Tara A Cortes

Faculty

Tara Cortes headshot

Tara A Cortes

Clinical Professor
Executive Director, Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing

1 212 998 5320

433 First Avenue
Room 502
New York, NY 10010
United States

Tara A Cortes's additional information

Prof. Cortes is recognized for her distinguished career spanning executive leadership, nursing education, research, and practice. She has provided significant contributions to advance the health of people, particularly older vulnerable adults. Importantly, she has developed interprofessional models in traditional as well as nontraditional settings to address the health and health behaviors of older adults and increase the capacity of the workforce to provide age sensitive care

As Executive Director of HIGN, Prof. Cortes has brought her leadership, experience, and wisdom to enhance select respected existing programs in the Institute and to develop new and innovative initiatives.  Her work has contributed to advancing interdisciplinary models across the continuum of care to reduce disparities in access to care, and to ensure healthy aging in place. She has helped change policy and practice in geriatric care and in low-vision and blindness care by developing roles for an interprofessional healthcare team to provide care for those with poor access to resources due to lack of knowledge or functional disabilities.

Prior to joining NYU, Prof. Cortes was president and CEO of Lighthouse International, a leading not-for-profit organization, dedicated to fighting vision loss and helping people prevent vision impairment. She mindfully transformed the organization into a healthcare provider from a social charity and was recognized worldwide for her leadership in helping to move the field of vision loss to healthcare from that of disability. Prof. Cortes spent the initial phase of her career in nursing education at Hunter College, and then as the Director of Nursing Research and Information Systems at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. She was the chief nursing officer at Rockefeller University Hospital and continued her career in nursing and hospital administration at Mount Sinai Medical Center and at Bridgeport Hospital, before assuming the senior leadership role at Lighthouse International.

Prof. Cortes was appointed as a 2013-2015 American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow and serves as a senior advisor at CMS in the Office of Medicare and Medicaid Coordination Office. She was also appointed by Community Catalyst as a geriatric consultant to the Medicare Rights Center to work with New York State on the implementation of the Fully Integrated Duals Advantage (FIDA) program, a CMS demonstration project. Prof. Cortes has been appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to the Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry for the 2016-2019 term. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine. She is a past fellow of the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellows Program. She serves on several boards including Archcare: the Catholic Healthcare System of NY, Isabella Geriatric Center, and Pacific College of Health and Science.

Among her many honors, Prof. Cortes was named one of the New York Women’s Agenda 2011 STARS for exemplifying the qualities embodied in NYWA’s mission to advocate and collaborate for the interests of New York women in public policy decisions. In 2011 she was awarded the Medallion for Outstanding Contributions to the Profession from the Villanova University College of Nursing. Prof. Cortes received the Distinguished Alumni Award from New York University, where she completed her PhD and Master's degrees. Her BSN is from Villanova University, where she served on the Board of Trustees for ten years.

PhD, Nursing Science and Research - NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing
MA, Nursing - NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing
BSN, Nursing - Villanova University

Primary care
Home care
Interprofessionalism
Gerontology
Community/population health
Health Policy
Underserved populations
Vulnerable & marginalized populations

American Academy of Nursing
American Organization of Nurse Executives
Gerontological Society of America
HealthCare Executive Women’s Forum
New York Academy of Medicine
New York Academy of Sciences
New York Organization of Nurse Executives
Sigma Theta Tau, Upsilon Chapter
Sigma XI, Scientific Research Society, Rockefeller University Chapter

Faculty Honors Awards

Appointee of Secretary of HHS to Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry
Distinguished Alumni Award, NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing
STAR Award, New York Women’s Agenda
Fellow, American Academy of Nursing
Nurse Leader to Honor, American Organization of Nurse Executives
Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Fellow, New York Academy of Medicine
Health and Aging Policy Fellow, American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship Program
Our Town Thanks You Award in Community Service, Our Town News
Medallion for Distinguished Contributions to the Profession, Villanova University College of Nursing

Publications

A Call to the CMS: Mandate Adequate Professional Nurse Staffing in Nursing Homes

Kolanowski, A., Cortes, T. A., Mueller, C., Bowers, B., Boltz, M., Bakerjian, D., Harrington, C., Popejoy, L., Vogelsmeier, A., Wallhagen, M., Fick, D., Batchelor, M., Harris, M., Palan-Lopez, R., Dellefield, M., Mayo, A., Woods, D. L., Horgas, A., Cacchione, P. Z., Carter, D., Tabloski, P., & Gerdner, L. (2021). The American Journal of Nursing, 121(3), 24-27. 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000737292.96068.18
Abstract
Abstract
Editor's note: This article is by 22 nursing gerontology experts who are all advocates of nursing home reform. They are listed at the end of this article.

