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CHIBE, PAIR Awarded 2 Roybal Centers

Kevin Volpp and Scott Halpern Roybal Center chat

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) has awarded Roybal Centers to CHIBE Director Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD, and Scott Halpern, MD, PhD, MBE, Director of the Palliative and Advanced Illness Research (PAIR) Center.

The goal of the Roybal Center program, according to the NIA’s website, is “the translation and integration of basic behavioral and social research findings into interventions to improve the lives of older people and the capacity of institutions to adapt to societal aging.”

“Our goal is to reduce premature aging among Americans,” Dr. Volpp said. “There are lots of different areas in which important work remains to be done, whether it’s reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, increasing physical activity, or reducing harm from opioids. We’ve made a lot of progress in the last 10 years, but there’s a lot of progress that remains to be made. The United States doesn’t rank very well in terms of life expectancy, and we’d like to make a significant contribution to improving that.”

The NIA’s Division of Behavioral and Social Research currently supports 13 Roybal Centers, and The University of Pennsylvania is the only institution to be awarded two of them.

“Among the many things that are exciting with the opportunity that the National Institute on Aging has awarded us are the fact that it’s really an amazing recognition of both the breadth and the depth of behavioral science expertise at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as with our collaborating institutions that we form partnerships with over the year,” Dr. Halpern said.

CHIBE first earned funding for a Roybal Center in 2009, and it has been renewed each year since then; this year’s award is for more than $658,000. CHIBE works collaboratively with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) with pilot projects both at Penn and CMU. Learn more about CHIBE’s Roybal Center program here. Dr. Halpern’s new center is called the Penn Roybal Center on Palliative Care in Dementia.