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Center for Innovation in Healthy & Resilient Aging

Launched in the Spring of 2018, The Center for Innovation in Healthy & Resilient Aging (CIHRA) provides the ideal structure to design, build, and sustain a bold, nationally competitive venture in aging.

CIHRA was formed from the merger of two ABOR-approved centers housed in CONHI, The Center for Healthy Outcomes in Aging1 and The Hartford Center for Gerontological Nursing Excellence2, and will leverage their existing activities and many accomplishments for its foundation.

  • CIHRA focuses on innovative wellness, strength-based, and resilience- and capacity-building research opportunities that translate into positive change from the level of the individuals and families, to organizations and systems, and ultimately to communities and local, national, and global policies.
  • CIHRA capitalizes on ASU’s strengths in aging by fusing academic disciplines, professional practice, technology, and community embeddedness. Its investigators blend expertise in prevention, behavior change, and intervention for midlife and older populations. As Health-related researchers join with those in the Arts, Humanities, Design, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Engineering, and other disciplines, CIHRA will uncover keys to combat aging, disease, and disease processes.


CHIRA’S mission is to advance

  • research that helps solve challenges in aging from the individual to the policy level
  • training in aging principles, critical challenges in aging, and the best transdisciplinary practices and state of the science to manage those challenges
  • local to global education and service through a two-way research and knowledge transfer that helps the university community, its partners, and the communities we serve better understand and address aging issues
  • effective dissemination of ASU’s innovations in aging into diverse settings.

Who we are

David W. Coon, PhD, Director of CIHRA, is Associate Dean, Research Initiatives, Support, & Engagement and Professor College of Nursing and Health Innovation at ASU. After receiving his PhD from Stanford University, he was the Associate Director of the Older Adult Center of the VA Palo Alto Health Care System and the Stanford University School of Medicine and Research Scientist at UCSF/Mt. Zion Institute on Aging. Dr. Coon designs and evaluates interventions, such as CarePRO (Care Partners Reaching Out) and EPIC (Early-stage Partners in Care), that focus on culturally diverse groups of midlife and older adults facing chronic illnesses (e.g., dementia, cancer, depression) and their family caregivers. Several of these empirically based treatments have been recognized by the American Psychological Association, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Administration on Aging’s Alzheimer’s Disease Supportive Services Program, and other entities. A fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and a PLuS Alliance Fellow, Dr. Coon has had his work funded through multiple federal and foundation grants. In addition, he and his community partners received The Rosalynn Carter Institute’s 2013 National Leadership Award in Caregiving for CarePRO as well as the ASU President’s Medal for Social Embeddedness. 

Karen Marek, PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN), CHIRA Associate Director, is the Bernita 'B' Steffl Professor of Geriatric Nursing in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at ASU. The focus of Dr. Marek’s research is community-based interventions to support vulnerable, frail older adults in their home environment. Over the past 15 years she has created and directed two large interdisciplinary research studies that implemented nurse-led intervention programs. In the Aging in Place (AIP) program, nurse care coordination was provided to older adults in wellness centers in the community and as a component of home health care. The role of the home care nurse was expanded beyond the traditional home health episode. Clinical and cost outcomes of this program were better for the AIP participants when compared to similar older adults in nursing homes and individuals receiving care from Medicaid home- and community-based services. In the AIP program she recognized that older adults often had difficulty managing their often complex medication regimens, as well as coordinating their health care with multiple providers. To address this issue she created a more intensive medication management component using a medication-dispensing machine and nurse care coordination in her second study, an NINR R01-funded home care medication management study. In it, older adults who received medication management with nurse care coordination had significantly better clinical outcomes (on the Mini-Mental State Examination, Geriatric Depression Scale, and the SF-36 Health Assessment) than the control group. Results of the cost analysis showed a savings of $600 per month in Medicare costs in the care coordination group when compared to the control group. Dr. Marek has a strong interest in the human interface with technology and the redesign of health care, especially for those for whom a trip to a health care provider is a major and taxing event. She is a proponent of the health care provider coming to the patient's home via technology, rather that the patient coming to the provider.

