Skip to main content

March 28, 2024

Alice Bonner, PhD, RN, FAAN, the recipient of the 2024 William Dodd Founder’s Award for Distinguished Service, never met the award’s namesake, but she clearly embodies his spirit of innovation. Dr. Bonner is senior advisor for aging at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and adjunct faculty at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. She is also chair of the Moving Forward Nursing Home Quality Coalition.

A geriatric nurse practitioner who has cared for nursing home residents and their families for over 35 years, Dr. Bonner is passionate about efforts to support and empower older adults to be able to age in their communities. She works to help create and improve age-friendly health systems, and she promotes dementia-friendly communities, support for caregivers of individuals living with dementia, and efforts to enhance the quality of life and dignity for older adults. A long-time Society member, Dr. Bonner has volunteered in many capacities. She has published in both JAMDA and Caring for the Ages, and has been a popular speaker at the annual conference.

The Dodd Award recognizes significant contributions to building the Society’s organizational strength, image, and mission by promoting the development of competent, compassionate, and committed health- care practitioners. It is named for the Society’s founder, William Dodd, MD, CMD, who also served as its first president in 1978. He was a powerful and inspirational presence at the Society’s annual conference for years, even after he retired in 2002. An accomplished jazz pianist, Dr. Dodd could often be found at the keyboards entertaining meeting attendees.

Like Dr. Dodd, leadership is second nature to Dr. Bonner. She said, “When you are thinking about two projects you can get involved in and one is clearly doable and the other is something you are passionate about but that people advise you not to tackle, the latter is what you should choose. That is what Dr. Dodd did and what defined him as an AMDA leader.” From the CMS National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes to the Moving Forward Coalition, Dr. Bonner has followed that path and helped promote positive change without looking back.

“I’ve been an AMDA member for many years, and I’ve seen it evolve over time and become a stronger, more diverse organization and welcoming to professionals beyond physicians in post-acute and long-term care. It’s become an organization with wide-ranging impact and influence of policies on the national and state levels,” said Dr. Bonner. She said that she is “very proud” to have won this award. She noted, “I’ve known almost all of the previous award winners, and many have been my mentors. I owe a great deal to those people who came before me, and I wouldn’t have received this award if not for them.”

Watch this video of Dr. Bonner discussing her award.