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Current Projects

The core of our work includes research in the areas of demography, long-term care, program evaluation, the aging workforce, and arts and dementia programming. View our current projects below.

ScrippsAVID (Arts-based, Virtual, Intergenerational, Dementia Friendly) Web Application: A Platform to Provide People Living with Dementia with Meaningful, Creative and Social Engagement

National Endowment for the Arts 
Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Lokon 
September 1, 2022 through August 31, 2024

ScrippsAVID (Arts-based, Virtual, Intergenerational and Dementia-friendly) is a web-based application with video chat function, for people living with dementia (PLWD) to connect with someone from a different generation, and make art together. This is a virtual extension of the in-person Opening Minds through Art (OMA) program. By making ScrippsAVID accessible to PLWD, we are removing technological barriers for everyone interested in intergenerational art-making opportunities. ScrippsAVID can be accessed securely by anyone with an Internet connection at no cost. No dementia screening is required to participate. Pilot data from 58 older adults and 158 students collected during the pandemic show that weekly virtual connections resulted in the similar benefits for both elders and students as the in-person OMA experience. ScrippsAVID is aimed at reducing technical challenges by: • Simplifying the experience of using ScrippsAVID • Creating orientation for PLWD: How to use ScrippsAVID • Soliciting care-partners’ participation with specified role: How to support the PLWD • Creating orientation for volunteers: Effective communication strategies Expected outcomes: • A virtual art gallery where participants share their finished artwork • Reduction in loneliness scores on both PLWD and volunteers • Improvements in volunteers’ attitudes toward PLWD   

Advancing Coordination of Home- and Community-based Services for the AD/ADRD Population

Regents of the University of California, San Francisco, pass through funds from the National Institute on Aging
Principal Investigator: Suzanne Kunkel 
April 1, 2022 through January 31, 2023

Effective delivery of home and community-based services to support people with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias who are living at home requires coordination across multiple agencies and service sectors. A key component of that coordination is sharing information about health, functional status, care needs, and safety. This project addresses best practices and barriers to data sharing agreements and interoperability of information systems across agencies and across service sectors.

USAging Aging and Disability Business Institute, Phase III: Advancing Organizational Equity and Excellence through Sustainable Cross-Sector Partnerships

USAging, pass through funds from The John A. Hartford Foundation
Principal Investigator: Suzanne Kunkel 
April 1, 2022 through March 31, 2025

With funding from The John A. Hartford Foundation, USAging is creating and implementing a series of business acumen resources, trainings, learning collaboratives and consultancies to support the development of new lines of business, including contracting with health care providers, among the network of agencies servicing older adults and younger people with disabilities. Scripps Gerontology Center is contracting with USAging to evaluate the effectiveness and overall impact of the resources and interventions offered through this project.

Information and Planning: Understanding the Capacity of the Aging Network

Department of Health & Human Services
Principal Investigator: Suzanne Kunkel  
October 1, 2021 through August 31, 2024

The Information and Planning project collects national data on the activities and community positioning of the national network of Area Agencies on Aging and Title VI organizations serving tribal elders. The data collected from the surveys informs a broad array of technical assistance strategies and resources developed and deployed, also under the auspices of this grant, by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging to assist aging network organizations in maximizing their effectiveness.

Generating Data to Improve Long‐Term Services and Supports in Ohio

Ohio Department of Aging
Principal Investigators: Robert Applebaum, Ian Matthew Nelson, and John Bowblis 
October 23, 2023 through June 30, 2025

The Scripps Gerontology Center has been involved in studying the long-term services system in Ohio for the past three decades. In this phase of the project, we will provide data in three areas as part of our ongoing effort to assist Ohio Department of Aging (ODA) in efforts to improve the lives of older Ohioans with disability. Study components include; a continuation of the Biennial Survey (15th wave), an in-depth analysis and recommendations addressing the direct care workforce challenges in the long-term services area, and a description and understanding of the impacts of Ohio’s locally funded initiatives for older people. The study investigators are Robert Applebaum, Matt Nelson, and John Bowblis. 

Expansion of Dementia-Capable Communities Within Urban and Rural Settings in Ohio Using Evidence-Based and Informed Programming

Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging
Principal Investigator: Jennifer Heston-Mullins
October 1, 2020 through January 31, 2024

This project will evaluate interventions to increase community dementia capability and improve outcomes for community-dwelling individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias (ADRD), those at risk of developing ADRD, and their caregivers.

Basic Skills and Problem-Solving Skills in Technology-Rich Environments in the STEM-Related Workforce Development Programs in the U.S.

University of Maryland Baltimore County, pass-through from the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES)
Co-Investigator: Phyllis Cummins
July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2024

This project will examine basic skills including literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skills as academic readiness indicators in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)-related workforce development programs of postsecondary education institutions in the U.S. We will conduct a series of (1) secondary data analyses, (2) primary data collection and analyses, and (3) qualitative review of the workforce development programs and interviews with the key stakeholders. Given the importance of STEM-related occupations in the context of global competitiveness, national economic development and existing employment issues (e.g., job replacement due to the automation), the postsecondary STEM-related workforce development programs play a critical role to prepare future workforce. However, little is known about basic skills distribution and the roles of basic skills for the education/training outcomes in postsecondary workforce development program settings. Takashi Yamashita (University of Maryland Baltimore County) leads the project as Principal Investigator. Rita Karam (RAND) is a Co-Principal Investigator and Phyllis Cummins (Miami University) serves as a Co-Investigator.

