Attention JHU/JHM Research Coordinators! Apply Before Feb. 28 to Participate in a Free Training Program on Recruiting Diverse Older Adults to Studies!

As you may know, COAH received a Diversity Innovation Grant (DIG) to provide free training for up to 20 JHU/JHM frontline research staff members on best practices to increase volunteer participation among diverse older adults; in particular, the training’s curriculum focuses on culturally-aware material pertaining to research sensitivities among racial/ethnic minority groups and individuals from LGBTQ+ communities.

The curriculum involves:

  • A pre-training Zoom meeting
  • A brief pre-training survey
  • Two required online courses:
    • Faster Together, Enhancing the Recruitment of Minorities in Clinical Trials
    • SAGECare LGBTQ+ Training Course on Supporting LGBTQ+ Older Adults
  • An optional course:
    • Understanding and Supporting LGBTQ+ Older Adults
  • A post-training survey
  • A post-training group discussion

All training must be completed during the spring term.

Because participation is capped at 20 people, there is an application and approval process for enrollment in this program.  Applications are due by February 28th.  Apply via this online form.  Later that week, applicants will be selected and notified about the status of their application.

COAH will hold an online information session on Monday February 27th via Zoom at 1pm est; contact Brian Buta to sign up for it, or if you have any questions about this training program whatsoever.

Many thanks to the JHU Diversity Leadership Council for looking favorably upon our DIG proposal, and to the broader JHU community for their crowd-sourced support of training for staff to bolster efforts aimed at recruiting diverse older adults to university-wide research studies.


Who Cares? Family Caregiving Experiences of our Healthcare Providers

Kimberly A. Skarupski, PhD, MPH, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Professor in the Department of Medicine and Professor of Epidemiology in the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University will present “Who Cares? Family Caregiving Experiences of our Healthcare Providers”.  This event is sponsored by: The Matthew Tayback, Sc.D., Memorial Lecture Fund; Center on Aging & Health; Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology; Johns Hopkins Older Americans Independence Center; Epidemiology and Biostatistics of Aging Training Program.

Dr. Skarupski will discuss the findings from a caregiving survey that was conducted with the faculty of the Department of Medicine in October 2022 based upon an article published in 2021 entitled “Prevalence of caregiving and high caregiving strain among late-career medical school faculty members: Workforce, policy and faculty development implications.”  The article published in 2021 resulted in numerous press releases and faculty feedback which inspired the Department of Medicine to survey their faculty.

We hope you can join us at 2024 E. Monument Street, Powe Room 1-1500Q. You may join by Zoom at this link

image of Thomas KM Cudjoe

COAH Champion: Thomas Cudjoe, MD, MPH

We are very pleased to share with you that COAH Core Faculty Dr. Thomas Cudjoe is our Winter 2023 COAH Champion. If you have an opportunity to bask in the presence of his warm smile and speak with him for a few minutes, surely you will recognize qualities such as his genuine concern and sincere compassion for people—particularly older adults, whose interests are at the heart of his life’s work. Known as an expert in social isolation and loneliness among older adults, Dr. Cudjoe was the lead author on two recent papers in this space that connect social isolation with an increased risk for dementia; Johns Hopkins Medicine story here, and NPR story here.

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Dr. Cudjoe is faculty in the Johns Hopkins University Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, where he is the Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Endowed Professor, and he is a Co-Director for Medicine for the Greater Good. In 2020, Dr. Cudjoe received the Division’s Junior Faculty Teaching Award, and in 2018 he was named one of 125 Hopkins Heroes “Living the Mission” in honor of Johns Hopkins University’s 125th anniversary. Additionally, Dr. Cudjoe is a Center for Innovative Medicine Caryl & George Bernstein Scholar, which sponsors his involvement with the Johns Hopkins University Human Aging Project. And Dr. Cudjoe is the Stakeholder Engagement Core Leader for the university’s AI & Technology Collaboratory for Aging Research.

Beyond these accolades with Johns Hopkins, Dr. Cudjoe serves as a Major in the U.S. Army Reserves Medical Corps, where he was recognized with medals for Commendation, Achievement, and Humanitarian Service.  Plus, the Johns Hopkins Medicine Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Health Equity honored Dr. Cudjoe with an Achievers Award for his distinguished military service in 2020 in honor of Veterans Day.  (You may be interested in this story about US Army doctors fighting the coronavirus, which features a nice image of Major Cudjoe among Army colleagues and describes an effort to fight COVID-19.)     

Tony Teano: Tell us about your background, education, and path to COAH.

Young Thomas with cousin and grandparents

Dr. Cudjoe: I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and I grew up in Macon, Georgia.  Experiences with grandparents in Georgia and also visiting grandparents in Ghana, were important to appreciating and being interested in what matters to older adults.  Also, I think my mother’s advocacy work was formative to my way of thinking early on.

