Tara Cortes of NYU College of Nursing Receives Three-Year Appointment from US Secretary of Health and Human Services

Tara Cortes of NYU College of Nursing Receives Three-Year Appointment from US Secretary of Health and Human Services

Tara A. Cortes, PhD, RN, FAAN, is a Professor of Geriatric Nursing at New York University’s (NYU) Rory Meyers College of Nursing as well as Executive Director of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing. After recently receiving an invitation from the 22nd United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, Sylvia Burwell, Cortes is the first nurse appointed to serve on the Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry.

The Advisory Committee was established in 1998 to advise the Secretary on significant matters concerning policy and program development. It is also the duty of the committee to present recommendations on issues from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Bureau of Health Workforce which includes family medicine, general internal medicine, general pediatrics, general dentistry, pediatric dentistry, and physician assistant programs.

Consisting of seventeen members appointed by the Secretary, the Advisory Committee members are appointed based on their competence, interest, and knowledge of the mission of the professional involved as stipulated by the Public Health Service Act. Prospective candidates must be established leaders among practicing health professionals engaged in training and influencing the next generation of healthcare professionals.

Cortes’ appointment to the committee is followed by four grant awards from the Department of Health and Human Services, Human Resources and Services Administration. Each of the grants is focused on interdisciplinary care models, geriatric workforce enhancement, and community activation in the care of older adults. Her most recent grant, the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program Grant, awarded Cortes $2.5M over three years to implement a Community-Clinical Primary Care of Older Adults to partner clinical and community based organizations through geriatric education of interprofessional teams and community advocates, creating a care coordination model between primary care and community based organizations.

Cortes is honored to have been asked to work with the Secretary and humbled by the opportunity to collaborate with the extraordinary committee, the people whom she calls the “pillars of our profession.” As a member of the committee, Cortes will work toward addressing challenges facing healthcare professionals and identify opportunities for growth and improvement.