National Program Office
G. Ory, Director
Marcia G. Ory, Ph.D., M.P.H., is professor,
Department of Social and Behavioral Health, School of Rural
Public Health (SRPH) at The Texas A&M Health Science
Center in College Station, Texas. As Director of the Program
on Healthy Aging she is committed to research and practice
that enhances the health and well-being of older adults.
In her role as director of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
sponsored Active for Life ® National Program
Office, she is examining how evidence-based programs can
be translated to community settings, expanding program research
and sustainability. As part of this effort she has established
a Learning Network to serve as the communications hub for
the Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging Initiative.
She is central to several activities within the School’s
CDC Prevention Research Center. She heads up the Research
Core conducting research on strategies for improving the
translation of diabetes prevention and treatment guidelines.
As a primary Investigator in the Texas Healthy Aging Research
Network she serves as a liaison to the Administration on
Aging’s Evidence-Based Program Initiative, helping
to guide two state-wide efforts funded by the Division of
Aging and Disability Services to implement and evaluate
evidence-based health promotion programs throughout Texas.
Additionally, she is the Principal Investigator on a five-year
NIH Health Maintenance Resource Center charged with serving
as the coordinating hub for a twenty-one grant consortium
designed to improve research on long-term behavioral change.
She has also initiated several new research projects and
related activities to examine the doctor older-patient relationship,
exploring factors affecting the nature and extent of lifestyles
communication and strategies for enhancing primary care
practice in this area.
Previously, Dr. Ory spent twenty
years in federal service as Chief of Social Science Research
on Aging in the Behavioral and Social Research Program,
National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health.
She holds a doctorate from Purdue University and a Masters
of Public Health from The Johns Hopkins University. She
has been the author of over 125 publications on a variety
of topics including self-care in later life, family caregiving
and dementia care, doctor-patient interactions, aging and
formal health care, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, women’s
health, minority health and aging, and translational research.
Dr. Ory is a distinguished alumnae of Purdue University,
Fellow of several professional organizations (American Academy
of Behavioral Research, Gerontological Society of America
and the Society for Behavioral Medicine) and a recipient
of numerous awards including the Polisher Institute Award
for Excellence in Applied Gerontology, the International
Council on Active Aging Industry Innovator Award, the Archstone
Foundation Award for Excellence in Program Innovation, the
Betty J. Cleckley Award for Excellence in Research on Minority
Health Issues, and the Texas Conference on Aging Cornerstone
Award.. Her dedication to enhancing the careers of new scholars
is aging is evident in her receipt of the Distinguished
Mentor Award from the Gerontological Society of America.
Diane M. Dowdy, Deputy Director
Diane M. Dowdy, Ph.D, is deputy director of the RWJF Active
for Life National Program Office at The Texas A&M
Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health. She
is also assistant professor at the School of Rural Public
Health. Prior to this role, she was director of the Options
for Health Department at Scott & White Memorial Hospital.
She holds a Doctorate and Master of Science in Health Education
from Texas A&M University and a Bachelor of Science
in Nursing from Duke University. Her professional interests
include health promotion and community health education
services, facilitating positive lifestyle changes, marketing
of health services, and consumer health issues. She has
made numerous presentations statewide on behavior change
and positive lifestyle choices with a focus on the healthy
use of humor and stress management. Dr. Dowdy is a founding
board member of the Americares Foundation which was established
to improve the healthcare of medically underserved Americans.
Brigid Sanner, Communications and Marketing Consultant
the principal of Sanner & Company, serves as a communications
and marketing consultant for the Active for Life National
Program Office. She works as a consultant to a number of
nonprofit organizations and foundations, including the Robert
Wood Johnson Foundation. She focuses on health, wellness
and lifestyle issues. Her experience includes twenty plus
years with the American Heart Association at the national
as well as community level. She has directed national communications
and advocacy efforts and managed national news media relations,
public relations, federal government relations, public service
advertising and field advocacy programs. In addition, she
has extensive experience working in social marketing.
She holds a bachelor of science degree
in journalism from Kent State University.
Laughlin, Student Worker
Amanda is a part-time student worker
for the NPO and is currently pursuing her bachelor's degree
in biology from Texas A&M University.