Learn how the Abramson Center uses telemedicine to provide the best patient care possible. Watch here!


Meet the Polisher Research Institute Staff of The Abramson Center

The research staff at the Abramson Center for Jewish Life’s Polisher Research Institute is a dedicated group of individuals working to advance the field of senior care and improve the quality of life for the elderly. You can learn more about the Abramson research staff below.

  • Kimberly Van Haitsma, Ph.D.

    Kimberly Van Haitsma, Ph.D.

    Director of Harry Stern Family Center
    Email: KVanHaitsma@abramsoncenter.org
    Telephone: 215-371-1895
    Fax: 215-371-3015

    Kimberly Van Haitsma, Ph.D. is a Clinical Health Psychologist with a specialization in geriatrics. Her work as a member of the Abramson Center research staff focuses on issues relevant to quality of life and quality of care for persons with dementia. Her body of work includes outcome evaluation of psychosocial interventions and staff training programs, measurement development in the areas of observed emotion and psychosocial preferences, methodological development in the use of innovative observational technologies and protocols. Dr. Van Haitsma is also the Director of the Harry Stern Center for Innovations in Alzheimer's Care, which is dedicated to the development of clinical application products such as psychosocial intervention programs, staff training manuals and staff training videotapes. She has recently been involved in developing a new person-centered care goal with Advancing Excellence. Her curriculum vitae is available.

    Back to top
  • Carol Irvine, M.A.

    Carol Irvine

    President and Chief Executive Officer of the Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life & Polisher Research Institute

    Carol Irvine, M.A. is president and chief executive officer of the Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life, a nonprofit provider of care to seniors throughout Greater Philadelphia. Ms. Irvine is responsible for the Abramson Center for Jewish Life’s $53 million budget and more than 650 employees. Since becoming president and CEO in 2008, she has initiated a strategic planning process that has positioned the Abramson Center to be a leader in the future of senior care delivery. Her plan has expanded the Center’s services through a number of community-based programs, including hospice, home care, short stay rehab, renal dialysis, medical adult day services, geriatric care management, and a free 24/7 telephonic information and referral service, that enable older adults to age in place in their own homes. The implementation of these programs has increased the number of individuals served by the Center from 700 to over 4,000. During Ms. Irvine’s tenure, continuing advances in quality improvement led to a five-star rating of the Abramson Residence for skilled care by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Over the past six years, the Center has grown its revenue by more than 40 percent.

    Prior to joining the Abramson Center for Jewish Life, Ms. Irvine worked for over 20 years at the Albert Einstein Healthcare Network in a variety of leadership capacities.

    Ms. Irvine holds a master’s degree in Gerontology from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in English from Muhlenberg College.

    Back to top