Michelle Putnam, PhD, MGS, is a Professor at Simmons College School of Social Work in Boston, Mass. Putnam has interdisciplinary training in aging and disability. She holds a bachelors degree in history from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; a master’s degree in gerontological studies from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio; and a doctorate in social welfare from the Luskin School of Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles. She served as a National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research–funded post-doctoral fellow at the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Health and Wellness at Oregon Health and Sciences University in Portland, Oregon.
Dr. Putnam’s research focuses on the intersections of aging and disability, with particular emphasis on understanding how public programs and policies meet the needs of persons aging with disability. Within this area, her work examines many issues, including collaborations between aging and disability service providers, the professional and organizational capacity to serve the aging-with-disability population within current service systems, and the long-term service and support needs of persons aging with disabilities.
Other areas of interest include the role of activity portfolios in fostering engagement and health and well-being among older adults with disabilities.
Dr. Putnam is a Fellow of the Gerontology Society of America, member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Gerontological Social Work, and is currently co-editing the first Handbook on Aging with Disability for Routledge publishing company.