Dean Linda P. Fried, of the Mailman School of Public Health, was selected as the 2015 Lorraine and Ralph Lubin Distinguished Visiting Professor at Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Fried was chosen for her achievementsin the field of epidemiology and as a role model for students.
In honor of this recognition, Dean Fried presented a keynote lecture at the David Rogers Health Policy Colloquium at the Medical College titled “Towards Understanding Loss of Resilience with Aging: the Syndrome of Frailty Informs Health System Change.” An internationally renowned scientist, Dr. Fried has done seminal work in defining frailty as a medical condition. Dr. Fried focused her talk on preventive strategies aimed at keeping aging populations healthier longer, and provided thought leadership on the positive contributions that greater longevity bring to society. She also met with Weill Cornell medical students, faculty, and members of the administration.
“Frailty has a distinct physiologic nature,” said Dr. Fried. “It is a chronic progressive syndrome defined by a loss of resilience and reserves and a high vulnerability to bad outcomes. Complex interactions in societal, community-level, familial, individual, physiological, and cellular factors contribute across the life course to resilience, or the lack thereof, in older adults.” A study led by Dr. Fried in 2001 found that the prevalence of frailty is about 7 percent for adults over 65 years of age, and the probability increases with age.
“A major aspect of frailty prevention should focus on helping older adults to be physically active as well as engaged with their communities, as lack of activity and engagement are associated with adverse health outcomes for older adults, including frailty,” said Dr. Fried. “Programs such as those that connect older adults with children in school and other settings, are a huge benefit to both the senior volunteers and to the children.” Dr. Fried is the designer and co-founder of Experience Corps, a scientifically designed community-based program in 19 cities that puts senior volunteers to work in public schools.
The Lorraine and Ralph Lubin Distinguished Visiting Professorship in Healthcare Policy was established with a gift in memory of the parents of Dr. Madelon Lubin Finkel, professor of Clinical Healthcare Policy and Research and Director of the Office of Global Health Education at Weill Cornell.