Center on Aging and Disability Policy

The Center on Aging and Disability Policy at Mount Saint Mary College was established in 2006. The Center on Aging and Disability Policy promotes an interdisciplinary approach dedicated to excellence in research, scholarship, policy and practice in the field of gerontology, aging and disability studies and is a national resource for the Area Agencies on Aging (AAA).

Primary objectives of the Center on Aging and Disability Policy

  • to promote student interest and leadership in the fields of gerontology and disability policy
  • to provide opportunities to support student-faculty research in the fields of psychology, gerontology, education, human services, and social work
  • to review current practices, program designs, and policies that are found within human services networks 
  • to stimulate research inquiries within the fields of aging/disability services and public policy and provide opportunities to bridge the gap between research and practice
  • to analyze how human services are enhanced through the process of cross-system dialogue
  • to explore, describe, and measure both formal and informal interventions of care within the public, non-profit and private sectors
  • to encourage and sponsor student participation in local, state, and national professional organizations
  • to promote a deeper understanding of the relationship between research and policy, with a focus on planning, program development and measurement

Directors of the Center on Aging and Disability Policy are Lawrence T. Force, PhD, LCSW-R, and Jeffrey S. Kahana, J.D., PhD. Dr. Force, a gerontologist, has worked in the fields of aging and disabilities for more than three decades as an administrator, clinician, and educator. He recently published The Detoxing of Caregivers: Key Tips for Survival, Strength, and Patience, which provides practical tips and discusses strategies and skills to help both family members and professionals cope with the stresses of caregiving and Gerontology: An Interactive Text, 2nd edition, which integrates historical and current research in the field of aging and gerontology with cutting-edge technological platforms.  Dr. Kahana, a historian, is a prolific author who is engaged in studying public policy as it affects dependent groups. His most recent book, Disability and Aging: Learning from Both to Empower the Lives of Older Adults, co-authored with Eva Kahana, was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Book. 

In addition to conducting and supporting research in the fields of aging and disability policy, the Center on Aging and Disability Policy sponsors: ‘Aging United”  a student-led College Club that provides opportunity for leadership and community-based service for our students in the field of: aging, gerontology and disability. The Center on Aging and Disability Policy has initiated several projects that provide opportunities to connect research and scholarship with theory and practice. Initially, funded by a National Institute on Health and National Institute on Aging (NIH / NIA) grant the Center on Aging and Disability Policy has partnered with numerous Community-Based Agencies (private, non-profit and public agencies)  in the areas of: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), caregiving, grandparents raising grandchildren, autism,  intellectual and developmental disabilities, elder abuse awareness, spinal cord recovery and addictions and recovery, thereby, creating opportunities for research and community-based engagement for our students. Most recently, the Center on Aging and Disability Policy was awarded a three-year, $600,000 grant by the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (NYS DDPC) to provide 1,000 family caregivers of individuals with intellectual, developmental, and other disabilities with Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) training and support  The funded project, called ProActive Caring, created experiential learning opportunities for a number of Mount Saint Mary College students. It also positioned the Center on Aging and Disability Policy as a valuable community-based resource in the Hudson Valley and Statewide.


The Center on Aging and Disability Policy
Mount Saint Mary College
330 Powell Avenue, Newburgh, NY 12550

Lawrence T. Force, PhD, LCSW-R      
Professor of Psychology
 Portrait of: Jeff KahanaJeffrey S. Kahana, JD, PhD
Associate Professor of History