Dr. Sharon K. Inouye, MD, MPH is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center), holder of the Milton and Shirley F. Levy Family Chair, and Director of the Aging Brain Center at the Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife. Board-certified in general internal medicine and geriatric medicine and trained in epidemiology and biostatistics, Dr. Inouye has helped define the fields of aging and delirium through her seminal work on the epidemiology and outcomes of delirium and functional decline in older persons, reversible contributors to cognitive decline with aging, the interrelationship of delirium and dementia, and improving measurement methods for cognition.
Continuously funded since 1989 with over 50 grants and over 250 publications, Dr. Inouye developed the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM)—the most widely used method for delirium identification, translated into 20 languages—along with the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) for delirium prevention, a cost-effective model of care that has been disseminated to over 200 hospitals worldwide. Currently, she directs the Successful AGing after Elective Surgery (SAGES) study, a large Program Project from the National Institute on Aging that explores innovative risk factors and long-term outcomes of delirium. Additionally, Dr. Inouye maintains a clinical practice that includes dementia and functional assessment for geriatric and homeless populations.
Dr. Inouye is also an internationally recognized leader in academic medicine, program dissemination, and mentorship of the next generation of clinical researchers in aging. In addition to holding leadership roles with the National Academy of Medicine, the Delirium Clinical Guidelines Panel for the American Geriatrics Society, and the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Dr. Inouye has also spearheaded efforts to develop delirium guidelines for high risk postoperative patients through the American Geriatrics Society and coauthored the Institute of Medicine’s Report on Cognitive Aging. Moreover, she has mentored over 95 students, fellows, and faculty and established the Center of Excellence for Delirium in Aging: Research, Training and Educational Enhancement (CEDARTREE), funded by an NIA K07 award (2013-present). In recognition for her mentorship excellence, Dr. Inouye was the recipient of 2013 Clifford Barger Excellence in Mentorship Award at Harvard Medical School.