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Thursday November 30, 2000

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New co-directors of Arizona Center on Aging named

By Jeremy Duda

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Emphasis of center's research to change

The Arizona Center on Aging announced a change in structure yesterday, although the change was made in August.

Evan Kligman, a clinical professor of public health, and Linda Phillips, a professor of nursing and dean associate for research in the UA College of Nursing, were named co-directors of the Center on Aging after former co-director Jack Boyer stepped down.

Phillips earned her doctorate in nursing from the UA in 1980 and joined the UA College of Nursing faculty in 1982. She has received several grants in the past for her research, the most recent of which was a grant from the National Institute of Aging for her research on abuse by elderly women against their caregivers.

Kligman, who also graduated from the UA medical school in 1980, was director of the geriatric program at the UA family and community medicine department and became department head in 1992. He has written extensively on healthy aging and clinical prevention.

"We're very concerned with improving the quality and the amount of programs for the elderly," he said.

The appointment of new co-directors signals a change in the focus of the center's work, Boyer said.

"Its going to be more focused on aging well and how we can help people to do that," Phillips said.

The former emphasis of the center's work was providing medical care to elders and how to better assess their needs.

Boyer, who is still chief of the geriatrics section in the UA College of Medicine, left his job as co-director in order to go into semi-retirement.

"I suspect the emphasis will be much different from what I had," Boyer said.

The Center on Aging began strictly as a center for geriatrics, the treatment of elderly patients. About 10 years ago, it was combined with the UA Long-term Care Gerontology program, which took the center out of the medical college. The center is now in the College of Public Health.

Gerontology is the long-term care of elderly patients, especially those who are suffering from dementia or are chronically sick.

"Geriatrics is a critical approach and gerontology is a scholarly one," he said.

Jeremy Duda can be reached at