Angelica Jaszewski is an Administrative Associate in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at ASU. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Arizona, she relocated to Phoenix to join the CONHI team in the summer of 2017. She has published several abstracts and given poster presentations in the area of sleep research during her time as an undergraduate. While at ASU, Angelica hopes to pursue her master’s degree in psychology.

ASU postdoctoral, graduate student, and undergraduate student scholars. 

CIHRA is committed to training future researchers in aging by providing research experiences and financial support (e.g., research assistantships) for a team at least one postdoctoral scholar and several graduate and undergraduate student scholars.  Scholars also are expected to participate in regular CIHRA meetings, which include presentations by faculty fellows, outside speakers, CIHRA strategic planning, etc. 

Application coming soon.

ASU faculty fellows
CIHRA solicits research proposals from interdisciplinary teams composed of at least 2 scholars from different disciplines.  In their proposals, fellows identify a key issue in aging; describe a one- to 1-year study they will undertake to address the issue from an interdisciplinary perspective; and submit a copy of the national funding announcement they will target at the end of the fellowship.  Fellows are expected to participate in regular CIHRA meetings and related activities, including proposal feedback and updates.  As part of ASU’s commitment to aging, funds for fellows include teaching relief to ensure commitment to the projects and engagement and support of CIHRA activities.

ASU summer faculty fellows
CIHRA solicits smaller proposals that can be completed in one to 2 summers. In their proposals, fellows identify a key issue in aging; describe a short study they will undertake to address the issue from an interdisciplinary perspective; and submit a copy of the national funding announcement they will target at the end of the fellowship.  Fellows are expected to participate in regular CIHRA meetings and related activities, including proposal feedback and updates.  As part of ASU’s commitment to aging, funds for fellows will help cover research project costs to ensure commitment to the projects and engagement and support of CIHRA activities.


Application coming soon


Fact Sheet Title


ABCDs of Medicare

Activity Scheduling for Depression in Older Adults

Aids for Patients with Low Vision

Amyloid Imaging for Alzheimer’s Disease

Anemia of Chronic Disease

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Biologic Agents for IBD


Choosing the Correct Walker

Cognitive Aging

Cognitive Behavioral Interventions for Insomnia

Communication with Older Patients

Communicating with People with Hearing Loss


Delirium—The Sixth Geriatric Vital Sign

Delirium—In the ICU

Dementia—Not all Dementia is Alzheimer’s Disease

Dementia Patients Communication

Depression in Elders

Depression in Older Adults—Pharmacotherapy

Diagnosing Tremors


Diarrhea and Fecal Incontinence

Discussing CPR with Patients and Families

Disease Screening in Older Adults: When to Stop

Don’t Forget Dementia

Driving and the Older Adult

Elder Abuse

Elder Abuse: Clinical Reporting

Erectile Dysfunction in the Older Patient

Falls in Elders

Fitness to Fly: Older Adults and Air Travel

Frailty Risk

Frailty for Surgical Patients

Frontotemporal Dementia

Geriatric Evaluation

Health Literacy

Hearing Aids

Heart Failure in Home and Community

Hip Fractures in Older Adults: Peri-Operative Considerations



Hospice Care for Patients with Dementia

Hospice Eligibility for Patients with COPD


Integrative Medicine in Elder Care

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Long-Term Care

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Older Adults

Lung Cancer Screening

Macular Degeneration

Management of Persistent Pain

Medical Decision Making

Medication-Induced Hypokalemia: A Common Problem

Myelodysplastic Syndrome: A Primer for Geriatric Clinicians

Nocturia in Older Adults

Nursing Home-Acquired Pneumonia


Overweight and Obesity in Non-Frail Older Adults

Pain in Patients Who have Heart Failure

Pain When Reaching Overhead: Four Common Shoulder Problems in Older Adults

Palliative Care of Dyspnea in Patients with Advanced COPD

Palliative Care of Nausea and Vomiting

Pedal Edema in Older Adults

Peripheral Arterial Disease

Physical Exercise Guidelines for Older Adults

Physical Exercise in Cognitive Function

Preoperative Assessment

Preparatory Grief

Pressure Ulcers in Older Adults

Pulmonary Function Tests

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Resilience in Aging

Restless Legs Syndrome

Sleep in Older Adults


Spiritual Needs of Hospitalized Older Adults

Substance Abuse in Older Adults

Systolic Hypertension in Elders

Urinary Incontinence—Diagnosis

Urinary Incontinence—Treatment




Advanced Dementia: The Need for Palliative Care

Caring for Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementias

Caring for Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementias (for family and friends)

