Kathryn Hyer, Ph.D. MPP

Kathryn Hyer, Ph.D. MPP

MPP-Masters in Public Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 1977;
PhD, Arizona State University 1992
Associate Professor and Director, Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging
School of Aging Studies

Description of Research Interests

Kathryn Hyer’s research is on the organization, staffing, training, policies, and financing of long-term care in varied settings along the continuum of long term care. She is interested in the impact of State and federal regulations on assisted living and nursing home residents’ quality of care and quality of life, especially at the end of life. Her research includes program evaluation with a special emphasis on evaluation of geriatric educational interventions for health professionals and students.

Funded Research History

2008 - 2011 - Co-Principal Investigator, National Institute on Aging, SAFEHAVEN: Decision Support for Nursing Home Resident Disaster Evacuations $1,049,868

2001 - 2011 - Principal Investigator, Department of Elder Affairs, “Alzheimer’s Disease Training Curriculum and Training Provider Review and Approval program.” $636,007

2009 - Principal Investigator, Agency for Healthcare Administration, Report on Legislative Impact of Nurse Staffing on Access, Quality and Reimbursement in Florida Nursing Homes (2002-2007), $26,291

2006-2009 - Co-Principal Investigator, John A. Hartford Foundation, Florida Healthcare Education & Development Foundation Inc. “Hurricane and Disaster Preparedness for Long Term Care Facilities.” $361,557

2006-2007 -Co-Principal Investigator, Borchard Foundation “Hurricanes and Long-Term Care Facilities: Creating State Models for Legal and Regulatory Responsibility for Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery.” This project reviews the regulatory and statutory requirements of nursing homes in the hurricane impacted Gulf States prior and after the 2005 hurricane season. $20,000

2005-2007 - Principal Investigator, Commonwealth Fund Grant “Assessing Florida’s Innovations to Improve Nurse Staffing and Quality of Care in Nursing Homes.” $222,343

2005-2006 - Principal Investigator, Administration on Aging Grant “Florida’s Minority Elders, An Assessment of Physical and Mental Health Service Needs.” $1,371,338

1999-2004 - Co-Principal Investigator, John A. Hartford Foundation, Geriatric Interdisciplinary Team Training Program Resource Center.  Total grant is $1.4 million  USF subcontract

2001-2005 - Evaluator, (10%) Bureau of Health Professions, Interdisciplinary Training for Health Care in Rural Areas $613,000.  Candace Burns, PhD., RN Principle Investigator

2001-2005 -Principal Investigator, Statewide Dementia Training Initiative, $180,000 subcontract with Stein Gerontological Institute

2001-2002 - Principal Investigator, University Community Initiative Grant, University of South Florida “Creating new student markets for humanities courses through distance learning and outreach to place-bound seniors.” $13,603

2001 -Health Care Financing Administration, $5,000

2000-2005 - Principal Investigator “Developing a Program of Successful Aging in CCRCs: the Masterpiece Living Project.”  Westport Industries Senior Living Project, $135,000

2000-2001 - Co-Investigator, Task Force on Affordability and Availability of Long Term Care, $300,000

2000-2001 - Co-Principal Investigator, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Community-State Partnership to Improve End-of-Life Care, $10,000

2000-2001- Co-Investigator, Health Care Administration Medicaid Program Development, $165,000

2000 - Agency for Health Care Administration Training of State Surveyors on Managing Expectations, $2,000

1999-2000- Principal Investigator, Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, $9,000

1999-2000- Co-Investigator, Medicaid Elderly Recipient Performance Based Budgeting Florida Agency for Health Care Administration Medicaid Program Development, $165,000

1989-1992- Principal Investigator, Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, $20,000 Dissertation Support


Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan Software Application for Nursing Homes Opens in a new window

Publications (representative publications selected from over 50 published)

PubMed Publications Opens in a new window

Hyer, K., Brown, L.M., Polivka-West, L., & Berman, A. (2010) Helping nursing homes prepare for disasters. Health Affairs 29(10):1961-1965. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2010.0665:

Dosa, D., Feng, Z., Hyer, K., Brown, L.M., Thomas, K. & Mor, V. (2010). Effects of Hurricane Katrina on nursing facility resident mortality, hospitalization and functional decline. Disaster Medicine Public Health Preparedness, 4:S:28-S32.

Hyer, K., Molinari, V., Kaplan, M. & Jones, S.G. (2010). Credentialing Dementia Training: The Florida Experience. International Psychogeriatrics

Black, K. & Hyer, K. (2010). Person-centered mental health practice for people with dementia and their caregivers across the continuum of care. Best Practices in Mental Health: An International Perspective, 6(1), 33-46.

Hyer, K., Keefe, F., Brown, L.M., Krok, J., Vongxaiburana, E., & Atkins, M. (2010). Pain coping skills training for nursing home residents with pain: A preliminary study. Best Practices in Mental Health: An International Perspective, 6(1), 74-89.

