Dr. Zvi Gellis is Professor, Research Gerontologist, and Director of the NIMH-funded Center for Mental Health & Aging Research at the University of Pennsylvania. He also directs the Ann Nolan Reese Penn Geriatric Scholars Endowed program. His primary research focus is on mental health, telehealth technology, and integrated care for community-dwelling depressed older persons. His research has contributed nationally to “US Medicare Insurance” efforts to improve depression care for medically ill older
adults. Dr. Gellis is currently the Principal Investigator for the Penn National Successful Aging Study and a Co-PI for a Geriatric Workforce Enhancement in Primary Care Award (2015-2020). He has received over 7 million dollars in research funds from federal, state, and foundations to develop and test evidence-based depression care interventions for home-based medically ill older adults. He received the “2006 Best Research Paper Award” for his randomized trial study on geriatric depression care at the International Health Care Conference in Hong Kong. His research was recently recognized among the top 100 most influential publications internationally over the past decade.
Telehealth technologies and services are becoming ubiquitous with an estimated use of more than 60% in all health care institutions in the United States. Furthermore, there has been an unprecedented expansion of Telemental health services to adults and older adults during the Covid-19 pandemic. A robust body of research exists on telemental health care in the assessment and treatment of mental and behavioral disorders. Telemental health care has numerous technologies for providing effective interventions to urban, rural, and underserved areas. Overall, Telemental health services are feasible and efficient, provide adaptable solutions, generate positive clinical outcomes that are equal to face-to-face, and offer value to patients who may be isolated and lonely. Telehealth can overcome distances and alleviate imminent gaps in the availability and accessibility of mental health services.