Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, a long-time advocate for the care and safety of older adults, a nurse, researcher, and President of The John A. Hartford Foundation, has been selected as the recipient of the prestigious 2017 Rosalie S. Wolf Award for her lifetime of work to identify and prevent elder mistreatment and abuse.

The award is given by the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA) and was presented today at the annual meeting of the American Society on Aging in Chicago. The award was established by NCPEA in 2002 to commemorate the achievements of its founder Rosalie Wolf, a driving force in the field of elder abuse prevention, advocacy, and scholarship.

Dr. Fulmer received the award for her leadership in elder abuse research, practice, and policy innovation, and for, “demonstrating her dedication and commitment to preventing and reducing the incidence of, as well as the promotion of public awareness of, elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation,” said Robert Blancato, Board Chair of the American Society on Aging and Honorary Director and Past President of NCPEA. “These are the ideals of the inaugural recipient of the award, Rosalie S. Wolf, and we are pleased to announce Dr. Fulmer as this year’s awardee,” Blancato added.

“I knew Rosalie personally and worked with her closely during our years together in Boston. I am so honored to receive this award,” said Fulmer.

As President of The John A. Hartford Foundation, a private national philanthropy dedicated to improving the care of older adults, Dr. Fulmer launched a new Foundation initiative on elder mistreatment in America in 2016. The project is convening leading national experts in four states to develop, test, and evaluate a prototype model of intervention for victims of elder mistreatment in hospitals and emergency rooms.  

Dr. Fulmer has been a major leader on the issue of elder mistreatment over the course of her career. As a nurse at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston early in her career, she led clinical interdisciplinary teams focusing on treatment responses for older patients presenting evidence of abuse. Dr. Fulmer has also been recognized for her pioneering research and professional training programs related to elder abuse. Her research on best practices for screening and detecting elder mistreatment has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other foundations. Her expertise in community-based elder abuse training has been signature in the field. In addition, she has served on key committees on elder abuse for The National Academy of Medicine.

“There is no organization that has done more than NCPEA to elevate awareness in our society about this tragic problem that so many of our older adults face on a regular basis,” said Dr. Fulmer. “There is no issue that is closer to my heart than protecting our dearest, most frail, and most vulnerable loved ones who have contributed so much, but who, in many cases, receive back only coldness, neglect, or mental and physical abuse. I have made this my life’s work and will continue to devote my energy and passion towards increasing the recognition of elder abuse as a public health crisis that everyone needs to be involved in eliminating.”

Dr. Fulmer’s research on elder mistreatment and abuse has been published in numerous prominent medical journals including the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the Journal of Gerontology, Medical Sciences, and the Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect where she previously served as Editor-in-Chief and a reviewer.



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