Lori Simon-Rusinowitz, M.P.H., Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, Department of Health Services Administration and Interim Director of the Center on Aging. From 1995-2013, Dr. Simon-Rusinowitz served as the 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 participant-directed approach to personal care services for people of all ages with disabilities. This approach emphasizes independence and choice for people who need help with personal activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. This applied policy research played a key role in introducing participant-direction to the aging community. Dr. Simon-Rusinowitz has published and presented extensively on this topic.
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 2011 Maryland legislation, “Maryland Communities for a Lifetime,” she wrote a policy brief for the Maryland Department of Aging. She led a team in conducting a needs assessment of low-income, racially/ethnically diverse elders to inform 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 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.
Dr. Simon-Rusinowitz teaches courses in health policy and politics, qualitative research methods, and field experience in program evaluation course.