Lori Simon-Rusinowitz, MPH, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management and a faculty member in the Center on Aging. She participated in the 2014-15 Atlantic Philanthropies Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program and the American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship Program. She currently serves on the Gerontological Society of America’s Public Policy Committee. Her research has addressed aging and disability policy issues for over 20 years.
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- Department of Health Policy and Management
- Center on Aging
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From 1995-2013, Dr. Simon-Rusinowitz served as Research Director for the three-state Cash & Counseling Demonstration and Evaluation, the twelve-state Next Steps replication project, and the National Resource Center on Participant-Directed Services. These national programs involved designing, implementing, and evaluating a consumer-directed approach to personal care services for people of all ages with disabilities. This approach, also called participant- and self-directed, emphasizes individual goals and preferences for people who need help with personal activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating.
This applied policy research played a key role in introducing consumer-direction to the aging community and informed the current focus on patient-centered health services. Dr. Simon-Rusinowitz also led background research exploring self-direction and behavioral health services. She has published and presented extensively on these national projects.
Building on her previous experience, Dr. Simon-Rusinowitz is currently addressing livable communities (also called age-friendly communities and communities for a lifetime). To launch the implementation of unfunded 2011 Maryland legislation, “Maryland Communities for a Lifetime,” she wrote a policy brief for the Maryland Department of Aging and presented findings to Maryland audiences. She led a team in conducting a needs assessment of low-income, racially/ethnically diverse elders to inform the development of community services in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
She also led a Community Health Needs Assessment for two hospitals in Prince George’s County. Her Health and Aging Policy Fellowship project focused on health, housing, and social support services in communities for a lifetime. Based at the U.S. D.H.H.S. Administration for Community Living, and working in partnership with the Health Resources and Services Administration and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), she led an interagency team to develop a national webinar highlighting successful programs using housing as a platform for health and social support services.
Dr. Simon-Rusinowitz has continued to work with these three federal agencies, and the Department of Transportation, to address chronic disease self-management education programs for low-income elders and adults with disabilities in public housing. Working with an interagency team, she developed a second webinar addressing this topic. She recently completed a third interagency project with these federal agencies that provided support to a seven-state, HUD-funded demonstration and evaluation of a model that focuses on housing as a platform for health, transportation, and social services.
Dr. Simon-Rusinowitz has extensive experience leading teams in designing and conducting research that involves multiple methods of data collection. She recently participated in a multiple methods study of the health care needs in the Maryland Middle Shore Region. For this project, she led a team in conducting focus groups with community residents in this five-county rural Eastern Shore region.
In addition to her research, Dr. Simon-Rusinowitz teaches Health Policy and Politics and Qualitative Research Methods. Building on a pilot community program evaluation course, she developed a course in which students evaluate programs funded by the Maryland Community Health Care Commission.
She served as the Graduate Internship Coordinator in two departments and directs the Graduate Gerontology Certificate Program. She also developed and taught Oral and Written Communication. Working with two other faculty members, she recently developed a team-taught core course required for all new MPH students. During the “maiden voyage” for this course, she has been responsible for the health policy and program evaluation modules.
Prior to joining the University of Maryland, Dr. Simon-Rusinowitz held positions at the George Washington University National Health Policy Forum and The Gerontological Society of America. She earned a Ph.D. in Health Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, an M.P.H. from the University of Michigan, and an M.A. in Applied Behavioral Science at the Leadership Institute of Spokane.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Applied Gerontology
The Gerontological Society of America, Washington, D.C.
PhD, Program in Public Policy Analysis, Health Policy and Planning Specialization
University of Illinois Chicago, School of Urban Planning and Policy
MA, Program in Applied Behavioral Science
Whitworth College Spokane, Leadership Institute of Spokane
MPH and Specialist in Aging Certificate
University of Michigan Ann Arbor, School of Public Health and Institute of Gerontology
BS, Dental Hygiene
University of Michigan Ann Arbor, School of Dentistry
HLSA702 Health Policy and Politics
HLSA780 Qualitative Research Methods
HLSA785 Internship Program and Seminar
HLSA765 Oral and Written Communications
Muriel R. Sloan Communitarian Award, 2013
Gerontological Society of America Fellowship status, 2000
George Kramer Practitioner Award Recipient, 1999
Simon-Rusinowitz, L., Loughlin, D. M., Ruben, K., Martinez Garcia, G., Mahoney, K. (2010). The Benefits of Consumer-Directed Services for Elders and Their Caregivers in the Cash and Counseling Demonstration and Evaluation. Public Policy & Aging Report, 20(1), 27-31.
Simon-Rusinowitz, L., Loughlin, D. M., Ruben, K., Mahoney, K. (2010). What Does Research Tell Us About a Policy Option to Hire Relatives as Caregivers?. Public Policy & Aging Report, 20(1), 32-37.
Simon-Rusinowitz, L., Martinez Garcia, G., Martin, D., Debarthe Sadler, M., Tilly, J., Marks, L. N., Loughlin, D. M., Mahoney, K. (2010). Hiring Relatives as Caregivers in Two States: Developing an Education and Research Agenda for Policy Makers. Social Work in Public Health, 25, 17-41.
San Antonio, P., Simon-Rusinowitz, L., Loughlin, D., Eckert, J. Kevin, Mahoney, K., Depretis Ruben, K. A. (2010). Lessons from the Arkansas Cash and Counseling Program: How the Experiences of Diverse Older Consumers and their Caregivers Address Family Policy Concerns. Journal of Aging & Social Policy, 22(1), 1-17.
Doty, P., Mahoney, K.J., Simon-Rusinowitz, L., Sciegaj, M., Selkow, I., and Loughlin,D.M. (2012). Cash and Counseling’s role in the growth of participant-directed services." Generations (36 (1):28-36.