Kelly G. Fitzgerald

Kelly G. Fitzgerald, PhD, MS, MPA

Guest Scientist

kelly.fitzgerald@zfg.uzh.ch

Function, duties and responsibilities

  • Responsible for the development of research focusing on older people and disasters
  • Advisor for visiting student researchers (summer internship experience)

Main research topics

  • Older people and disasters (emergency management – such as flooding, earthquakes, extreme heat and hurricanes)
    • Emergency preparedness of nursing homes
    • Roles, responsibilities, and training of health practitioners of older adults so that they can effectively provide care to older adults in a disaster situation.
  • Development of gerontological education

Recent Projects

  • The Roles and Responsibilities of Health Practitioners of Older Adults in Emergency Management (Two phase project) 
    (Funder: Public Health Agency of Canada and Division of Aging and Seniors)
  • Evaluation of the Preparedness of Massachusetts Nursing Homes to Respond to Catastrophic Natural or Human-Made Disasters
    (Funder: Charles H. Farnsworth Trust Aging Policy Research Fellowship)

Abbreviated CV

Education:

  • 2008 Ph.D. (Gerontology), University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA. (USA)
  • 2004 M.S. (Gerontology), University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA. (USA)
  • 2000 M.P.A. (Public Administration), Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA. (USA)
  • 1996 B.S. (Environmental Development), Southern Polytechnic State University, Marietta, GA. (USA)

Relevant Work Experience:

  • 2010-Present: Guest Scientist. University of Zürich, Center for Gerontology. Develop research on disasters and older adults.
  • 2009-2010: Contractor. Public Health Agency of Canada. Conduct research on the roles and responsibilities of health practitioners of older adults in emergency management.
  • 2008-2009: Network Coordinator. OPAN Cymru (Older People & Ageing Research and Development Network Wales). Swansea University.  Swansea, WALES.  Manage an ageing information network and promote and develop ageing research across Wales and internationally.
  • 2003-2008: Program Coordinator.  Massachusetts Association of Older Americans.  Boston, MA. Coordinate and manage mental health conferences.

Abbreviated List of Recent Presentations (last 2 years):

  1. 2009 “Cognitive Impairment: A Determinant of Vulnerability in Emergencies and Disasters.” Presented (with M. Gibson, J. Swan, M. Langill, K. Fitzgerald, P. MacCourt, and S. Hutchinson) at the 5th Canadian Consensus Conference on Dementia. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  2. 2009 “Increasing Visibility and Establishing a Unique Identity in a Larger Professional Organization: Experiences from the Emerging Scholar & Professional Organization (ESPO) in the US.” Presented at the 19th World Congress of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics.  Paris, France.
  3. 2009 “Disaster Preparedness of Nursing Homes: What Has Been Done and is it Enough?” Presented at the 19th World Congress of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics.  Paris, France.
  4. 2009 "A Study of Massachusetts Nursing Home Disaster Preparedness: Are they Ready" Presented at Changing Ageing Partnership Research Seminar. Queens University, Belfast, North Ireland.
  5. 2009 “How to Prepare the Unprepared: Training Older Adults to Plan for Natural or Human-Made Disasters.”  Presented at the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education 35th Annual Meeting and Educational Leadership Conference.  San Antonio, Texas.
  6. 2008 “Nursing Home Disaster Preparedness: A Discussion of How Facilities in Massachusetts (US) Have Prepared for Extreme Emergencies.”  Presented at the 2008 British Geriatric Society Fall Meeting.  Swansea, Wales.
  7. 2008 “Older Adults and Disasters: Reducing Vulnerability within the Crisis.”  Presented at the 2008 British Society of Gerontology Annual Scientific Meeting.  Bristol, England.
  8. 2008 “Disasters and Older People: Moving Forward with Research.” Presented at the OPAN Disasters and Older People Workshop I and II.  Swansea and Bangor, Wales
  9. 2008 “Massachusetts’ Nursing Home Disaster Preparedness.”  Presented at the Second International Workshop on Seniors and Emergency Preparedness. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
  10. 2008 “Nursing Home Disaster Preparedness: What Kinds of Training Do Staff Members’ Need to Respond to a Disaster?”  Presented at the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education 34th Annual Meeting and Educational Leadership Conference.  Baltimore, Maryland.

Current Professional Affiliations

  • International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics: Development Committee for the ICGSO (International Council of the Gerontology Student Organization)
  • Gerontological Society of America: Member and current Chair of ESPO (Emerging Scholar and Professional Organization). Also member of Public Policy Committee.          
  • Association for Gerontology in Higher Education: Currently member ofInternational Committee and Membership Committee and serve as the Student Committee Mentor.
  • Seniors and Emergency Preparedness—International Working Group on Health Professionals and Continuity of Health Services: Member
  • British Society of Gerontology: Member and past Chair of ERA (Emerging Researchers in Ageing)
  • Sigma Phi Omega National Gerontological Honor Society: Executive Committee Member at Large and Member of the Gamma Upsilon Chapter.

Additional Past Affiliations

  • American Red Cross: Disaster Team Leader. Major response activities includes 2005 Hurricane Katrina (Mississippi) and 2004 Hurricane Jeanne (Florida).
  • New Hampshire Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program: Certified Long-Term Care Ombudsman.