Hyer, K., Brown, L.M., Thomas, K., Dosa, D., Bond, J., Polivka-West, L. & Schinka, J.A. (2010).Improving relations between emergency management offices and nursing homes during hurricane-related disasters. Journal of Emergency Management, 8(1), 57-66.

Brown, L.M., Hyer, K., Schinka, J.A., Mando, A., Frazier, D. & Polivka-West, L. (2010). Use of mental health services by nursing home residents after a disaster. Psychiatric Services, 61(1), 74-77

Thomas, K, Hyer, K, Andel, R & Weech-Maldonado, R., (2009). Unintended Consequences of Staffing Mandates: The Impact on Indirect Care. Medical Care Research and Review. Published online Dec 16, 2009.

Thomas, K.S., Hyer, K., Brown, L.M., Polivka-West, L. & Branch, L. (2009). Florida’s Model of Nursing Home Medicaid Reimbursement for Disaster-Related Expenses Gerontologist. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnp132

Molinari, V., Chiriboga, D., Branch, L.G., Cho, S., Turner, K., Guo, J. & Hyer, K. (2009) Provision of psychopharmacological services in nursing homes. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences. Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 65B: 57 – 60.

Hyer, K., Temple, A. & Johnson, C.E. (2009). Florida’s efforts to improve quality of nursing home care through nurse staffing mandates, regulation, and Medicaid reimbursement. Journal of Aging and Social Policy. 21(4), 318-337.

Hyer, K, & Brown, L.M., Christensen, J. & Thomas, K. (2009). Weathering the storm: Challenges to nurses providing care to nursing home residents during hurricanes. Applied Nursing Research, 22 (4) e9-e14.

Molinari, V., Hedgecock, D., Branch, L., Brown, L, M, & Hyer, K. (2009). Mental health services in nursing homes: A survey of nursing home administrative personnel. Aging and Mental Health, 13 (3), 477-486

Brown, L. M., Bruce, M., Hyer, K., Vongxaiburana, E., Mills, W, & Polivka-West, L. (2009). A Pilot Study Evaluating the Feasibility of Psychological First Aid for Nursing Home Residents. Clinical Psychologist, 32(3), 293-308.

Hyer, K, & Brown, L.M. (2008). The Impact of Event Scale - Revised: A quick measure of a patient's response to trauma. American Journal of Nursing. 108 (11), 60-68.

Dosa, D. M., Hyer, K., Brown, L. M., Artenstein, A. W., Polivka-West, L. M., & Mor, V. (2008). The controversy inherent in managing frail nursing home residents during complex hurricane emergencies. The Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 9 (8), 599-604.

Molinari, V., Merritt, S., Mills, W.L., Chiriboga, D., Conboy, A., & Hyer, K. (2008). Serious mental illness in Florida nursing homes: Interviews with stakeholders. Gerontology & Geriatrics Education 29 (1), 66-83.

Volicer, L., DeRuvo, L., Hyer, K., Piechniczek-Buczek, J., & Riordan, M. E. (2008). Development of a scale to measure quality of visits with relatives with dementia. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. 9 (5), 327-331.

Roscoe, L., & Hyer, K. (2008). Quality of life at the end of life for nursing home residents: Perceptions of hospice and nursing home staff members. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 35 (1), 1-9.

Hyer, K., Polivka-West, L., & Brown, L. M. (2007). Nursing homes and assisted living facilities: Planning and decision-making for sheltering in place or evacuation. Generations 31(4), 29-33.

Brown, L. M., Hyer, K., & Polivka-West, L. (2007). A comparative study of federal and state laws, rules, codes and other influences on nursing homes' disaster preparedness in the gulf coast states. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, (25)5, 655-675.

Reynolds, S. L., Haley, W. E., & Hyer, K. (2007). Expanding gerontology enrollments: Successful results of an innovative outreach program. Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, 28, 37-50.

Andel, R., Hyer, K., & Slack, A. (2007). Risk Factors for Nursing Home Placement in Older Adults Enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid. Journal of Aging and Health 19(2) 213-228.

Hyer, K., Brown, L., Berman, A., Polivka-West, L. (2006, August 29). Establishing and refining hurricane response systems for long-term care facilities. Health Affairs, 25, Article 10.1377. Retrieved from http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/abstract/hlthaff.25.w407v1

Williams, C., Molinari, V., Bond, J., Smith, M., Hyer, K., & Malphurs, J. (2006). Development of a curriculum for long term care nurses to improve recognition of depression in dementia. Educational Gerontology, 32(8), 647-667.

Kane, R. L., Rockwood, T., Hyer, K., Desjardins, K., Brassard, A., Gessert, C., & Kane, R. (2006). Nursing home staff's perceived ability to influence quality of life. Journal of Nursing Home Quality, 21(3).

Kane, R. L., Rockwood, T., Hyer, K. Desjardins, K., Brassard, A., Gessert, C., & Kane, R. (2005). Rating the importance of nursing home residents’ quality of life. Journal of American Geriatrics Society, 53(12), 2076-2082.

Fulmer, T., Hyer, K., & Flaherty, E. (2005). Geriatric interdisciplinary team training: program results. Journal of Aging and Health, 17(4), 443-470.

