Research Institute on Aging 

The New Jewish Home is one of the few nonprofit geriatric healthcare systems in the country that has an established research institute. 

Make Eldercare More Effective 

Our team is exploring ways to make eldercare more effective, both for older adults in New York and around the world. The Research Institute of Aging has a multidisciplinary research team consisting of physicians and psychologists.

Multidisciplinary Approach  

Our multidisciplinary approach recognizes the complex interrelationships among physical, social and psychological processes that influence the functioning and well-being of older adults and their families. Our research focuses on palliative care, person directed care, health services and evaluation of models of care.

Interact Closely With Clinicians

As a research institute set within a geriatric healthcare system with services spanning both community and institutional care settings, our Jewish Home researchers have the opportunity to interact closely with clinicians, educators and policymakers so they can innovate with clinically informed research studies and support evidence-based practice.

Research Staff Members

Research staff members have faculty appointments at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and other New York area academic institutions; this facilitates collaborative research across settings. Research training opportunities are also provided for masters’ level students, as well as doctoral and post doctoral fellows from a variety of fields, including medicine, nursing, psychology and social work. Students and fellows work under the supervision of senior scientists.


The Research Institute on Aging is dedicated to developing research programs to help fill knowledge gaps in geriatrics and gerontology relevant to older adults with chronic conditions and their social network members. A main goal is to implement research findings in practice at The New Jewish Home.   Research findings are also disseminated nationally and internationally through a variety of channels including publications in professional and scholarly journals, books and book chapters, presentations at scientific conferences and translation of research findings for the general public.

Contact the Research Institute on Aging at 212-870-5764


Joann P. Reinhardt, PhD

Dr. Reinhardt is Director of Research at The New Jewish Home’s Research Institute on Aging. She is committed to ensuring the creation of clinically informed research that informs and supports evidence based practice. Dr. Reinhardt has published widely on topics including end-of-life advance care planning and palliative care, person directed care, friendship and family support and adjustment to chronic physical impairment, rehabilitation, and mental health. Her research has been supported by both federal (National Institutes of Health) and foundation funding (Alzheimer’s Association, Donaghue Foundation). She has served on the Board of Directors of the American Society on Aging, is a past President of the State Society on Aging of New York, and a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America. Dr. Reinhardt is also a reiki practitioner/teacher with seven years of volunteer service in hospice, hospital, and cancer respite settings. Dr. Reinhardt has a PhD in Lifespan Developmental Psychology from Fordham University. She previously served as the Director of Psychosocial Research at Lighthouse International. PUBLICATIONS

Wingyun Mak, PhD

Dr. Mak is the Interim Associate Director of Research at The New Jewish Home Research Institute on Aging and an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Mak conducts research to understand and promote psychological well-being in late life by assessing psychological well-being and its correlates using the firsthand perspective of older adults with dementia. She collaborates with interdisciplinary teams to test activity interventions to enhance purpose in life, assess the impact of innovative programming in long term care, and examine outcomes related to the social or built environment. She is also particularly interested in the translation of research into community-based settings. Prior to joining TNJH, Dr. Mak was on faculty in the Department of Psychology at Lehman College and also completed a National Research Service Award T32 postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Dr. Mak received her master’s degree and doctorate in Psychology (Aging and Development) from Washington University in St. Louis. PUBLICATIONS

Orah Burack, MA

Ms. Burack is Senior Research Associate at The New Jewish Home’s Research Institute on Aging. Ms. Burack has spent her research career working in an applied healthcare setting dedicated to serving elder adults across a continuum of services. She works with clinical and quality improvement colleagues to develop collaborative models of care, design interventions, and develop and evaluate innovative service programs. The focus of her research has included ethical and palliative care issues in long-term care and the impact of end-of-life issues on CNAs, the development and evaluation of educational training and support programs for CNAs caring for dying elders, the evaluation of educational programs for home health aides who care for elders independently within the community, and interventions to improve quality of life for nursing home elders. Ms. Burack was co-investigator of a large scale culture change initiative which examined the impact of this initiative on residents, their families, and staff members. Ms. Burack obtained her MA in Developmental Psychology from Brandeis University. PUBLICATIONS

Emily Franzosa, DrPH, MA

Dr. Franzosa is a Senior Research Fellow at the The New Jewish Home Research Institute on Aging. She is a Research Health Science Specialist in the Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in the Bronx, NY, an Assistant Professor in the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and a 2022-23 Health and Aging Policy Fellow. Her research focuses on developing collaborative interventions to support direct care workers and more effectively integrate them into older adults’ care teams. This work aims to leverage the expertise of the workers who perform vital day-to-day care but are often marginalized and excluded from decision-making around patient care and operational policy. She was formerly the communications director for the 1199SEIU Benefit Funds, a union-management organization providing health, pension, and quality of life benefits to unionized healthcare workers in New York. She received her DrPH from the City University of New York Graduate Center/CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. PUBLICATIONS

Kenneth Boockvar, MD, MS

Dr. Boockvar is the Director of the Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care at University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Medicine, an academic division that has pioneered care for older adults and patients with serious illness since 1974. Before this, he was Director of Clinical Studies at The New Jewish Home and Greenwall Professor of Geriatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Currently he serves as a Consultant for The New Jewish Home Research Institute on Aging. Dr. Boockvar’s career has been devoted to improving health and quality of care for older adults. Dr. Boockvar has pioneered research on the quality of medication prescribing during patient handoffs and on the effect of medication reconciliation to improve prescribing. Dr. Boockvar is also an innovator in research and quality in long-term care. He has successfully implemented complex geriatrics models of care with front-line health care providers, including developing, implementing, and testing interventions in the long-term care setting. He has 25 years of experience treating older adults in outpatient, inpatient, and long-term care settings, and advancing the care of geriatrics syndromes. PUBLICATIONS

Anna MacKay-Brandt, PhD

Dr. MacKay-Brandt is a Research Scientist and Director of the Aging and Mental Health laboratory at the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, and affiliated faculty at the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center. She serves as a Consultant at The New Jewish Home Research Institute on Aging. Dr. MacKay-Brandt conducts research on biopsychosocial factors that affect attention, memory, and mental health within the context of the aging process. A goal of this work is to facilitate the development and translation of cognitive neuroscience advances to applications with clinical and public health utility. Dr. MacKay-Brandt has published work on cognitive and functional change associated with normative aging, health factors, and underlying Alzheimer’s disease. A focus of her work is on the development and examination of interventional approaches to optimize cognition. Dr. MacKay-Brandt received her BA from Brandeis University and her PhD in Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis. She completed her clinical internship (Neuropsychology) at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and a T32 postdoctoral fellowship with the Taub Institute at Columbia University. PUBLICATIONS

Margret Howard, BA

Ms. Howard is a Research Assistant at The New Jewish Home’s Research Institute on Aging. Ms. Howard graduated from George Mason University in 2022 where she obtained her bachelors in Psychology. During her undergraduate studies she worked in a lab where functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to assess social cognition, reward processing, and psychopathology. Since joining The New Jewish Home she has worked on multiple research studies that focus on improving the well-being and health of The New Jewish Home residents. Her future plans are to attend graduate school for a doctorate in Clinical Psychology.


Contact Us


Newsletter Sign Up
Skip to content