Professors recognized for elevating the standard of care for older adults

Four professors standing with award and banner
(From left) Dr. David Taylor, Dr. Leslie Taylor, Jennifer de la Cruz, Dr. Susan Miller recently won the 2024 Southern Gerontological Society Media Award for their “engage” curriculum

MACON — Four Mercer University professors recently won the 2024 Southern Gerontological Society Media Award. The award recognizes an outstanding media product that has demonstrated evidence of significant contribution to the field of aging and the development of gerontology in the region.

The initiative brought together faculty from three programs and two colleges:

  • Dr. Leslie Taylor, professor of physical therapy, College of Health Professions
  • Dr. David Taylor, clinical associate professor of physical therapy, College of Health Professions
  • Dr. Susan W. Miller, professor of pharmacy practice, College of Pharmacy
  • Jennifer de la Cruz, clinical associate professor of physician assistant studies, College of Health Professions

The team developed and implemented the “engage” curriculum – free, web-based learning modules designed to elevate the standard of care for older adults while empowering healthcare professionals to deliver personalized and value-based health care to older adults and their families. The “engage” modules have been fully integrated into the curricula of the Mercer Health Sciences Center programs with additional reach to clinical preceptors across the Southeast. 

Dr. Lisa Lundquist

“I am pleased that the Southern Gerontological Society has recognized these four outstanding faculty members and their impact on the field of aging with the creation of the “engage” curriculum, which reaches health care providers, students and ultimately benefits older adults,” said Dr. Lisa Lundquist, College of Health Professions dean and professor.

“We were honored to receive the 2024 Media Award from the Southern Gerontological Society,” said Dr. Leslie Taylor. “The ‘engage’ curriculum supports a collaborative training model that advances age-friendly care for older adults and their families. The learning modules provide health professions students and providers with an understanding of age-friendly care, an awareness of ageism and its effect on healthcare, knowledge about common geriatric syndromes and how to screen, assess, refer and treat within each profession’s scope of practice.”

About the College of Health Professions
Mercer University’s College of Health Professions is composed of six disciplines: physical therapy, physician assistant studies, public health, clinical psychology, athletic training, and kinesiology. The College offers a doctoral-level physical therapy program; master’s-level physician assistant program; bachelor’s-, master’s-, and doctoral-level public health programs, doctoral-level program in clinical psychology, master’s-level athletic training program, and bachelor’s-level kinesiology program. The Department of Physical Therapy also offers residencies in orthopaedic, neurologic, cardiovascular/pulmonary, and wound management physical therapy; a fellowship in orthopaedic manual physical therapy; and an onsite clinic. Each program is housed in a department that provides students with comprehensive didactic courses taught by an extraordinary faculty and extensive clinical experience enhanced by outstanding service-learning opportunities. For more information, visit