Graduate level health professions education: how do previous work experiences influence perspectives about interprofessional collaboration?

Squires, A., Miner, S., Greenberg, S. A., Adams, J., Kalet, A., & Cortes, T. (2021). Journal of Interprofessional Care, 35(2), 193-199. 10.1080/13561820.2020.1732888
Abstract
Abstract
Understanding how previous experiences with interprofessional education and collaboration inform health care provider perspectives is important for developing interprofessional interventions at the graduate level. The purpose of this study was to examine how previous work experiences of graduate level health professions students inform perspectives about interprofessional education and collaboration. Drawing from program evaluation data of two separate graduate level interprofessional education interventions based in primary care and home health care, we conducted a qualitative secondary data analysis of 75 interviews generated by focus groups and individual interviews with graduate students from 4 health professions cadres. Using directed content analysis, the team coded to capture descriptions of interprofessional education or collaboration generated from participants’ previous work experiences. Coding revealed 173 discrete descriptions related to previous experiences of interprofessional education or collaboration. Three themes were identified from the analysis that informed participant perspectives: Previous educational experiences (including work-based training); previous work experiences; and organizational factors and interprofessional collaboration. Experiences varied little between professions except when aspects of professional training created unique circumstances. The study reveals important differences between graduate and undergraduate learners in health professions programs that can inform interprofessional education and collaboration intervention design.

Provider Perspectives of Medication Complexity in Home Health Care: A Qualitative Secondary Data Analysis

Squires, A., Ridge, L., Miner, S., McDonald, M. V., Greenberg, S. A., & Cortes, T. (2020). Medical Care Research and Review, 77(6), 609-619. 10.1177/1077558719828942
Abstract
Abstract
A primary service provided by home care is medication management. Issues with medication management at home place older adults at high risk for hospital admission, readmission, and adverse events. This study sought to understand medication management challenges from the home care provider perspective. A qualitative secondary data analysis approach was used to analyze program evaluation interview data from an interprofessional educational intervention study designed to decrease medication complexity in older urban adults receiving home care. Directed and summative content analysis approaches were used to analyze data from 90 clinician and student participants. Medication safety issues along with provider–provider communication problems were central themes with medication complexity. Fragmented care coordination contributed to medication management complexity. Patient-, provider-, and system-level factors influencing medication complexity and management were identified as contributing to both communication and coordination challenges.

Senior oral health: A community-based, interprofessional educational experience for nursing and dental students

Greenberg, S. A., Hartnett, E., Berkowitz, G. S., Schenkel, A. B., Chong, C., Cipollina, J., Haber, J., & Cortes, T. A. (2020). Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 46(8), 37-45. 10.3928/00989134-20200527-03
Abstract
Abstract
The current article highlights an interprofessional, older adult oral health community program, created through an Accelerating Interprofessional Community-Based Education and Practice grant from the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education, designed to address the gap between older adult health education and care delivery. This project developed an advanced practice, nurse-led partnership among The Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing and the Oral Health Nursing Education and Practice Program (both located at New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing), New York University College of Dentistry, and Regional Aid for Interim Needs (RAIN), a community service organization for older adults in the Bronx. Teams of nursing (n = 26), nurse practitioner (n = 16), and dental (n = 64) students provided oral health education and oral hygiene instruction using Tooth Wisdom® educational materials to older adults, home health aides (HHAs), and volunteers in nine RAIN senior centers. Students demonstrated increases in their self-reported interprofessional competencies based on the Interprofessional Collaborative Competency Attainment Survey. Results also revealed that older adults (n = 500), HHAs (n = 142), and volunteers (n = 21) at the RAIN senior centers who attended the Tooth Wisdom presentation demonstrated an increase in oral health knowledge.

Building Interprofessional Teams Through Partnerships to Address Quality

Cortes, T. (2019). Nursing Science Quarterly, 32(4), 288-290. 10.1177/0894318419864343
Abstract
Abstract
Interprofessional collaborative education and practice is essential in the current complex healthcare climate. Barriers to interprofessional education include difficulty scheduling joint activities amid the silos of discipline-specific curricula and the lack of urgency by faculty to find innovative ways to commit to interprofessional training. Barriers in practice include poor understanding of the roles of different professionals and lack of awareness of the concept because the people in the workforce were mostly educated before interprofessional practice and education were prioritized by national bodies representing academic professions. The author of this paper describes opportunities for interprofessional education and practice and describes a way to create an educational-practice partnership to drive quality in healthcare settings.

