Sharon K. Inouye, MD, MPH

Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Division of Gerontology Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Milton and Shirley F. Levy Family Chair Director, Aging Brain Center, Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife

Dr. Inouye is an internationally recognized leader in geriatric medicine and aging research. She is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, holder of the Milton and Shirley F. Levy Family Chair, and Director of the Aging Brain Center at the Marcus Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife.  Dr. Inouye is board-certified in general internal medicine and geriatric medicine, and expert in public health, public policy, and clinical epidemiology. Dr. Inouye’s clinical and research work has focused on finding ways to improve the quality, safety, and outcomes of hospitalization for older adults, and has revolutionized the way we provide hospital care.

Through her innovative work, Dr. Inouye developed a scientifically proven method for reducing delirium and functional decline in hospitalized older persons, the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP), a person-centered, interdisciplinary, volunteer-assisted multicomponent program for prevention of delirium. HELP has been implemented in hundreds of hospitals across the U.S., Canada, and many other countries around the world.  She also created the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM), now translated into over 20 languages, and the most widely used method for identification of delirium worldwide.

As an internationally renowned scientist, Dr. Inouye has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1989, with over 80 peer reviewed grants, and currently holding over $20 million in active grant funds. She directs the Successful AGing after Elective Surgery (SAGES) study, a large NIH Program Project renewal exploring innovative risk factors and long-term outcomes of delirium. She has published more than 300 articles, many in the highest impact journals (H-index =91), and was named by Thomson Reuters ScienceWatch as one of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds of the decade in 2014. She is an Associate Editor at the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.  She has received many national awards, including the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation (2005), the Henderson Award from the American Geriatrics Society (2013), M. Powell Lawton Award from the Gerontological Society of America (2015), Franz-Kohler Inflammation Award-German Society of Anaesthesiology (2018), and American Association of Critical Care Nurses Pioneering Spirit Award (2019). She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) since 2011, as well as the Association of American Physicians (AAP) and the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI). She is an elected fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American Geriatrics Society, the Gerontological Society of America, and the American Academy of Nursing. She served as a Health and Aging Policy Fellow and American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow in 2016-17. A dedicated mentor, she has individually mentored over 100 trainees in aging research. She has dedicated her career to serving vulnerable, underserved, and aged populations; her clinical practice includes dementia and functional assessment for geriatric and homeless populations.