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Institute Advisors

Medical Advisor

Kevin O'Neil MD, FACP
Medical Advisor, Institute for Optimal Aging

Dr. Kevin O'Neil is the Optimum Life Medical Director for Brookdale Senior Living.  He is a Clinical Professor in the Department. of Aging and Mental Health at the University of South Florida. 

Dr. O'Neil moved to Sarasota, Florida in 1984 where he practiced Internal Medicine and Geriatrics. He was named Sarasota's Best Doctor in 2004 and is listed in America's Top Doctors. He was appointed to the Board of Governors of Hospital Corporation of American in 1988 by Dr. Thomas Frist, Sr.   Previously, Dr. O'Neil was an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School where he taught Internal Medicine and Geriatrics in the residency program. 

Dr. O'Neil is a co-editor and contributing author of the Optimal Aging Manual, which Art Linkletter has called "The Great Master Book for the Boomers."

Dr. O'Neil is a graduate of Boston College and the Georgetown University School of Medicine.  He completed his internship in Internal Medicine at the Washington Hospital Center and his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.  He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and holds a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Geriatric Medicine.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and a member of the American Geriatrics Society.


Scientific Advisory Board Members

Mark Lachs MD, MPH
Scientific Advisory Board Member, Institute for Optimal Aging

Dr. Mark Lachs is Director of Geriatrics for the New York Presbyterian Health System, Co-Chief of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, and a tenured Professor of Medicine at the College. He is also the Irene F. and I. Roy Psaty Distinguished Clinical Professor of Medicine.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the NYU School of Medicine, he completed a residency in Internal Medicine at The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine. In 1988 he became a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at Yale where he also earned a MPH degree in chronic disease epidemiology. He spent four years on the Yale Faculty before coming to Cornell to lead the Geriatrics Program.

Dr. Lachs' major area of interest is the disenfranchised elderly, and he has published widely in the area of elder abuse and neglect, adult protective services, the measurement of functional status, ethics, and the financing of health care. His many honors and awards include an American College of Physicians Teaching and Research Scholarship, a National Institute on Aging Academic Leadership Award, and A Paul Beeson Physician Faculty A Scholarship. He is also the recipient of funding from the National Institute of Health to study the impact of crime on the physical and emotional health of older adults. Recently, he was asked to serve and an advisor for the World Health Organization on Elder Abuse.

In January of 2000, Dr. Lachs became the first director of the Cornell Center for Aging Research and Clinical Care (CARCC), a multidisciplinary group of scientists, clinicians, and educators who seek to speed scientific advances from the bench to bedside, teach geriatric medicine to physicians-in-training at all levels, and create a trans-institutional community of gerontologists at Cornell. He also sits on the Board of the American Federation for Aging Research.

Dr. Lachs' greatest passion is practicing and teaching geriatric medicine in the outpatient hospital, long term care, and house call setting. He maintains a practice at the Irving Sherwood Wright Center on Aging, a community based ambulatory care practice for older adults, which he founded with Dr. Ronald Adleman in 1998.

Karl Pillemer PhD

Scientific Advisory Board Member, Institute for Optimal Aging

Karl Pillemer is Professor of Human Development at Cornell University and Professor of Gerontology at the Weill Cornell Medical College.  He is also Director of the Cornell Institute for Translational Research on Aging, a center for applied gerontological research and evaluation funded by the National Institute on Aging.  Dr. Pillemer has worked extensively on the topic of maximizing quality of care on residential living arrangements for older persons, including nursing home care and assisted living. In particular, he has focused on discovering ways in which staff training and development can improve both employee and resident outcomes. 

He has designed and tested a number of long-term care interventions, including Partners in Caregiving, an award-winning program that improves communication and cooperation between family members and staff, and the Retention Specialist Project, which helps reduce turnover among employees.  Related areas of interest include research on social networks and social support of older persons and methods of preventing social isolation; intergenerational relations; and environmental activism among older persons.  Dr. Pillemer is the author of a number of books for the long-term care industry, including Solving the Frontline Crisis in Long-Term Care and The Resident Assistant's Survival Guide, as well as many scientific publications.

Dr. Pillemer has a BA in Sociology from Boston University and earned his MA and PhD in Sociology at Brandeis University.

Bruce Robinson MD, MPH

Scientific Advisory Board Member, Institute for Optimal Aging

Dr. Robinson began working for Sarasota Memorial Hospital in September 1998 as Chief of Geriatrics. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Central Florida in Orlando and completed his M.D. degree and received a Masters in Public Health at the University of South Florida.

After three years in the US Navy as a Flight Surgeon, he completed his Internal Medicine residency at the University of South Florida in Tampa. His geriatrics training was at Amersham, England and Harvard Medical School in Boston. In addition to serving as Sarasota Memorial Hospital's Chief of Geriatrics and Director of the Memory Disorder Clinic, Dr. Robinson is also the Medical Director of the Pines of Sarasota nursing home, Clinical Professor and Geriatrics Clerkship Director at the Florida State University College of Medicine and Professor at USF's College of Medicine.

Dr. Robinson is board certified in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics. He is also a Certified Medical Director for long-term care facilities. He has extensive experience in the primary care of older persons in nursing homes, assisted living, and the community. He has more than 50 publications in national journals, and serves as Associate Editor for the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society and on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. He has served in a leadership role through committees and advisory groups for numerous organizations at the local, state and national level including the American College of Physicians, American Geriatrics Society and the American Medical Directors Association.

Dr. Robinson is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, Gerontological Society of America and the American Geriatrics Society. He is listed in the national edition of "Best Doctors in America".


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