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Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging

Dr. Kathryn Hyer

Welcome to the Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging website. We hope you will find our research, policy briefs and other publications informative. The Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging is a Research Center within the School of Aging Studies, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences at the University of South Florida. The Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging is dedicated to improving the lives of older adults through development of relevant policy research for Florida and the nation. Below you will find the history of the Policy Center. Please contact us with suggestions about how we can improve this website.

The Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging was created in 1992, with a legislatively mandated mission to conduct research and policy analysis. In 2003, The Policy Center joined the USF Department of Gerontology to create the School of Aging Studies. The merger enhanced the resources of both programs and expanded the Policy Center's capacity to achieve its mission by conducting more policy-related research and evaluation projects with faculty and students, while contributing to the educational mission of the School of Aging Studies. The Center encourages and facilitates interdisciplinary policy-related research with faculty and students from the Department of Aging and Mental Health Disparities, School of Social Work and College of Nursing.

The Center has established relationships with State agencies, the Legislature, and non-profit and private organizations that contract with FPECA staff to conduct research and policy analyses. For example, the State Legislature hired FPECA to provide research and administrative support to the Task Force on Florida's Affordability and Accessibility of Long-Term Care. The legislative report contributed to substantial changes in nursing home quality standards, tort reform and increases in home and community-based spending. FPECA researchers have had contracts with the Florida Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) and the Agency for Health Care Administration to: review and approve providers and curriculum for training employees of nursing homes and assisted living facilities on Alzheimer's disease and other related disorders; prepare a legislative report to assess the impact of staffing standards on quality of nursing home care; prepare a report on financial spend-down for nursing home eligible elders; assess Medicaid hospice utilization; analyze Florida's Medicare and Medicaid long-term care data; evaluate managed long-term care programs; and interview frail elders about services to keep them in the community.

In addition to contract research, the Policy Center works to encourage and support cross-University aging-related studies and research. The Policy Center and the School of Aging Studies work with the Secretary of Florida's Department of Elder Affairs to encourage faculty from USF, University of Florida, Florida State and University of Central Florida who conduct aging-related research to be consultants for policy-related work. Furthermore, the rich data bases in the Center along with keen knowledge of state agencies and databases, allows students to examine and publish research findings in a range of long-term care policy areas.

Numerous research and policy analysis projects have been completed by Center faculty and graduate students over the last several years. Several of these projects have been conducted under contract with state agencies or with the support of grant funding from federal agencies and private foundations.

Graduate students, including several in the Aging Studies Ph.D. program, participate in many of the research projects directed by Policy Center faculty. This participation has generated dissertation research and opportunities for the publication of articles. In 2010 a Ph.D. student received an Agency for Health Care Research and Quality dissertation grant for policy-related dissertation on patient safety in nursing homes.

Kathryn Hyer, Ph.D., MPP
Associate Professor and Director,
Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging
School of Aging Studies