Center for Healthy Aging

The Center for Healthy Aging, led by Walter Nieri, MD, was established to explore the multiple factors contributing to healthy aging to enhance the quality of life for older adults.

The center conducts applied science research, The Longevity Study: Learning from our Elders, led by Dr. Nieri and David Coon, PhD, professor of Psychology at Arizona State University. This research complements the extensive research that Banner Sun Health Research Institute has done on diseases that impact seniors.

The end result of our research is to take findings from our research and provide education and programs to our seniors in the community, to those caring for our seniors, and the policymakers that make eldercare decisions in an effort to promote healthy aging. 

Facts on the Center for Healthy Aging and the Longevity Study

  • First longevity research program in Arizona aims at understanding the psychosocial, cognitive, medical and physical factors contributing to healthy aging.
  • Data collected since 2006 allows information to be evaluated over time, making our study longitudinal and more appealing for larger collaborative research opportunities. 
  • Over 1200 participants in the longevity study 50 years of age and older, recruited throughout the state. 
  • Our focus is on interviewing the oldest old, 80+ year olds, in which we have over 600 active participants. This is especially important as there is inadequate research on this fastest growing segment of the population.
  • 75 percent of our participants live in retirement communities, the majority of which live in the Sun Cities, comprising approximately 100,000 seniors over age 55.
  • The Center has a large number of professional volunteer interviewers that provide face to face interviews at BSHRI or at their residence along with professional volunteer office staff who provide data entry, quality checking, making interview appointments etc. 
  • Multiple Center for Healthy Aging abstracts and posters have been presented at local and national conferences including the Gerontological Society of America, American Geriatrics Society and Arizona Geriatrics Society.
  • The Center for Healthy Aging also provides community education and lectures are being presented throughout the Valley.
  • CHA works with the Banner Family Medicine Geriatric Fellowship Program under the direction of Nieri to train specialists in Geriatric Medicine and provide research opportunities on healthy aging. Contact us at the Banner Family Medicine Geriatric Fellowship Program or contact Nieri.

For more information, please contact, Kathy O’Connor, MS, the study's coordinator, at (623) 832-7662.