Opening Minds through Art (OMA): An Intergenerational Art Program for People with Dementia

The Knolls of Oxford

Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Lokon 

February 1, 2008 through December 31, 2023


Testing the Feasibility of the Individualized Positive Psychosocial Intervention

Brown University, pass through from NIH
Principal Investigator: Katherine Abbott 
March 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024

Nursing Homes' Bans on Visits during the COVID‐19 Pandemic: Effectiveness and Consequences

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB), pass through from DHHS
Principal Investigator: John Bowblis
June 1, 2023 through May 31, 2027

Analyzing Results of Ohio's Medicaid Assessment Survey

The Ohio State University, pass through funds from the Ohio Department of Medicaid and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service
Principal Investigator: Matt Nelson
October 1, 2023 through June 30, 2025

ONE ACCORD (Offering Novel Educational resources through the Aging Caregiving Collaborative of Ohio for Alzheimer's and Related Dementias)

The Ohio State University, pass through funds from the Ohio Department of Aging and the Department of Health & Human Services
Principal Investigator: Jennifer Heston-Mullins
February 1, 2023 through December 31, 2023

Expanding Opening Minds through Art to Respite Services

Arthur N. Rupe Foundation
Principal Investigator: Meghan Young
January 1, 2024 through December 31, 2024

ScrippsAVID: Reducing loneliness by connecting generations virtually through the arts (aanhkwiniikioni ‐ 'linking the generations')

Retirement Research Foundation (RRF)
Principal Investigator: Meghan Young and Elizabeth Lokon 
January 1, 2024 through December 31, 2025

Improving Adult Immunization Rates for COVID‐19, Influenza, and Routine Adult Vaccinations through Partnerships with Medical Subspecialty Professional Societies and the Long‐Term Care Professional Society

The Society for Post‐Acute and Long‐Term Care Medicine (AMDA), pass through from the CDC
Principal Investigator: John Bowblis
March 1, 2022 through September 28, 2026

Ohio Long-Term Care Research Project

An Aging Ohio

Ohio is aging along with the nation and much of the world. With more than 2 million people age 60 and older, Ohio ranks sixth nationally in the size of the aged population. In 2010, nearly 20% of the state’s population was over the age of 60. By 2050, we’ve projected the 60 and older population could make up almost 30% of the total population.

Research-Driven Planning & Development

The Ohio legislature established The Ohio Long-Term Care Research Project in 1988 in response to the growing older population. Through this project, we provide applied research and policy analysis. In addition, we provide technical assistance, training and education for Ohio legislators, public administrators, service providers, and the community at large.

Recently published research 


Additional Resources

  • Ohio-Population.orgExplore population characteristics such as age, disability status, income, marital status and education among Ohio's 88 counties.

Changing Minds: An Introduction to Person-Centered Care

This video is a resource for those wanting to learn more about person-centered care principles or for those wishing to teach others about aspects of person-centered care. In 2013, researchers from Scripps focused on direct care workers and best practices of high performing long-term care organizations in Ohio. (Common Sense for Caring Organizations: Results from a Study of High-Performing Home Care Agencies and Nursing Homes; Straker, J.K., Boehle, S. G., Nelson, I. M., and Fox, E. M.; January 2013; URI: http://hdl.handle. net/2374.MIA/4953). An interesting finding emerged from this research: almost all of the high performing organizations, coincidentally or not, provided person-centered care. Person-centered care seems to benefit care recipients, employees, and organizations overall.

One of the main markers of person-centered care is the knowledge and understanding a worker has for the elder in his or her care. In an industry that has often been focused upon quick and efficient completion of tasks, it may seem unusual for workers to take time for unrushed conversation with an elder. This time of focused conversation is actually an important foundation of person-centered care.

Especially for those who have spent time learning and working in the traditional model of care, person-centered care requires a “re-framing” or a different way of looking at situations. This video was made as a tool to better understand some basic ideas about person-centered care.

Changing Mind

Who is this video for?

Our video is for a variety of audiences. Potential viewers include:

  • Direct care workers in training
  • All staff in organizations beginning to adopt person-centered practices
  • New employees in person-centered organizations
  • Families of consumers served by person-centered organizations
  • Board members of person-centered organizations
  • All staff in person-centered organizations needing a “refresher” on PCC philosophy and practice

How to use this video

The video can be viewed in its entirety, or viewed in three separate segments to stimulate discussion and presentation of other materials and information. Groups or individuals can answer the questions posed in the training guide.

What Matters Most: A Guide for My Support and Care

The What Matters Most Guide is a tool for gathering and organizing information to guide the delivery of person-centered care at home. 

The What Matters Most (WMM) project was funded by the Ohio Department of Aging (ODA) with the goal of developing a tool for the PASSPORT program, Ohio’s over-60 Medicaid home- and community-based (HCBS) waiver program. ODA is committed to delivering person-centered vs. agency centered care and the WMM tool was developed as a practice tool to promote preference-based person-centered care. In developing What Matters Most, we collaborated with two Area Agencies on Aging (AAA7 in rural Southeastern Ohio and Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging in urban northeastern Ohio.)

Person-Centered Home- and Community-Based Services: What Matters Most