The M. Powell Lawton Award

 

2006 Recipient:
Linda Teri, Ph.D.


 
I am honored to introduce Dr. Linda Teri, this year's M.
Powell Lawton Award recipient. Dr. Teri is professor of Psychosocial &
Community Health at the University of Washington School of Nursing and adjunct
professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the UW School of Medicine.
She has also directed the UW Alzheimer's Disease Research Center's Education and
Information Transfer Core since its inception. I have worked with Dr. Teri since
1986, and it was she who first introduced me to Dr. Lawton and encouraged me to
study his work and to talk to him about my own research. I benefited
tremendously from Dr. Lawton's generosity, as he provided inspiration, practical
advice, and moral support during my efforts to develop a research program to
assess quality of life in individuals with Alzheimer's disease. Nominating Linda
Teri for this award, established in his memory, honors two mentors who each
greatly influenced my own development as a gerontologist and
psychologist.

Dr. Teri's career truly reflects the qualities we admired in
Dr. Lawton, including intellectual leadership, breadth of contributions, and
commitment to mentorship. Dr. Teri has an international reputation as a
distinguished clinical psychologist and researcher in geriatrics and
gerontology, particularly in the areas of dementia, depression, and
non-pharmacologic treatment of behavioral disturbance in dementia. She has been
an outstanding contributor to the scientific literature since the early 1980's,
and has five books and over 200 articles in print in gerontological,
psychological and medical journals.

Dr. Teri was among the first to identify depression as a
co-existent and treatable complication of dementia, and to apply behavioral and
social learning theory to the treatment of individuals with Alzheimer's disease.
Her National Institute of Mental Health-funded investigation was one of the
first controlled clinical trials of a behavioral intervention for individuals
with dementia. Subsequently, in addition to treating depression, Dr. Teri
applied behavioral principles to treating other difficult behaviors, such as
agitation and anxiety, and to encouraging positive behaviors, such as exercise
and health promotion for individuals with dementia and their caregivers. Once
research studies have demonstrated their efficacy, Dr. Teri has also been
committed to disseminating these interventions to professional and family care
providers through detailed treatment manuals, videos, and high-quality
educational materials.

In addition to her personal research productivity, Dr. Teri is
an outstanding teacher and mentor, and is committed to advancing the research
and clinical skills of others. She has provided intellectual and financial
support to students at all levels and across multiple disciplines, and has
mentored junior faculty members from departments of psychology, nursing,
psychiatry, social work, anthropology, and medicine. Whether she is addressing
university students, physicians at continuing medical education seminars, or
nurse s aides in local residential facilities, Dr. Teri s ability to engage
audiences at any level is superb. She presents complex information in a way that
makes it understandable, and hundreds of health care providers and
gerontologists are better clinicians and researchers due to her involvement in
their education.

On a national and international level, Dr. Teri's service has
been noteworthy. As a promoter of sound, high quality research, she served on
grant review boards at the National Institute of Mental Health and the Medical
and Scientific Advisory Council of the National Alzheimer's Association. As an
advocate of excellence in the care of older adults, she has contributed to
numerous national task forces, including the American Psychological Association,
the American Medical Association, and the National Institutes of Health. In
recognition of her intellectual leadership and service, her colleagues have
honored her as a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the
Gerontological Society of America.


Having worked with Linda for twenty years now, I can
personally attest to her compassion and generosity to others, her dedication to
the scientist-practitioner model, and her insistence that clinical practice be
informed by rigorous and thoughtful research. More than anyone I know, she is
willing to identify areas of profound need, creatively tackle difficult
problems, design rigorous scientific investigations, objectively evaluate
outcomes, and disseminate results to those who can use the information to
improve clinical care. In summary, Dr. Teri s career truly reflects the
qualities we admired in Dr. Lawton, including intellectual leadership, breadth
of contributions, commitment to mentorship, and respect for others. I can think
of no one more deserving of this award than Dr. Teri.


--Rebecca Logsdon, Ph.D.
 

 

© 2013 by Polisher Research Institute