Jeff Kullgren becomes poll director, Scott Roberts joins as associate director
In 2017, the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation (IHPI), with support from AARP and Michigan Medicine, launched the National Poll on Healthy Aging to elevate the voices of Americans aged 50 to 80 on various aging-related topics to better inform health care research, policy, and practice. During an Oct. 13 seminar looking back at the poll’s impact and partnership with AARP in its first five years, IHPI Director John Ayanian announced Jeff Kullgren, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., as the National Poll on Healthy Aging’s next director and Scott Roberts, Ph.D., M.A., as the poll's new associate director.
Kullgren, the Kutsche Memorial Research Chair and associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the U-M Medical School and research scientist in the Center for Clinical Management Research at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, has focused his work on helping clinicians and patients, particularly older adults and veterans, make sound decisions that will improve the value of health care delivery.
Kullgren, previously the poll’s associate director, takes the reins from founding director Preeti Malani, M.D., M.S., M.S.J., professor of internal medicine, deputy editor for JAMA, and former U-M Chief Health Officer, who will remain on the poll team as a senior advisor. Kullgren credited Malani for her “incredible leadership and contributions to the poll’s extraordinary growth and impact in its first five years.”
Roberts, who succeeds Kullgren as associate director, is a professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the U-M School of Public Health. He leads the Outreach, Recruitment, & Engagement Core of the NIH-funded Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. His aging-related interests include public education about dementia, disclosure of genetic and biomarker information for Alzheimer’s disease, and development of mental health interventions for older adults.
Erica Solway, Ph.D., M.S.W., M.P.H., will continue leading the poll alongside Kullgren and Roberts as deputy director. Since its launch in 2017, she has overseen the poll’s day-to-day management, the development of each report with the broader staff team and faculty collaborators, and planning for future poll topics and initiatives. In addition to her role with the poll, Solway is the manager of signature initiatives and partnerships at IHPI.
As of October 2022, the poll has produced 49 reports and 12 poll extras covering a diverse range of topics, such as prescription drugs, oral health, brain health, sexual health, aging in place, saving for health care expenses, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on various aspects of well-being. The poll’s findings have been featured widely in major national media outlets and have helped inform policy discussions related to health care decision-making, emergency preparedness, safe storage of medication, and more.
The leadership team writes in the NPHA 5-year impact report that they “look forward to continuing the poll’s important work to reveal insightful evidence that can accelerate policy, public health, and health care innovations to support healthy aging well into the future.”