When I went to college, I studied Biology, but I was planning to go to law school. One of my professors urged me to consider medicine. When I came home during the summer following my freshman year, I looked at programs that would expose me to medicine. To get ahead of this for my next summer, I started calling programs and asking about what I needed to do to be a successful applicant, and that’s how I stumbled upon an opening for a summer at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. They reviewed my information and accepted me that same summer.  After this program, I thought I would pursue medicine and law to merge my interest in caring, justice, and advocacy.  I later decided to pursue public health instead of law and did an MPH in Health Policy at Harvard School of Public Health after my 3rd year of medical school at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey. A course on Issues of Aging exposed me to the complexities of aging policy and solutions. This fascinated me and helped me clarify that I wanted to dedicate my career to caring for and advancing issues related to the health and well-being of older adults. Following medical school, I did residency in internal medicine at Howard University Hospital in Washington, DC, and then came to Baltimore in 2015 to pursue clinical fellowship at Johns Hopkins.  Early on in my clinical fellowship, I met with Drs. David L. Roth and Cynthia Boyd and they helped me clarify my goals and obtain funding to support two additional years of research training. During this time, I was fortunate to receive excellent mentorship and sponsorship from Drs. David Roth, Deidra Crews, Roland Thorpe, Cynthia Boyd, Jennifer Wolff, Laura Gitlin, and Sarah Szanton.


Dr. Cudjoe and his grandfather at Harvard University graduation ceremony

Tony Teano: Why did you choose to go into this field of work?

Dr. Cudjoe: My caregiving experience with my Grandpa was pivotal.  While visiting the doctor (Clement Nwosu, MD) with him when I was a freshman in college nurtured the interested that had been planted by one of my college mentors (Dr. Alfred McQueen at Hampton University).  These interactions as well as those during medical school and the course during my MPH helped me choose geriatrics.

Tony Teano: What paper are you most known for or most proud of?

Dr. Cudjoe: Epidemiology of social isolation. This was my first paper. It remains my most cited paper.  It helped establish me in the field.

Dr. Cudjoe with his mom and brother

Tony Teano: This feature will be published during Black History Month. Could you please tell us who your Black Hero is?

Dr. Cudjoe: Loretto Madeleine Grier-Cudjoe, DMD. My Mom is my hero. I have deep love and respect for her on so many levels. Her parenting and ongoing work has been critical for how I think and navigate life.


Tony Teano: What are the top items on your bucket list?

Dr. Cudjoe: To visit the Great Pyramids of Giza.

Tony Teano: Tell us about your hobbies… what renews you?

Dr. Cudjoe: I enjoy making pottery—engaging in ceramics!




Tony Teano: You recently published several articles that connected social isolation with dementia. Could you tell us more about your findings and how to intervene, please?

Dr. Cudjoe: Among older adults in the United States, social isolation is common. One in four adults experience isolation, and that is associated with a higher hazard of incident dementia over nine years. There were no observed differences in the association between social isolation and dementia by race and ethnic.  Social isolation may be a valuable and modifiable risk factor to target interventions for reducing dementia risk across diverse racial and ethnic groups.

Tony Teano: This is significant! And the good news is that the risk may be mitigated through social connection—wonderful insights everyone should know as they check in with the older adults in their sphere, near or far.  Dr. Cudjoe, thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me about your work and your world.

We thank Dr. Cudjoe for allowing us this opportunity to share this up-close and personal look into his personal and professional worlds. He is an amazing, thoughtful leader in geriatric medicine, and COAH is proud to celebrate his success! To keep up-to-date with Dr. Cudjoe, follow him on Twitter @tkmcudjoe.


By Anthony L. Teano, MLA
Communication Specialist



Thank You! COAH Faculty and Staff Receive JHU DIG Award to Foster Recruitment of Diverse Older Adults to Research Studies

Thanks to our supporters who voted in the university-wide Diversity Innovation Grant (DIG) crowdsourcing competition, our proposal was funded!  We are deeply grateful for this opportunity to provide Diversity Equity and Inclusion training to research program coordinators and managers on best practices for enrolling older adults from minoritized populations who have been historically underrepresented in research (e.g., Blacks and LGBTQ+ people).

This training will be open to research staff members in all departments across the university where older adults are being recruited to research studies (Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, etc.). 

Specifically, the DIG funding will support training for 20 staff who are involved in recruiting older adults into ongoing clinical research studies—a goal we seek to achieve by June 30, 2023.  Here is the timeline to roll out this initiative:

  • February: We will host a webinar to share information about this training program, and to recruit participants. Stay tuned for details—coming soon!
  • March: We will select 20 research staff who will participate and ask each participant to complete a pre-training survey to self-rate their competencies for recruiting and engaging with diverse older adult populations.
  • April: Training to start for all staff members. The curriculum includes two required courses: Faster Together, Enhancing the Recruitment of Minorities in Clinical Trials (Coursera); and Supporting LGBTQ+ Older Adults (SAGECare).
  • May: Training to be completed by the end of the month.
  • June: Participants will be asked to complete a post-training survey. We will also hold a meeting for participants to debrief, and to share ideas for incorporating the knowledge gained into their work.

If you would like to participate in this training program, or if you have any questions about it, please contact Brian Buta.  Again, many thanks to those who made funding this important proposal a priority in DIG’s crowdsourcing. It couldn’t have happened without your energetic support.

By Anthony L. Teano, MLA
Communications Specialist