An Interview with Dr. Terry Fulmer
LIDSEN Publishing Inc., 2000 Auburn Drive, One Chagrin Highlands, Suite 200, Beachwood, OH, USA
Received: March 15, 2023 | Accepted: March 15, 2023 | Published: March 22, 2023
OBM Geriatrics 2023, Volume 7, Issue 1, doi:10.21926/obm.geriatr.2301229
Recommended citation: OBM Geriatrics Editorial Office. An Interview with Dr. Terry Fulmer. OBM Geriatrics 2023; 7(1): 229; doi:10.21926/obm.geriatr.2301229.
© 2023 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the conditions of the Creative Commons by Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format, provided the original work is correctly cited.
Dr. Terry Fulmer
1. Could You Please Provide Your Personal Information & Photos (Portrait and One from Research (Laboratory, Clinic, Etc.))?
Terry Fulmer, PhD RN FAAN, President, The John A. Hartford Foundation, New York, NY.
2. Could You Please Tell Us Your Scientific Background?
Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, is the President of The John A. Hartford Foundation in New York City, a foundation dedicated to improving the care of older adults. Established in 1929, the Foundation has a current endowment of more than half a billion dollars. She serves as the chief strategist for the Foundation and her vision for better care of older adults is catalyzing the Age-Friendly Health Systems social movement. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and served on the independent Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes established to advise the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She previously served as Distinguished Professor and Dean of Health Sciences at Northeastern University. Prior, she served as the Erline Perkins McGriff Professor and Founding Dean of the New York University College of Nursing. She received her bachelor's degree from Skidmore College, her master's and doctoral degrees from Boston College and her Geriatric Nurse Practitioner Post-Master’s Certificate from NYU. She completed a Brookdale National Fellowship and she is the first nurse to have served on the board of the American Geriatrics Society. She is also the first nurse to have served as President of the Gerontological Society of America, which awarded her the 2019 Donald P. Kent Award for exemplifying the highest standards for professional leadership in the field of aging.
Dr. Fulmer is nationally and internationally recognized as a leading expert in geriatrics. She is known for conceptualization and development of the Age-Friendly Health Systems movement and the national Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) program, as well as her research on the topic of elder abuse and neglect, which has been funded by the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Nursing Research. She is a Trustee for the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, Springer Publishing Company, and the Bassett Healthcare System, and is a Member of the Reimagining Long-Term Care Task Force in New York State, and a member of the National Academy of Medicine’s Forum on Aging, Disability, and Independence. Dr. Fulmer also serves as Vice Chair of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Special Medical Advisory Group. She was the Chair of the National Advisory Committee for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellows Program, and held board positions at Skidmore College, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the Geriatrics and Gerontology Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Advisory Board for Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Nursing. She is one of the top 50 Influencers in Aging by PBS’s Next Avenue, the premier digital publication dedicated to covering issues for older Americans. Dr. Fulmer is the recipient of prestigious awards, including the American Society on Aging’s 2017 Rosalie S. Wolf Award for her body of work on elder abuse. In 2016, she received the 2016 Award for Exceptional Service to The New York Academy of Medicine for her distinguished service on the Academy’s Board of Trustees, including as vice-chair and for her active engagement in the policy work of the Academy, especially its Age-Friendly NYC initiative. She has been honored with invitations for named lectureships from noted universities. She has held faculty appointments at Columbia University, where she was the Anna C. Maxwell Chair in Nursing, and she has also held appointments at Boston College, Yale University, and the Harvard Division on Aging at Harvard Medical School. She has served as a visiting professor of nursing at the University of Pennsylvania and Case Western Reserve University.
She is a Distinguished Practitioner of the National Academies of Practice and is currently an attending nurse at Mount Sinai Medical Center in NYC. Her clinical appointments have included the Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, the Massachusetts General Hospital, and the NYU Langone Medical Center. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, the Gerontological Society of America, and the New York Academy of Medicine where she served as vice-chair. She has authored over 150 peer-reviewed papers and edited 23 books.
As of January 12, 2023.
To read Dr. Fulmer's CV, click here.
To watch Dr. Fulmer's Gerontological Society of America 2019 Donald P. Kent Award video, click here.
3. Can You Share Your Career Development Story Briefly? For Example, What Cases Have Influenced You the Most?
I have always been compelled by the care needs of older adults and as a practicing nurse, I am continually challenged by ways to improve the care of older adults no matter where they are receiving care and no matter who provides the care. We call that an age-friendly health system and our Foundation is dedicated to creating age-friendly health systems around this country and around the world. I've been heavily influenced by my mentors at the Harvard Division on Aging, and my colleagues in higher education who have helped me advance my clinical passion and my program of research.
4. Is There a Book You've Read that You'd Recommend Universally (i.e., to Everyone You Meet)?
I read constantly, and usually complete one or two books a week that range from history to fiction. The book I've read most recently is entitled Atomic Habits (2018) by James Clear, which discusses ways to build good habits, break old ones. I believe that the message in this book is enormously helpful to those of us trying to advance better care for older adults.
5. What Is Your Main Research Area? What Got You Interested in Scientific Research in the First Place?
My area of research has been and continues to be focused on improving the care of older adults and my CV, which is available at the above link, reflects the momentum my career. Specifically, my National Institute on Aging research has focused on elder abuse and neglect and I'm very proud of the contributions I have made and continue to make through the Elder Mistreatment Collaboratory which is ongoing in the United States and applicable globally.
6. Where Are Your Sources of Information? Where Do You Get Your Latest News about Geriatrics Research? Where Do You Take Inspiration From?
I mentioned I'm a voracious reader. I review at least 10 journals a week and I also read the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal daily. I also listened to the daily BBC newscast. Another source of information comes from the groups in which I participate such as the National Advisory Council on Aging at NIH and the Scientific Medical Advisory Group at the Veterans Administration.
7. What Is Your Long-Term Research Goal?
My long-term research goal is to use the evidence from the Age-Friendly Health System movement that is now in all 50 U.S. states as well as eight countries globally to make the case for why the 4Ms are the right approach to improving care for older adults. Our Age-friendly care initiative is led by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and that care is evidence based, patient-centered, and causes no harm. This may sound simple but I assure you, it is not. We are all pleased with our progress but we have much further to go.
8. What Are the Recent Research Trends that You, as a Scholar, Would Suggest OBM Geriatrics to Observe and to Follow in the Coming Years?
OBM would be prudent to follow the population health science that is underway globally as well as attend to what we're seeing with citizen science, as well as the new apps, avatars and robotic strategies that are being used to make up for some of the workforce shortages globally, especially related to care for older adults. The greatest success story of the 20th century is longevity and with that longevity comes the opportunity to benefit from the wisdom of older adults and ensure that they have what they need to live a life with a person-centered quality of life in their older years. This includes assisting the caregivers who are a part of their life.
9. Do You Have Any Suggestions or Recommendations for Young Scientists, for Instance, Your Students and Young Collaborators?
To the next generation, I would urge you to seize the moment, follow your passion, and reach out to those leaders you admire in order to participate with them in meaningful scientific and scholarly efforts that can advance your career. This will be easy if you determine what area of science is most meaningful to you. I'm very impressed with the younger generation of today and have no doubt that they will exceed all of our expectations!
10. What Do You Think of the Future of OBM Geriatrics, an Open-Access Journal? In Your Opinion, What Challenges and Developments Can We Expect to See in the Next Few Years in This Field?
The current publication landscape appears to be very crowded, and OBM Geriatrics can distinguish itself by committing to excellence and staying on top of the scientific advances and policy changes that are reshaping health and healthcare globally.