Editor’s note: As part of the 40th anniversary of McKnight’s, McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News are recognizing 40 notable newsmakers. Each week, the brands will highlight a new, high-profile leader from the past four decades. Previously published installments of the series are posted here.

Robyn Stone, DrPH, brings four decades’ worth of experience to LeadingAge as a top expert and researcher in aging and long-term care policy. 

Most recently, she has worked to bridge the gap between research, policy and practice as the organization’s senior vice president of research and co-director of its LTSS Center @UMass Boston, a predecessor organization to LeadingAge’s Institute for the Future of Aging Services, of which she was executive director.

“That is where my heart is — bringing research and policy together,” Stone says to describe her approach to research. 

Stone earned an undergraduate degree in urban studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 1972 and later received a doctorate in public health from the University of California,  Berkeley, School of Public Health. 

Her expertise earned her several prominent roles during the 1990s in Washington, DC, where she served as deputy assistant secretary for disability, aging and long-term care policy, and as acting assistant secretary for aging, in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the Clinton administration. Stone also was a key figure in developing the long-term care portion of Hillary Clinton’s healthcare reform plan in 1993. 

In addition, she was a senior researcher at the National Center for Health Services as well as at Project Hope’s Center for Health Affairs.

Her unique style of research has made a lasting impression on her colleagues and the long-term care profession overall. She is known for striving to be closely connected to those she’s researching.

“In the field of aging services, you can count on one hand the number of people who are respected researchers, policymakers and who really enjoy mixing it up in the public arena,” said Len Fishman, director of the Gerontology Institute at UMass Boston. “Robyn is one of them.”