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

Kenneth S. Boockvar, MD, MS

Dr. Boockvar is Director of Clinical Studies at the Research Institute on Aging at The New Jewish Home, Anna A. Greenwall Professor of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Associate Director of the Geriatrics Research, Education, and Clinical Center at the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center.  Dr. Boockvar conducts research to improve the health and quality of care for nursing home patients and older adults who are frail or disabled. He has published key studies on medication prescribing during patient handoffs and is a national and international expert on medication reconciliation. His studies have generated new knowledge about the impacts of electronic health information exchange. His work has been supported by the National Institute on Aging, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and private foundationsDr. Boockvar completed a fellowship in Geriatrics at UCLA and an internship, residency, and chief residency in internal medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Boockvar received his medical degree from Duke University and a Master’s in Health Services Research and Clinical Epidemiology from Cornell University.  PUBLICATIONS

Orah R. 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

Wingyun Mak, PhD

Dr. Mak is a Senior Research Scientist at the Research Institute on Aging at The New Jewish Home. Dr. Mak conducts research to understand and promote psychological well-being in late life. She focuses on the measurement of 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. Dr. Mak has published work on the impact of goal-driven activity on purpose in life, the relationship between humor styles and purpose in life, as well as the psychological impact of planning for future care needs. Prior to joining the Research Institute on Aging at The New Jewish Home, Dr. Mak was on faculty in the Department of Psychology at Lehman College and also completed a National Research Service Award postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry 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

The New Jewish Home - Age Like a New Yorkers


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