Gessert, C., Hyer, K., Kane, R. L., Kane, R. A., & Rockwood, T. (2005).  Cognitive impairment and quality of life: views of nursing home providers. Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders, 19(2), 85-90.

Reid, W. M., Ruzycki, S., Haney, M. L., Brown, L. M., Baggerly, J., Mescia, N., & Hyer, K. (2005). Disaster mental health training in Florida and the response to the 2004 hurricanes.  Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 11(Suppl.), 57-62.

Molinari, V., Chiriboga, D., Schonfeld, L., Haley, W., Schinka, J. A., Hyer, K., & Dupree, L. (2005). Geropsychology post-doctoral training in public sector service delivery:The USF/Tampa VA fellowship model. Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, 25(4), 63-82.

Williams, C. L., Hyer, K., Kelly, A., Leger-Krall, S., & Tappen, R. M. (2005). Development of nurse competencies to improve dementia care. Geriatric Nursing, 26(2), 1-8.

Davidson, P. W., Heller, T., Janicki, M. P., & Hyer, K. (2004). Defining a national health research and practice agenda for older adults with intellectual disabilities .Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 1(1), 2.

Hyer, K., Taylor, H. H., & Nanni, K. (2004). Designing health care risk management on-line: meeting regulators’ concerns for fixed-hour curriculum.  Gerontology and Geriatrics Education, 24(4), 77-94.

Johnson, H. A., McBride, M., & Hyer, K. (2004). Web-based distance education: Applications of cyber-learning technology. Gerontology and Geriatrics Education, 24(4), 3-11.

Johnson, C., Hedgecock, D. K., Oakley, M. A., Dobalian, A., Salmon, J. R., Hyer, K., & Polivka, L. (2004).Predictors of lawsuit activity against nursing homes in Hillsborough County, Florida.  Health Care Management Review, 29, 150-158.

Davidson, P. W., Heller, T., Janicki, M. P., & Hyer, K. (2003).  The Tampa scientific conference on intellectual disability, aging, and health.  Chicago: Rehabilitation and Research Training Center on Aging  with Developmental Disabilities, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dyer, C. B., Hyer, K., Feldt, K. S., Lindemann, D. A., Busby-Whitehead, J., Greenberg, S., Kennedy, R., Flaherty, E., & Fulmer, T. (2003).  Frail older patient care by interdisciplinary teams: A primer for  generalists.  Gerontology and Geriatrics Education, 24(2), 51-62.

Flaherty, E., Hyer, K., Kane, R., Wilson, N., Whitelaw, N., & Fulmer, T., (2003).  Using case studies to evaluate students’ ability to develop a geriatric interdisciplinary care plan.  Gerontology and Geriatrics Education, 24(2), 63-74.

Fulmer, T., Flaherty, E., & Hyer, K., (2003). The geriatric interdisciplinary team training (GITT) program: An introduction. Gerontology and Geriatrics Education, 24(2), 3-12.

Hyer, K., Skinner, J. H., Kane, R., Howe, J. L., Whitelaw, N., Flaherty, E., Halstead, L., & Fulmer, T. (2003).  Using scripted video to assess interdisciplinary team effectiveness training outcome.  Gerontology and Geriatrics Education, 24(2), 75-91.

Polivka, L., Salmon, J., Hyer, K., Johnson, C., & Hedgecock, D. (2003). The nursing home problem in  Florida. The Gerontologist, 43(Spec. No. 2), 7-18

Ad Hoc Reviewer

2000-present Journal of American Geriatrics Society, Journal of Gerontology – Social Sciences, Journal of Health and Aging, Educational Gerontology

Membership in Professional Societies

1996-present - Association of Gerontology in Higher Education, Fellow (2002)
1990-present - American Geriatrics Society, Annual Meeting Program Planning Committee, Education Committee
1987-present - Gerontological Society of America

Board Memberships

2009 - Present - Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, Treasurer

2007 - Present - Gerontological Society of America, Program Committee, Task Force on Technology

2002 - 2006 - Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, Board of Directors, Geriatrics Education, Chair

2000-present - National Advisory Board, Westport Living Fund

Federal Appointments

2002-2003 Member, Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation Resident Centered Nursing Home Technical Expert Panel, Department of Health and Human Services

1995-1996 US Department of Health and Human Services Member, Technical Advisory Group Advisor for Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation for Department of Health and Human Services Training Programs for Professionals Caring for Persons with Disabilities.

Local Committees

2000 - Present - Hospice of the Florida Suncoast Board of Directors, Audit Committee, Service and Access Committee

2006 - Present - Florida Pioneer Network, Steering Committee

2000 - Present - Hospice of the Florida Suncoast, Member of the Institute Board of Directors

2000 - Present - Center for Palliative Care, University of South Florida, Executive Committee Founding member (2000-2005), Research Committee Member

2000 - Present - Florida Council on Aging, Program committee (2007), Membership (2008- present)

1998-2002 Institute on Aging, University of South Florida, Executive Committee, Chair, Development Committee