The Center on Aging and Health (COAH)’s team enthusiastically congratulates longtime COAH colleague Sarah Szanton, PhD RN FAAN, Dean, and Patricia M. Davidson Health Equity and Social Justice Endowed Professor at the School of Nursing, upon her election to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM).
NAM is a private, nonprofit institution dedicated to improving “health for all by advancing science, accelerating health equity, and providing independent, authoritative, and trusted advice nationally and globally.” New NAM members are elected by current members, and with the new inductees in October, 2021, the academy now has 2,100 national and international members. Membership to NAM is not only elite and honorific, it is also significant and impactful. Leaders from across the United States and around the world consult NAM for expert opinions to shape and implement health policy. Consequently, NAM membership is considered to be the highest national honor possible in medicine.
In their statement listing newly elected members, NAM noted choosing Dean Szanton “for pioneering new approaches to reducing health disparities among low-income older adults.” This statement gives a nod to Dean Szanton’s sterling reputation in co-developing the CAPABLE program, which is currently expanding through Medicare Advantage and Value Based Care and is already available in 45 places across 23 states. CAPABLE has been described as “visionary” and “innovative” for its multidisciplinary and practical approach to helping older adults remain in their own homes, in their beloved communities; the same adjectives can easily be applied to Dean Szanton’s engaging leadership style.
We at COAH know that the nation and the international community are better served with sound advice and expert guidance from Dean Szanton in this very important role as a member of NAM. The Center celebrates and congratulates Dean Szanton on this remarkable honor and tremendous new role!