End-of-Life and Hospice: Focus on Aggressive Comfort Care

Healthy Aging Online Series: Increasing Need to Identify and Address Geriatric Syndromes

Healthy Aging Online Series: Physical Activity for Older Adults

Healthy Aging: Communicating with Older Adults

Mild Dementia: Promoting Function and Maintaining Independence

Moderate Dementia: Functional Losses and Management

Overview and Diagnosis

Following below is a selection of resources for research on aging and for finding funding for projects that pertain to older adults. Please contact Angelica Jaszewski if you see the need for corrections or if you have suggestions of resources to add.

Before contacting any foundation, please get in touch with your college’s ASU Foundation representative and any other person your college requires be informed of your plans.

In addition to serving as a policy and advocacy organization dedicated to the needs of older adults, it has several aspects that pertain to research. “Today’s Take on the News” section on its home page reports on research findings in the news. It publishes practical information on caregiving and has conducted surveys on caregiving (e.g., “2016 AARP Florida Caregiving Study”). Use the search tab to locate these and other resources. The AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) is “the focal point of public policy research, analysis and development at AARP. . . .  PPI develops creative policy solutions to address our common need for financial security, health care, and quality of life. Founded in 1985, PPI publishes policy analyses and provides updates on a range of topics, including current AARP priorities and emerging issues that will affect older adults in the future. . . . PPI is also home to the Center to Champion Nursing in America, an initiative of AARP, the AARP Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.”

Administration for Community Living
“ACL brings together the efforts and achievements of the Administration on Aging (AoA), the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), and the HHS Office on Disability to serve as the Federal agency responsible for increasing access to community supports, while focusing attention and resources on the unique needs of older Americans and people with disabilities across the lifespan.” Grant information accessible via the Grants tab.

Administration on Aging (AoA)
It is “the principal agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services designated to carry out the provisions of the Older Americans Act of 1965 (OAA), as amended (42 U.S.C.A. § 3001 et seq.). The OAA promotes the well-being of older individuals by providing services and programs designed to help them live independently in their homes and communities. The Act also empowers the federal government to distribute funds to the states for supportive services for individuals over the age of 60.” See the link for lists of offices and links to grants.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
It is “the lead federal agency charged with improving the safety and quality of America's health care system. AHRQ develops the knowledge, tools, and data needed to improve the health care system and help Americans, health care professionals, and policymakers make informed health decisions.” Its funding supports “research to improve the quality, effectiveness, accessibility, and cost effectiveness of health care.” Grant announcements and other funding information are accessible via its “Funding & Grants” tab.

Alzheimer’s Association
Its “Research” page ( “is for professional researchers and anyone interested in following the progress in research. The Alzheimer's Association has been involved in every major advancement in Alzheimer's and related dementias research since the 1980's and is a leader in the global fight for a world without Alzheimer's.”

American Cancer Society
Its “Our Research” tab contains lots of information, e.g., “Cancer Facts and Statistics.”

American Heart Association
Research, including funding for research programs, is accessible via its “Research” tab; other information is available via other tabs (e.g., Professional).

Area Agency on Aging, Region One

The Area Agency on Aging, Region One [Maricopa County] is “a private non-profit corporation, which plans, coordinates, develops and delivers services for seniors (60 years and older), persons 18 and older who are HIV positive, adults (18-59 years) with disabilities and long-term care needs, and family caregivers of older adults.”

Arthritis Foundation
Information for researchers and the public is at

Commonwealth Fund
The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that aims to promote a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society's most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, and elderly adults.

Current Awareness in Aging Report (CAAR)
Center for Demography of Health and Aging, University of Wisconsin-Madison has an e-clipping service and blog.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The CDC is one of the major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services. As the nation’s health protection agency, CDC saves lives and protects people from health threats. To accomplish our mission, CDC conducts critical science and provides health information that protects our nation against expensive and dangerous health threats, and responds when these arise. 