Substance use among older people living with HIV: Challenges for health care providers

Deren, S., Cortes, T., Dickson, V. V., Guilamo-Ramos, V., Han, B. H., Karpiak, S., Naegle, M., Ompad, D. C., & Wu, B. (2019). Frontiers in Public Health, 7. 10.3389/fpubh.2019.00094
Abstract
Abstract
Older people living with HIV (OPLWH) have higher rates of substance use (tobacco, alcohol and other drugs) than their HIV-negative peers. Addressing health care needs of OPLWH who use substances is more challenging than for those who do not: they are highly impacted by comorbid conditions, substance use can interact with other medications (including antiretroviral therapy-ART) and reduce their effectiveness, and substance use has been associated with reduced adherence to ART and increased risky behaviors (including sexual risks). People who use substances also suffer disparities along the HIV continuum of care, resulting in lower viral suppression rates and poorer health outcomes. They are especially impacted by stigma and stress, which have implications for HIV treatment and care. Recommendations for health care providers working with OPLWH who use substances include: 1) the need to screen and refer for multiple associated conditions, and 2) training/continuing education to enhance care management and maximize health outcomes.

Substance Use Among Older People Living with HIV: Issues for Nurses and Other Health Care Providers

Deren, S., Cortes, T., Vaughan Dickson, V., Guilamo-Ramos, V., Han, B. H., Karpiak, S., Naegle, M., Ompad, D., & Wu, B. (2019). Frontiers in Public Health, 7. 10.3389/fpubh.2019.00094

Geriatric Interdisciplinary Team Training 2.0: A collaborative team-based approach to delivering care

Giuliante, M. M., Greenberg, S. A., McDonald, M. V., Squires, A., Moore, R., & Cortes, T. A. (2018). Journal of Interprofessional Care, 1-5. 10.1080/13561820.2018.1457630
Abstract
Abstract
Interprofessional collaborative education and practice has become a cornerstone of optimal person-centered management in the current complex health care climate. This is especially important when working with older adults, many with multiple chronic conditions and challenging health care needs. This paper describes a feasibility study of the Geriatric Interdisciplinary Team Training 2.0 (GITT 2.0) program focused on providing interprofessional care to complex and frail older adults with multiple chronic conditions. A concurrent triangulation mixed-methods design facilitated program implementation and evaluation. Over three years (2013-2016), 65 graduate students from nursing, midwifery, social work, and pharmacy participated along with 25 preceptors. Participants were surveyed on their attitudes toward interprofessional collaboration pre and post-intervention and participated in focus groups. While attitudes toward interprofessional collaboration did not change quantitatively, focus groups revealed changes in language and enhanced perspectives of participants. Based on the evaluation data, the GITT 2.0 Toolkit was refined for use in interprofessional education and practice activities related to quality initiatives.

The growth and development of gerontological nurse leaders in policy

Perez, G. A., Mason, D. J., Harden, J. T., & Cortes, T. A. (2018). Nursing Outlook, 66(2), 168-179. 10.1016/j.outlook.2017.10.005
Abstract
Abstract
Background: The National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence (NHCGNE) Scholars/Fellows Award Program was designed to promote the growth and development of nurse scientists, educators, and leaders in aging. Purpose: McBride's conceptual framework of the growth and development of nurse leaders was used to examine the NHCGNE impact on health and aging policy work among scholars/fellows, including barriers, facilitators, and resources. Methods: A multimethod two-phased approach included an online survey (phase I) focused on research and policy impact at local, state, or national level. Telephone interviews (phase II) were conducted to further understand the nature, depth, and focus of respondents’ policy work. Discussion: Based on our findings, we propose multilevel recommendations for advancing nurse scientists’ capacity to be leaders in shaping policy. Keen research skills are influential in policy advancement but not sufficient to advance policy. Preparing nurse scientists with competencies in translating research into policy can ultimately transform health and health care for older adults.

A post-master's advanced certificate in gerontology for NPs

Greenberg, S. A., Squires, A., Adams, J., Altshuler, L., Oh, S. Y., Blachman, N. L., & Cortes, T. A. (2017). Nurse Practitioner, 42(9), 18-23. 10.1097/01.NPR.0000521992.53558.73
Abstract
Abstract
This article describes an innovative post-master's advanced certificate in gerontology program developed by the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at the New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing. The program provides advanced practice registered nurses geriatric content to meet eligibility criteria for the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP certification exam and develops interprofessional care providers to care for complex older adults.