Helen Rehr/Ruth Fizdale Professor Emerita of Health and Mental Health

Barbara Berkman


E-mail: bb151@columbia.edu
Telephone: (212) 851-2398
Office: Room 1107

Dr. Berkman’s entire career has been immersed in research in health and gerontology.  In 2009, she received the Kent Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gerontological Society of America, and in 2011 was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.


  • Social Work Pioneer Award, NASW Foundation, 2004
  • Career Achievement Award, Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGE-SW). Given at the Annual Meeting of the Council on Social Work Education, Nashville, TN, March 2002

Research Interests:

  • Gerontology
  • Health/mental health policy and service delivery issues
  • Outcome research in geriatric health care

Current Projects:

  • PI and National Director of the Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholars Program
  • Co-PI and co-Director of the NIA Institute on Social Work Research in Aging

Selected Publications:

Books and Chapters

Berkman, B., & Kaplan, D. (2011). Social issues in the elderly. In R. S. Porter & J. L. Kaplan (Eds.), The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, Nineteenth Edition, (3140-3150). Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.

Berkman, B. (2010). Social-behavioral research in aging and the social work research agenda. In Fortune, A. E., McCallion, P. & Briar-Lawson, K. (Eds.), Advancing Practice Research in Social Work for the 21st Century. New York: Columbia University Press.

Berkman, B., & Kaplan, D. (2009). Social issues in the elderly. In The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals: Geriatrics (Section 24, Chapters 366 and 367). Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.

Journal Articles

Berkman, B. (2011). Seizing interdisciplinary opportunities in the changing landscape of health and aging: A social work perspective. The Gerontologist, doi: 10.1093/geront/gnr063

Kaplan, D. B., & Berkman, B. (2011). Dementia care: A global concern and social work challenge.International Social Work, 54(3), 361-73.

Berkman, B. (2011). Gerontological social work research in health and mental health. Generations Review, 21(1).

Raveis, V. H., Gardner, D. S., Berkman, B., & Harootyan, L. (2010) Linking the NIH Strategic Plan to the Research Agenda for Social Workers in Health and Aging. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 53(1), 77-93.

Mehrotra, C., Townsend, A., & Berkman, B. (2009). Enhancing research capacity in gerontological social work. Educational Gerontology, 35(2), 146-163.