and disability
    2. Developing interventions directed at the treatment of pain and other distressing symptoms in older adults
    3. Exploring models of care for older adults living with serious and chronic illness
  2. To identify, recruit, and train leaders in aging and palliative care research through:
    1. Mentoring relationships with successful investigators
    2. Strengthening and expanding Mount Sinai’s existing research training programs in aging and palliative care
    3. Support for pilot projects, statistical and analytic consultation, and instrument development and measurement
  3. To establish a research infrastructure that will:
    1. Support new and ongoing research in aging and palliative care by providing expertise in research design, measurement, and analysis
    2. Develop and apply innovative research designs, analytic techniques, and measures
    3. Apply to aging research methods not currently in widespread use (e.g., item response theory, propensity score methods) but which are highly applicable to geriatrics and gerontology because of the populations studied
  4. To develop a research center that bridges the trans-disciplinary specialties of geriatrics and palliative care that will serve as a model for research that has not been well addressed by these two specialties

The overall goal of our center is to bring together a diverse, trans-disciplinary group of distinguished investigators with a strong history of collaboration and research in pain and other symptoms, functional outcomes, patient-oriented research, research design, biostatistics, and measurement to establish an OAIC focused on palliative care in older adults.