Profile: Mor than meets the eye

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Vincent Mor, Ph.D.
Vincent Mor, Ph.D.

While Brown University Professor Vince Mor's accomplishments may be heralded in the long-term care profession, ranging from his work on MDS validation to research with veterans, what may be less known is his dedicated work with the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island. He's served on the board of directors and community development council. Alliance President Jeffrey Savit raved about the man he calls “erudite, but so down to Earth.”

“He can evaluate, analyze and succinctly give thoughts on solutions,” Savit says. “He's marvelously accessible. He's the go-to guy for so many issues, and is an incredible strategist.”

Those adjectives aren't uncommon when describing Mor. David Gifford, M.D., who was an associate professor at Brown for a decade and is now at the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living, counts Mor as a research mentor. They've continued to build their relationship, with AHCA and Brown's School of Public Health formally announcing the creation of the Long Term Care Quality and Innovation Center in April through a $1 million grant from the organization to the school.

“His enthusiasm is infectious and his analytic understanding of data is amazing,” Gifford says. “He's moving so fast. He's always thinking long-term. He's trained so many Ph.D.'s and faculty, and he develops partnerships and collaborative research.”

Mor's journey began when he was born overseas and lived in Germany, one of four children. His father was station chief of the CIA base in Berlin,with the family returning to the U.S. when Mor was in junior high school. After college, “when you graduate with a bachelor's in philosophy, you have to figure out what you want to do next,” he says. He completed a master's program in rehabilitation at Northeastern University, and landed at the Hebrew Home for the Aged in 1973. There, he met mentor Sylvia Sherwood, a well-known sociologist. Her team was looking at the unmet needs of the elderly and developing statistical models.

“I got to learn the clinical side and statistical side, and how to make sure people's judgments were comparable,” he says. “It was an incredible opportunity to learn by doing.”

At the same time, Mor was working on his doctorate at Brandeis and “learned fancy research methods,” he says. After finishing, he went to Israel, where he met his first wife and had a daughter, Orly. He also is the father of Gregory Max and Kyla, whom he has with his second wife, Margaret Wool, Ph.D., a Brown researcher who teaches psychosocial oncology and has a part-time clinical practice.

Mor, 65, and Wool live in South Dartmouth, MA. He is a devout long-stretch bike rider. In addition to aiding the Alliance, occasionally he finds time to enjoy reading John Le Carre and “old spy” novels. 

Mostly though, he works, as he says, “24-7.”

“There will always be a role for nursing homes in America,” he observes. “No matter how much people may want to stay in their own home, sometimes their care needs are so significant and medical complexity is at a level where people need round-the-clock care and supervision.”

When asked what he would like remembered as his legacy, there's a lot to choose from. “I want to make data more readily accessible,” he ultimately says, “and improve long-term care industry standards.”

Resume

1971

Completes bachelor's degree at Boston College

1978

Finishes doctorate at Florence Heller School for Advanced Studies in Social Welfare at Brandeis, becomes senior research scientist at Brookdale Institute of Gerontology and Adult Human Development in Jerusalem, Israel

1981

Starts as assistant professor at Brown University

1997

Begins as chairman of the Department of Community Health at Brown, serving until 2010

2003

Starts work on MDS 3.0 Validation Panel Committee

2008

Becomes principal investigator for National Institutes of Health grant on SAFEHAVEN: Decision Support for Nursing Home Resident Disaster Evacuations

2011

Serves as research health scientist at Providence Veterans Administration Medical Center 

2013

Receives two awards: National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization's Distinguished Researcher Award and John M. Eisenberg Excellence in Mentoring Award, Agency for Health Research and Quality