School of Nursing

February 23, 2018

Basia Belza named next de Tornyay Center director

Azita Emami

Basia Belza

Dr. Basia Belza

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Basia Belza, The Aljoya Endowed Professor of Aging and an expert in evidence- and community-based health promotion programs for older adults, has been named the next director of the de Tornyay Center for Healthy Aging. Dr. Belza’s appointment will be effective April 1, 2018.

I would like to thank Dr. Barbara Cochrane, who has served as the center’s director since 2005 and graciously continued to lead the de Tornyay Center during this selection process. She will continue to work closely with Dr. Belza during the Spring Quarter to help ensure a smooth transition for the de Tornyay Center operations and research.

Dr. Belza joined our faculty in 1991. She has consistently received research and training grant funding as a PI or co-investigator from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other agencies over the past 15 years. She has served as lead of two inaugural Coordinating Centers for CDC’s thematic networks including the Healthy Aging Research Network (2009-2014) and now the Healthy Brain Research Network (HBRN) (2014-2019).  The HBRN is charged with developing a research and translation agenda and implementing actions in the Alzheimer’s Disease Road Map. These networks serve as models to other scholars due to their highly productive and collaborative cross-sector and multidisciplinary initiatives.

Dr. Belza has authored over 100 scholarly publications. She developed the Multidimensional Assessment of Fatigue scale that has been translated in 45 languages and used as a fatigue measure in 102 published studies written by investigators from 17 countries.  A common thread through her research is her steadfast commitment to addressing the ‘sitting’ epidemic and improving physical activity levels of older adults. She will be the first to tell you that the chair you are sitting in could lead to your demise.

She has developed and taught undergraduate and graduate courses and served as a mentor for students and visiting scholars studying healthy aging.

From Dr. Belza:

“My vision of the de Tornyay Center for Healthy Aging is a vibrant community of faculty, students, alumni, visiting scholars and community members who collaborate on aging initiatives, conduct research, secure funding, train our next generation of leaders, and are welcoming to those in and outside the School of Nursing with shared interests and passion. The center faculty and advisory group play critical roles in developing and launching a center strategic plan, infusing healthy aging content and innovative teaching strategies in our curriculum and disseminate our learnings.”

“Together, we can position the de Tornyay Center as a national center of excellence.”

I look forward to collaborating with Dr. Belza in her new role as the de Tornyay Center director. I know she will work tirelessly to honor and advance Dean Emerita Rheba de Tornyay’s vision for the center.

Congratulations, Dr. Belza!