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2024 Stein Institute's Jackuelyn Harris Award for Excellence in Aging Research

The Center for Healthy Aging and the Stein Institute's Jackuelyn Harris Award for Excellence in Aging Research is named in honor of Dr. Jackuelyn M. Harris, whose early career was dedicated to geriatric psychiatry and senior care. Dr. Harris was the inaugural fellow in the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry at UCSD and VA, and she later became the Co-Director of the program, which is now the largest of its kind in the nation. This award recognizes a graduating student who has shown exceptional interest, dedication, and success in aging research, embodying the compassion and generosity that Dr. Harris exemplified.

Congratulations to Heidi Bahn!

Graduating Medical Student Heidi Bahn is the 2024 recipient of the Jackuelyn Harris Award. She received this award in person at the Class of 2024 Senior Awards Luncheon on Saturday, June 1.



Heidi's exceptional commitment to geriatric care, demonstrated through scholarly initiatives, leadership, and active participation in geriatrics programs, aligns seamlessly with the values and criteria set forth by this esteemed award.Her dedication became even more evident when she worked on innovative intergenerational mentorship program during the challenging times of the pandemic. Heidi's enthusiasm and excitement for this project were palpable, underscoring her genuine passion for fostering connections and a sense of belonging among different generations.

Notably, she successfully competed for a Sanford Scholars Med Gap award between her third and fourth year of medical school.The project, which she designed herself with mentorship from Dr. Desiree Shapiro and in partnership with the Center for Healthy Aging's Living Lab at Belmont Village Senior Living, was the creation and evaluation of a School of Medicine elective in which medical students partnered with residents of Belmont Village to gather their life stories.Modeled off the successful VA program called "My Life, My Story", Heidi expanded the usual scope of the storytelling activity to include didactics for the students and group activities for the students and residents in addition to the one-on-one interviews to gather stories.

Despite facing numerous challenges, Heidi's commitment to the intergenerational mentorship program remained unwavering. She invested countless hours, including late nights, weekends, and holiday breaks, demonstrating a proactive approach through regular meetings to refine and adapt the initiative. The success of this program not only showcased her dedication but also attracted additional funding, leading to the establishment of a medical student adaptation through the Sanford Empathy and Compassion Institute at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

Heidi was integral in the adaptation of "My Life, My Story" to all first-year medical students as part of the new CARE course led by Dr. Lisa Eyler.She assisted with the development of the assignment and materials and led a panel of students and older adults who had participated in her elective to introduce the idea of storytelling to the CARE students. Heidi's impact extended beyond the initial program, as she spearheaded the creation of a newly established elective that brought together medical students and older adults. This initiative aimed to promote connectedness, empathy, compassion, and kindness among future physicians through the art of storytelling and community building. Heidi's leadership and dedication to the geriatric community were further highlighted by her ability to inspire others to join the cause.

Heidi exemplifies Dr. Harris' qualities:she is caring, generative, and committed to improving the lives of older adults and teaching the next generation of clinicians how to care for them.Heidi also understands, as Dr. Harris did, the importance of rigorous science to provide an evidence base for the programs that she designs.

Congratulations Heidi!