Foundation Center
A significant source of information on foundation funding, reports, and news. ASU employees can access all the search tools for free by going through, “External Funding Opportunities,” and selecting “Foundation Directory Online.”
OKED’s page to access a range of tools, information, databases, and other material related to funding. There are links to, e.g., databases to search for funding, resources such as the Research Academy, and “Get Connected,” which has links to ASU blogs, Experts @ASU, and research forums.
In 2002 it “was chartered to deliver a system that provides a centralized location for grant seekers to find and apply for federal funding opportunities. Today, the system houses information on over 1,000 grant programs and vets grant applications for federal grant-making agencies.” Pull-down tabs have sign-up pages that give access to subscriptions for receiving regular announcements and updates.

Health Resources & Service Administration (HRSA)
HRSA, “an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary federal agency for improving health care to people who are geographically isolated, economically or medically vulnerable. HRSA programs help those in need of high quality primary health care, people living with HIV/AIDS, pregnant women, and mothers. HRSA also supports the training of health professionals, the distribution of providers to areas where they are needed most and improvements in health care delivery. . . .” Its “Data Warehouse” gives access to fact sheets and data by a variety of filters.

Kaiser Family Foundation
“Kaiser is a non-profit organization focusing on national health issues, as well as the U.S. role in global health policy. Unlike grant-making foundations, Kaiser develops and runs its own policy analysis, journalism and communications programs, sometimes in partnership with major news organizations.”

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

In additional to the NIA (see next), several institutes and centers (ICs) of the NIH have research and funding on issues that pertain to aging. For a one-paragraph summary of what each IC does, see the list under “Institutes and NIH.” NIH’s Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT) “provides access to reports, data, and analyses of NIH research activities, including information on NIH expenditures and the results of NIH supported research.”  - via the “Quick Links” tab, access the NIH RePORTER, which “allows researchers to search a repository of NIH-funded research projects.

NIH, National Institute on Aging (NIA)
NIA, one of the 27 Institutes and Centers of NIH, leads a broad scientific effort to understand the nature of aging and to extend the healthy, active years of life. NIA is the primary Federal agency supporting and conducting Alzheimer's disease research. Grants can be found via the “Research & Funding” tab, as can its “Research Resources.” The multiple topics under “Health Information” include the “Health Topics A-Z,” under which one can find “Healthcare professional information” and many health topics.               

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)
PCORI “funds research that offers patients and caregivers the information they need to make important healthcare decisions.” Its programs are Clinical Effectiveness and Decision Science, Healthcare Delivery and Disparities Research, Evaluation and Analysis, Engagement, and Research Infrastructure.

Retirement Research Foundation

Its mission is “improve the quality of life for older people in America. RRF is one of the first private foundations devoted exclusively to aging and retirement issues.” Its funding covers three main areas (Responsive Grants, Organizational Capacity Building Grants, and the Accessible Faith Grants Program); information on them accessible via its “Grants” tab.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The RWJF is the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health. It also publishes research briefs, research and analysis, and other materials in its four focus areas: Healthy Communities; Healthy Children, Healthy Weight; Health Systems; and Leadership for Better Health. Its grant-making focuses on these areas.


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
SAMHSA is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities. Grants are accessible via the “Grants” tab.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
The “mission of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans. We fulfill that mission by providing for effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services.”


1CHOA brought together investigators to develop and test interventions that promote the highest level of health and quality of life for individuals who are aging within a culturally diverse society. The center emphasized multidisciplinary, theory-based interventions across a variety of clinical settings. It served as a resource for faculty and students to obtain sponsored funding to perform clinical, interdisciplinary and translational research, improving scientific and cultural knowledge to benefit the aging population.

2The Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence (HCGNE) at ASU CONHI was funded by The John A. Hartford Foundation. Its mission was to significantly increase the number of high-quality doctoral and post-doctoral level faculty in geriatric nursing needed to teach in graduate and undergraduate academic nursing programs throughout Arizona and surrounding Southwestern states.  Major emphasis was placed on preparing geriatric nursing faculty who have expertise not only in promoting healthy aging but also in meeting the unique and growing needs of the Southwest’s diverse elderly population in rural and urban areas.