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RUSH University Students and Faculty Selected for Schaalman Fellowships

A physician comforts a senior man seated on a couch.

Three students and three faculty members from across RUSH University have been selected as 2023-24 Schaalman Faculty and Student Fellows by the RUSH Center for Excellence in Aging.

The center focuses on aspects of older adult care, including research, health policy, education and community health equity. It uses the lessons learned through research and applies it to clinical and community settings, improving how health professionals deliver care and more. The Schaalman Fellowships play a key role in the center's mission to foster the next generation of geriatric scholars dedicated to improving health care for older adults. 

Since 2018, Schaalman Senior Voices has amplified the voices of older adults through innovative programs and meaningful engagement. Schaalman Senior Voices now guides all of the center's activities to ensure that our community, as well as current and future health care professionals, learn what matters most to adults as they age.

Inspired by the late Rabbi Herman E. Schaalman, especially his commitment to crossing boundaries and continuous search for answers, the Center for Excellence in Aging has expanded its programming to strengthen its mission.

“The Schaalman Fellowships have allowed both students and faculty across RUSH to dive deeper into the 4Ms of an Age-Friendly Health System, recognizing the potential strong positive impacts on the older adults we serve,” says Erin Emery-Tiburcio, PhD, ABPP, the center's co-director.  “Faculty fellows have begun expanding geriatric curriculum across disciplines in the university, and student fellows have conducted projects with RUSH staff and our older adult patients to assure that we are listening to what matters to older adults, and addressing their medication, mobility, and mentation needs.”

The students and faculty selected for this fellowship are:

2023-24 Student Fellows

  • Ismael Byers, RUSH College of Nursing, second year master’s student
  • Stephanie Erickson, RUSH Medical College, fourth year student
  • Craig Simmons, RUSH University College of Health Sciences, second year Speech-Language Pathology Master’s student

2023-24 Faculty Fellows

Each fellow will receive a stipend to implement their project. They will also be provided mentorship by a faculty expert in aging, training, skills, resources, education, and networking opportunities to become leaders in aging and expand their geriatric knowledge.

Past fellowships have also impacted RUSH’s position as a leader as an age-friendly health system and strengthened its mission to advance care for older adults and their families. The projects developed by the fellows from the 2022-23 cohort aimed to improve patient care at RUSH and in the community as well as in education through curriculum modifications in the RUSH colleges. You can watch videos highlighting past Schaalman Fellowship projects here.