Appoint Marc A. Cohen, Ph.D. to Lead Research Efforts

Contacts: Jack Cardinal


            (617) 275-2923/(781) 960-5208


Jaimee Ryan

UMB Gerontology Institute

(617) 287-7338

BOSTON – The Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation (the Center) and the Gerontology Institute of the University of Massachusetts, Boston (the Institute) today announced a partnership that will allow the organizations to advance evidence-based research and innovation to achieve person-centered care. This partnership will focus on contributing to the knowledge base and improving the care of people who need long-term services and supports – services that assist individuals who need help with daily activities such as dressing, preparing meals and administering medications. The new relationship will be led by Marc A. Cohen, Ph.D., a faculty member at UMass Boston who has been appointed as both the Director of the Center for Long-Term Services and Supports at the university’s John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies and Research Director at the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation.

“We are delighted to work with the Gerontology Institute of UMass Boston to address how to best support people with complex health needs to improve the quality and value of the care they receive,” said Dr. Ann Hwang, Director of the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation. “Marc’s expertise in health care financing and long term care, coupled with the Center’s consumer advocacy expertise and networks, presents a unique opportunity to make the health care system work better for consumers, especially those who are most vulnerable.”

In his new dual role with both organizations, Dr. Cohen will develop a research agenda that will help define best practices and supplement the evidence base needed to move the health and long-term services and supports system to provide better value and care to consumers – particularly those with personal and supportive care needs such as older adults and people living with disabilities. He will also offer guidance and insight to the Center’s network of consumer organizations as they work on state and community-based campaigns to push forward health system reforms that are responsive to consumer needs.

“We are excited to have someone of Marc’s caliber serving in a role that brings together the practical expertise of the Center and the policy and research knowledge of UMass Boston,” said Len Fishman, Director of The Gerontology Institute at UMass Boston. 

While Dr. Cohen will serve as the bridge between the two organizations, distinguished faculty at the Institute will be supporting a robust and applied research program in the area of long-term services and supports. The goal is to provide important new information to policymakers, providers and consumer organizations so that health system transformation and innovation is grounded in empirical evidence.

“Marc Cohen is uniquely suited to lead a research collaboration between these two organizations,” said Dr. Richard G. Frank, Margaret T. Morris Professor of Health Economics in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School. “For years, he has worked at the intersection of industry, academic research and public policy analysis. His analytic skills coupled with his policy engagement makes this a perfect fit.”

Dr. Cohen was most recently the Chief Research and Development Officer and former President and co-founder of LifePlans, Inc., a long-term care research and risk management company that works with both the public and private sector on issues related to the financing and delivery of long-term services and supports. Over the course of his career he has conducted extensive research and analysis on a variety of public policy issues affecting the financing and delivery of long-term services and supports to adult and vulnerable populations.

“It’s been my pleasure to have worked with Marc Cohen for years on LTSS and other issues,” said Judith Feder, Professor, founding Dean of the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University, and nationally known and respected thought leader on health policy. “I know Marc to be a knowledgeable researcher, powerful communicator and highly effective public educator – in short, a perfect leader for this exciting joint initiative.” 

Dr. Cohen has testified before Congress, the Bipartisan Policy Center and other organizations on issues related to long-term care financing and private insurance. A recognized thought-leader on issues affecting elder care financing, his work has been cited extensively in both academic outlets and in the mainstream press. Dr. Cohen received his Ph.D. from the Heller School at Brandeis University and his Master’s Degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


About the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation

The Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation at Community Catalyst is a hub devoted to teaching, learning and sharing knowledge to bring the consumer experience to the forefront of health innovation in order to deliver better care, better value and better health for every community, particularly vulnerable and historically underserved populations. The Center’s work is supported through investments in state and local advocacy, leadership development, research and evaluation, and consultative services to delivery systems and health plans. Visit or follow them on Twitter @CCEHI to learn more and follow their work.


About the University of Massachusetts Boston Gerontology Institute

Created by the Massachusetts Legislature in 1984, the Gerontology Institute conducts research and policy analysis in the field of aging, and offers lifelong learning and pension recovery services to older adults. The Institute has four priority areas—(1) productive aging; (2) economic security; (3) social and demographic research on aging; and (4) long-term services and supports—with special emphasis on low-income and minority elders.

Located within the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at UMass Boston, the Institute works with the Gerontology Department to further the university’s educational programs in gerontology, including a Ph.D. program in Gerontology, a Master’s program in the Management of Aging Services, and undergraduate programs in gerontology.