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Lisa Pepper Gwyther

Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Division: 
Geriatric Behavioral Health
Category: 
Office: 3508 Busse Bldg, Durham, NC 27710
Campus Mail: DUMC Box 3600 Med Ctr, Durham, NC 27710

Lisa Gwyther, MSW, LCSW, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Co-Director for the Social Work Professional Unit.  Ms. Gwyther (along with Co-Director William Meyer, MSW, LCSW) provide mentorship to the department’s social workers and communicates the needs of the department’s social workers to senior leadership.

Ms. Gwyther is approaching her fourth decade of service dedicated to help the increasing number of individuals and families living with Alzheimer's and related diseases.   The focus of her work has been in the community as a representative of the Duke Center for Aging,  the Bryan Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and the Duke Family support program.   She has had continuous annual contracts from the NC DHHS Division of Aging since 1984, reaching families, health and social service professionals in communities throughout North Carolina.  She is the founder and Director of the Duke Center for Aging’s Alzheimer’s Family Support Program, which was named “Agency of the Year” by the NC Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers in 1999.

Ms. Gwyther received her graduate training in social work at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. She has published over 144 articles, book chapters, and books on Alzheimer’s care and family caregiving research. She served on the U.S. federal advisory panel on Alzheimer’s disease for nine years. Ms. Gwyther was recognized in the 20th anniversary issue of Contemporary Long-Term Care as one of the 20 people who made a difference in U.S. long-term care during those twenty years. She was named a distinguished social work practitioner by the National Academies of Practice.

Ms. Gwyther is the co-author of The Alzheimer’s Action Plan:  A Family Guide (2009), winner of two prestigious consumer health awards. 

Most recently she was a member of The National Academies Committees on Cognitive Aging for the 2015 report: Cognitive Aging: Progress in Understanding and Opportunities for Action, and she co-chaired the NC Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Task Force of the NC Institute of Medicine and NC DHHS which issued a report and recommendations to the NC Legislature in April 2016.

Current research interests: Alzheimer's disease nursing home and assisted living care, community translation of evidence-based dementia caregiver interventions, early stage Alzheimer's programming, non-pharmacological approaches to dementia-related behavioral symptoms.

Education and Training

  • M.S.W., Case Western Reserve University, 1969
  • B.A., Case Western Reserve University, 1967

Publications

Cocroft, Shelytia, Kathleen A. Welsh-Bohmer, Brenda L. Plassman, Marianne Chanti-Ketterl, Henry Edmonds, Lisa Gwyther, Michelle McCart, Heather MacDonald, Guy Potter, and James R. Burke. “Racially diverse participant registries to facilitate the recruitment of African Americans into presymptomatic Alzheimer's disease studies.” Alzheimer’S & Dementia : The Journal of the Alzheimer’S Association 16, no. 8 (August 2020): 1107–14. https://doi.org/10.1002/alz.12048.

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Zimmerman, Sheryl, Philip D. Sloane, Kimberly Ward, Anna Beeber, David Reed, Christine Lathren, Bobbi Matchar, and Lisa Gwyther. “Helping Dementia Caregivers Manage Medical Problems: Benefits of an Educational Resource.” Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen 33, no. 3 (May 2018): 176–83. https://doi.org/10.1177/1533317517749466.

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Borson, Soo, Joshua Chodosh, Cyndy Cordell, Beth Kallmyer, Malaz Boustani, Anna Chodos, Jatin K. Dave, et al. “Innovation in care for individuals with cognitive impairment: Can reimbursement policy spread best practices?” Alzheimers Dement 13, no. 10 (October 2017): 1168–73. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jalz.2017.09.001.

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Sloane, Philip D., Christopher H. Schifeling, Anna S. Beeber, Kimberly T. Ward, David Reed, Lisa P. Gwyther, Bobbi Matchar, and Sheryl Zimmerman. “New or Worsening Symptoms and Signs in Community-Dwelling Persons with Dementia: Incidence and Relation to Use of Acute Medical Services.” J Am Geriatr Soc 65, no. 4 (April 2017): 808–14. https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.14672.

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Wolff, Jennifer L., Judy Feder, and Richard Schulz. “Supporting Family Caregivers of Older Americans.” N Engl J Med 375, no. 26 (December 29, 2016): 2513–15. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMp1612351.

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Jeste, Dilip V., Dan G. Blazer, Kathleen C. Buckwalter, Keri-Leigh K. Cassidy, Len Fishman, Lisa P. Gwyther, Saul M. Levin, et al. “Age-Friendly Communities Initiative: Public Health Approach to Promoting Successful Aging.” Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 24, no. 12 (December 2016): 1158–70. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jagp.2016.07.021.

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Williams, V. P., L. Bishop-Fitzpatrick, J. D. Lane, L. P. Gwyther, E. L. Ballard, A. P. Vendittelli, T. C. Hutchins, and R. B. Williams. “Video-Based Coping Skills to Reduce Health Risk and Improve Psychological and Physical Well-Being in Alzheimer's Disease Family Caregivers (vol 72, pg 897, 2010).” Psychosomatic Medicine 78, no. 7 (September 1, 2016): 886–886.

Scholars@Duke

Alzheimer’s Association National Plan Care and Support Milestone Workgroup, Angela, Soo Borson, Malaz A. Boustani, Kathleen C. Buckwalter, Louis D. Burgio, Joshua Chodosh, Richard H. Fortinsky, et al. “Report on milestones for care and support under the U.S. National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease.” Alzheimers Dement 12, no. 3 (March 2016): 334–69. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jalz.2016.01.005.

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Gwyther, L. P., and B. G. Matchar. “The Duke Employee Elder Care Consultation: Meeting employees where they are.” Generations 39, no. 4 (December 1, 2015): 105–8.

Scholars@Duke

LOOK & LUNCH: PARTNERSHIP BUILDS COMMUNITY ART EXPERIENCE FOR PEOPLE WITH DEMENTIA & CARE PARTNERS.” In The Gerontologist, 55:632–33. Oxford University Press (OUP), 2015. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnv339.02.

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