News & Updates

Edith Burns

Edith Burns has been Professor of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra Northwell since 2019. She serves as Director of Research for the Division, and as Program Director for the Geriatrics Fellowship. She was Professor of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) from 1998-2018 and remains an Adjunct Professor of Medicine on their faculty. Her work and experience over the past 30 years has spanned clinical and bench research, education and training, and clinical care. Her research has focused predominantly on older adult populations but has also encompassed younger adults and children as caregivers, and issues of women’s health and disparities in minority populations. During her first 15 years as an academic faculty member (first at the U. Wisconsin School of Medicine, then Medical College of Wisconsin), she conducted bench studies on specific antibody synthesis and cellular immunity in aging, exploring T and B lymphocyte function in response to familiar and novel antigens. She always had an interest in health behavior and self-regulation and combined this with her work in immunology to examine the relationship between emotion, self-perceived health, and cellular immune response. As she moved fully into the health services arena, she focused more on self-management of chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, congestive heart failure and joint impairment. Since coming to Northwell, she has been active in several large projects to increase goals of care planning among older adults and examining the impact of COVID-19 on older adult populations. All of her work incorporates patient, family and provider perceptions and expectations for disease and treatment outcomes, and the influence of moderating factors (e.g. cultural background, social media, etc.) on adherence to treatment, health outcomes and quality of life among older adults.

As a clinician educator a significant portion of Dr. Burns’ academic career has been continuously devoted to mentoring students, residents, fellows and junior faculty in the fields of geriatrics and internal medicine, accounting for 50% of her professional effort on a continual basis. As a key team member of the MCW Reynolds Foundation Award for developing innovative approaches to geriatrics education and training (2000-2005), she designed, attained approval from the ABIM for, and implemented one of the first combined Medicine-Geriatrics Residency Programs in the US, serving as the program director for 7 years. She has been a long-time and active proponent of providing clinical research experiences to students early in their trajectory to increase the chance they’ll consider a future career in academics. She continues her work developing innovative models of education and care while guiding the evolution of geriatrics training at Northwell Health.

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