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Elizabeth Perkins, PhD, RNMH

Research Assistant Professor and Associate Director

Elizabeth Perkins, PhD, RNMH






MHC 2217


Dr. Elizabeth Perkins is a Research Assistant Professor and the Associate Director of the Florida Center for Inclusive Communities (FCIC), USF's University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. She has a PhD in Aging Studies and a BA (summa cum laude) in Psychology, both from USF. Dr. Perkins is also an RNMH, a registered nurse from the United Kingdom, where she trained specifically in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Her clinical experiences there were predominantly in the field of geriatric and residential care. Her current areas of interest include medical aspects of aging with IDD, quality of life issues of older family caregivers of adults with IDD, and compound caregiving (when older caregivers have multiple caregiving roles).  Dr. Perkins' current work at the Florida Center for Inclusive Communities is concentrated on improving both access to and quality of healthcare for persons with disabilities.

Dr. Perkins has several national leadership roles. In July 2012, she began a four-year term as member-at-large for the Board of Directors of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. She is the immediate past-president of AAIDD’s Gerontology Division, and the former co-convener of the Formal Interest Group on Developmental Disabilities for the Gerontological Society of America. Dr. Perkins is also a Fellow of AAIDD.  At the state level, Dr. Perkins represents FCIC on the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (FDDC), and is an advisory member for the Disability and Health Program within the Florida Department of Health.

Dr. Perkins’ work has been published in a variety of notable journals including the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). She was the guest co-editor for a recent Special Issue on Aging and End of Life for the American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Perkins is an editorial board member of the Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, Inclusion and the UK’s Royal College of Nursing’s journal Learning Disability Practice. Dr. Perkins is also a Fellow of AAIDD.

Dr. Perkins is also a co-author of the 5th (2010) and 6th (2014) editions of  "Physical Changes and Aging: A Guide for the Helping Professions", a highly regarded gerontology textbook published by Springer. In 2011, the textbook was translated and published into Chinese. She is also the author of My Health Passport, a health advocacy document that has had in excess of 20,000 downloads or hardcopies disseminated since it was released in 2011.


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