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In 2010, the National Institutes of Health selected our team from among hundreds submitting competing grant applications to create the L.A. CAPRA. We seek supporters who share our passion for keeping older adults healthy and independent, and who want to see their contribution make a real and lasting difference in the quality of life of older adults. Please contact Dr. Catherine Sarkisian csarkisian@mednet.ucla.edu or the UCLA Development Office (Becky Mancuso-Winding, telephone 310-825-5328) with your thoughts and ideas. Below we list some of the available opportunities:

1. Research Fellowships. One exciting way to have an impact on large numbers of older adults as well as on the next generation of scientists and leaders in aging is to support an annual post-doctoral research fellowship in a specific area aligned with our mission of improving the quality of life of older adults. L.A. CAPRA can provide the infrastructure to recruit the highest caliber candidates, help with research operations and local and national dissemination of findings; the fellowship can be in the name of the donor and/or the content area and would support a post-doctoral fellow to complete a 1-year project aimed at improving the quality of life of older adults. Scope and area of focus flexible. Depending on scope of work and level of support this would cost approximately $100-250K per year. Possible areas of focus include but are not limited to:

2a. health promotion/self-care management
2b. long-term care
2c. eliminating racial and socioeconomic health disparities
2d. dementia and/or caregiver issues
2e. senior advocacy/community engagement
2f. enhancing program development for the “new old” i.e. boomers in the face of changing perceptions of retirement
2g. disease specific programs ie diabetes, arthritis, cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease etc.

2. Pilot research projects. Another exciting way to make an impact is to provide support for research operations to conduct one or more pilot projects aimed at improving the quality of life and maintaining independence of older adults. The LA CAPRA would provide the infrastructure to select and support investigators of the highest caliber. Successful pilot projects could subsequently be tested on a larger scale through the national network of senior centers supported by the Administration on Aging. Projects could be topic-specific or more generally supportive of the L.A. CAPRA mission. Scope and area of focus flexible. Depending on scope, pilot projects would cost approximately $75-150K per year.

3. Large scale research projects. Support for more ambitious projects such as system-level implementation of previously tested health promotion or physical activity programs or new innovative health promotion programs could have a tremendous impact and like the pilot projects, potential for national dissemination. Depending on scope, larger research projects would cost approximately $300K-1 million per year.

4. Creation of research participant registry. The fact that so few seniors participate in research studies has led to a major knowledge gap: physicians and other health care providers literally don’t know how to advise older patients because the data simply does not exist. The problem is even worse for Latino and/or non-white seniors. With L.A. CAPRA’s extensive network of community sites, we have a tremendous opportunity to address this problem by creating and maintaining an ethnically diverse registry of older adults who want to volunteer for research programs. To create and maintain such a registry for 3 years would cost approximately $200K.

5. Endowed Chair for L.A. CAPRA Director. Support for the L.A. CAPRA Director would free her from some of her other commitments and provide her protected time to devote to increasing the impact of the Center. Endowments are naming opportunities and typically range from $1.5-4 million.

6. Making L.A. CAPRA permanent. An endowment (~$5-8 million) would allow LA CAPRA (with a new name in honor of the donor) to function indefinitely in its mission of supporting community partnered research helping older adults stay healthy and independent. Specifically, interest revenue would support field and office staff to maintain and enrich the academic-community partner database, to connect academic scientists with community partners, to support research programs, and to disseminate research programs to the national community.