UArizona Health Sciences Faculty Honored as Gerontologist of the Year

Dr. Amanda Sokan was recognized for her work in translational medicine that focuses on aging research, curriculum development and public health policy.

The Arizona Geriatrics Society presented the Gerontologist of the Year award to University of Arizona Health Sciences researcher Amanda Sokan, PhD, MHA, LL.B, during the AzGS annual meeting Nov. 21. The award recognizes Dr. Sokan’s outstanding contributions to gerontology and related public health education in Arizona.

“I am so honored to receive this award from my colleagues in geriatrics and gerontology. It was a lovely surprise, and I’m so grateful to our strong community of geriatric professionals here in Arizona,” said Dr. Sokan, an assistant professor in the Division of Public Health Practice and Translational Research in the UArizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

The Arizona Geriatrics Society (AzGS) is a nonprofit association dedicated to supporting health and human service professionals who advance the care of older adults throughout the state. The AzGS promotes informed policy and practice to improve the health and wellness of the state’s elderly.

“The people I have the opportunity to work with in our geriatric care community are outstanding,” Dr. Sokan said. “We share a common passion and support each other so that we can address the diverse needs of the older adult population in our state with the best possible care, compassion and expertise. The award winners from this year and previous years are truly dedicated physicians and professionals, and I’m humbled to be counted among them.”

Dr. Sokan is an advocate and practitioner of translational research, which applies knowledge gained in the laboratory to medical and social practices in the community. Her work emphasizes a knowledge-based approach to health equity in aging populations.

“Dr. Sokan has been an outstanding research colleague in geriatric medicine,” said Nimit Agarwal, MD, director of the Division of Geriatrics at the UArizona College of Medicine – Phoenix and AzGS Geriatrician of the Year in 2019. “She understands the connection between research and practice, and she works from a place of true compassion for the elderly. She always seeks to support our underserved elderly populations and ensure they receive the best geriatric care possible. It is a privilege to work with her.”

Dr. Sokan has held faculty positions in gerontology and health administration, and she has performed consultancy work on aging issues and program evaluation. She provides consulting, advocacy and counseling services on supportive caregiving to family members and caregivers of persons with dementia and is a trained facilitator in dementia caregiving.

In addition, she is a member of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Brain Initiative, which seeks to improve understanding of brain health as a central part of public health practice through state and local partnerships and action plans.

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NOTE: Photo available upon request.

About the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health
Established in 2000, the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona Health Sciences is the first nationally accredited college of public health in the Southwest. Today the college remains the only accredited college of public health in the state of Arizona, with campuses in Tucson and Phoenix. The college enrolls more than 1,100 students per year across degree programs at the bachelor's degree, master's degree and doctoral levels. Through research, education and community engagement, the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health continues to find solutions to public health problems in Arizona, the Southwest and globally. For more information: (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram).

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences
The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. UArizona Health Sciences includes the Colleges of Medicine (Tucson and Phoenix), Nursing, Pharmacy, and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona, the greater Southwest and around the world to provide next-generation education, research and outreach. A major economic engine, Health Sciences employs nearly 5,000 people, has approximately 4,000 students and 900 faculty members, and garners $200 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Instagram).