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AdvantAge Initiative
c/o Center for Home Care Policy and Research
Visiting Nurse Service of New York

5 Penn Plaza, 14th Fl
New York, New York 10001
Phone: (212) 609-1537
Fax: (212) 290-3756
Email: mia.oberlink@vnsny.org


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Staff Members:

Penny Hollander Feldman, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator

Mia Oberlink, M.A.
Project Director

Michal Gursen, M.P.H., M.S.
Research Analyst

Alexis Stern
Administrative Coordinator

Penny Hollander Feldman, Ph.D., is Vice President for Research and Evaluation at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) and Director of the Center for Home Care Policy and Research. Prior to joining VNSNY, Dr. Feldman served on the faculties of the Kennedy School of Government and the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health, where she continues as Visiting Lecturer. At the Center for Home Care Policy and Research, she directs projects focused on improving the quality, outcomes and cost-effectiveness of home-based care, supporting informed policy-making by long-term care decision-makers, and helping communities promote the health, well-being and independence of people with chronic illness or disability.

Mia Oberlink, M.A., joined the Center for Home Care Policy and Research in June 1999 and is the Project Director of the AdvantAge Initiative.

Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Oberlink spent 13 years writing about biomedical and social issues in aging, first at the Department of Geriatrics and Adult Development at The Mount Sinai Medical Center and, more recently, at the International Longevity Center, where she was Director of Communications.

Ms. Oberlink received both an undergraduate and graduate degree in French Literature from New York University. She also obtained a Master of Arts degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from New York University.

Michal Gursen, Research Analyst, joined the Center for Home Care Policy and Research in May 2000. At the Center, Ms. Gursen participates in design and analysis of the AdvantAge Initiative survey, and produces reports based on survey results.

Before coming to the Center, Ms. Gursen worked at the New York State Psychiatric Institute where she studied psychoeducational interventions for people with mental illness. Prior to that, Ms. Gursen worked at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where she researched psychosocial pathways leading to drug use. She received her M.P.H. in Health Policy and Management with a concentration in Effectiveness and Outcomes Research, and M.S. in Social Work from Columbia University.

Alexis Stern joined the Center for Home Care Policy and Research in August 1999. She is the Administrative Coordinator for the AdvantAge Initiative and several other projects.

Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Stern worked for various non-profit organizations, including Food & Hunger Hotline and, most recently, the International Longevity Center, an affiliate of The Mount Sinai Medical Center. She also worked for several years as an elementary school science teacher.