Dr. Sidney Katz
Sidney Katz, MD — physician, scientist, teacher, mentor, author, and public servant — pioneered the concept of active aging, championed the development of the field of geriatric care, and was responsible for the creation of local and national programs to enhance quality of life and improve long-term services for the elderly.
An advisor to U.S. and world leaders, a lifetime member of the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine, the co-director of the Stroud Program on the Science of Quality of Life in Aging at Columbia University, and a distinguished scholar at Benjamin Rose, Dr. Katz is listed in Who's Who in Health Care and was honored by dozens of organizations. In 2001, he received the Foundation for Health in Aging's Lifetime of Caring Award — an honor he shared with former president Jimmy Carter and writer Maya Angelou.
Dr. Katz, who retired in 2011, began his career in aging at a Benjamin Rose geriatric rehabilitation hospital in 1957. Throughout his career, which also included faculty positions at Case Western Reserve University, Michigan State University, and Brown University, Dr. Katz developed relationships with other professionals to improve the lives of older adults. Many of his partnerships had long-term impact on the nature of care for elders as well as aging policy:
- In the late 1950s, Dr. Katz led the staff of the Benjamin Rose Hospital in the creation of the Index of Independence in Activities of Daily Living. The ADL index continues to be widely used as a measure of functional independence for older adults.
- In the mid-1980s, Dr. Katz chaired the Institute of Medicine's Committee on Nursing Home Regulations. The report issued by the committee, "Improving the Quality of Care in Nursing Homes," provided the U.S. Congress with recommendations to improve quality of life and care in nursing homes.
- The Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1987 incorporated these Committee recommendations, including a mandate for the development of a national resident assessment system. Dr. Katz served with a consortium of professionals in the development of the system that became the Minimum Data Set.
- In 1989, Dr. Katz became the first Distinguished Scholar of the Margaret Blenkner Research Institute of Benjamin Rose. He is pictured with Dr. Farida Ejaz, Dr. Linda Noelker, Dr. Carol Whitlatch, and Dr. David Bass.
- Dr. Katz with his beloved wife Beverly in 2001 as he received the Lifetime of Caring Award.
- Lori Gerhard from the U.S. Adminstration on Aging presents Dr. Katz with an award at the 2007 launch of the Katz Policy Institute, recognizing his many contributions to the field of aging.
- Special guest speaker U.S Senator Sherrod Brown joined the celebration of Dr. Sidney Katz's 20th anniversary as Distinguished Scholar of the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging in 2009. Dr. and Beverly Katz are pictured with the senator (left).
- Dr. Sidney Katz and Beverly Katz celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary in 2011.
In 2007, the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging established the Katz Policy Institute (KPI) named in his honor to recognize his contributions to the field of aging. The Katz Policy Institute serves as an information and education resource for Benjamin Rose staff and the community. KPI helps inform public policy debates on issues affecting older adults and their caregivers and actively partners with national, state, and regional organizations that share our perspective on aging policy and legislation.
Dr. Katz passed away May 4, 2012, at the age of 88.
Read his Mythbuster interview.
Sidney Katz, MD: A New Paradigm for Chronic Illness and Long-Term Care
An examation the impact of Dr. Katz’s work by Linda S. Noelker, PhD and Richard Browdie, MBA
Read the 2013 article (pdf) or click here for Gerontologist
View video of the celebration of his 20th anniversary as Distinguished Scholar of the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging in 2009. Includes remarks from Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown.