Dr. Branch is a Professor Emeritus in
the Community and Family
Health and the Health Policy and Management departments at the College of Public Health at the University of South Florida, and he previously was dean of the College of Public Health at the University of South Florida. Before that he was a Research Professor in Duke University's Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development (1995 – 2002), and was the Director of Duke's MD-MPH Program and Director of its Long-Term Care Research Program. He has also held faculty appointments from Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health from 1978 to 1986 (and an adjunct appointment at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine from 1986 to the present), from Boston University School of Medicine from 1986 to 1996, and an adjunct appointment from Tufts University School of Medicine from 1984 to 1992.
He contributes regularly to the health policy field as evidenced by his over 150 articles in peer-reviewed journals and his over 50 book chapters and monographs. He currently is the co-editor of the Journal of Aging and Health, was the editor-in-chief of The Gerontologist, on the editorial board of two other professional journals, and reviews for several others every year.
He also has been elected chairman of two major gerontological professional organizations – the Gerontological Health Section of the American Public Health Association and the SRPP Section of the Gerontological Society of America. He is a Fellow in the GSA. The Gerontological Health Section of the APHA has honored him by naming the annual award for best doctoral research the Laurence G. Branch Student Research Award.
Dr. Branch's research responsibilities include being Director of the Massachusetts Health Care Panel Study since it inception in 1974 through the present, Director of the Disability Substudy of the Framingham Heart Study from 1976 to 1980, and a co-investigator of the East Boston EPESE study for the National Institute on Aging from 1982-1989. He was responsible for the evaluation of the On Lok replications from 1991-1995.
His government experience is also extensive. He has served as a member of the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics that advises the Secretary of Health and Human Services on the adequacy of the federal statistical system. He has served as chairman of the National Committee's Subcommittee on Long-term Care Statistics. He has served on numerous study sections for the NIH, HCFA, AOA, NCHSR, and the VA, as well as on panels for the National Academy of Sciences. He was a member of the 1981 and the 1995 White House Conferences on Aging, and has given invited congressional testimony on several occasions.
Dr. Branch was appointed to the Board of the Armed Forces Retirement Homes from 1996 to 2000, a federal agency which operates two retiree life care communities of 1,500 –2,000 residents and 840 employees, with annual expenditures of $60-65 million, and a trust fund of $120-130 million. He chaired the Strategic Planning Committee from 1996-1999, and was appointed Vice-Chair of the Board in 1998. He was executive director in 1999-2000.
Dr. Branch's involvement with the health care industry is also substantial. He chaired the Mercy Service for Aging Board from its inception in 1984 through 1989, and continued on its Board through 1991. During his chairmanship, the Sisters of Mercy of Detroit organization acquired nearly 3,000 nursing home beds to become the largest nonprofit provider in Michigan. The parent organization, Mercy Health Services, primarily provides acute hospital care through over 6,000 beds in Michigan and Iowa, with 1990 revenues in excess of $1.4 billion. He served as chairperson of the Mercy Health Services Research Advisory Group (1993-1996) that oversaw all the health services research efforts in the system. He was also a principal of Later Life Communities that developed life care communities in the Northeast. Previously, he was a founding Board member (1980-1988) of North Hill, a 340-apartment and 60-bed life care community in Needham, Massachusetts, and served as President of the Board during the initial occupancy and operation of the community (1985-1988). He is a licensed nursing home administrator in Massachusetts.
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