Zimmerman Earns GSA’s 2022 Robert W. Kleemeier Award

For Immediate Release
July 26, 2022

Contact: Todd Kluss
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The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) — the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging — has chosen Sheryl Zimmerman, PhD, FGSA, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as the 2022 recipient of the Robert W. Kleemeier Award.

This distinguished honor is given annually to a GSA member in recognition for outstanding research in the field of gerontology. It was established in 1965 in memory of Robert W. Kleemeier, PhD, a former president of the Society whose contributions to the quality of life through research in aging were exemplary. 

The award presentation will take place at GSA’s 2022 Annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held from November 2 to 6 in Indianapolis, Indiana. This conference is organized to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers, educators, and practitioners who specialize in the study of the aging process.

At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Zimmerman is the University Kenan Distinguished Professor; co-director of the Program on Aging, Disability, and Long-Term Care in the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research; and associate dean and director of aging research in the School of Social Work.

Zimmerman is an internationally recognized research expert in long-term services and supports for older adults, including those living with dementia. She works closely in a leadership capacity with the Alzheimer’s Association, GSA, the National Center for Assisted Living, and the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine and other organizations on initiatives addressing a range of issues related to care, outcomes, and quality of life for older adults. Her work is especially influential in the field of assisted living, the largest residential long-term care provider in the U.S.

In 1996, Zimmerman founded and continues to direct the Collaborative Studies of Long-Term Care, the largest ongoing research consortium of thousands of nursing homes and assisted living settings that have participated in more than 70 projects with continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and numerous foundations.

Her research includes more than 50 grants she has received as principal investigator, and 75 other grants on which she served as co-principal investigator or investigator. From these projects, she has written five books, 25 chapters, and 420 peer-reviewed manuscripts.

Zimmerman is a GSA fellow, which represents the highest category of membership within the Society, and previously served as chair of GSA’s Social Research, Policy, and Practice Section and an inaugural member of GSA’s Board of Directors. She is currently the co-editor-in-chief of JAMDA – The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, and has served as guest editor for numerous other journals.


The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society — and its 5,500+ members — is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA’s structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society.

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