About Us

Group Respite

Relatives as Parents

Leadership in Aging





The Brookdale Foundation Group


Frank W. Burr Blvd

Suite 13

Teaneck, NJ









Melissa D. Aldridge Carlson, PhD, MBA, MPH

Melissa Carlson

Dr. Carlson is an Assistant Professor in the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She is a recent recipient of a Brookdale Foundation Leadership in Aging Fellowship and a National Institutes of Health Career Development Award. Dr. Carlson’s research focuses on the quality of hospice and palliative care services and access to services for older adults with serious illness. Specifically, she has evaluated the effect of hospice agency characteristics (e.g., for-profit or nonprofit ownership and Medicare certification status) on the quality of hospice care and was the first to document substantial variation across hospice agencies nationally in the quality of care delivered to patients and families including nursing care, physician care, medication management, psychosocial care (i.e., bereavement care, spiritual counseling), and caregiver support. She has also studied the issue of hospice dis-enrollment and the impact of the timing of hospice enrollment on the well-being of caregivers of seriously ill older adults.

As a Brookdale Leadership in Aging Fellow, Dr. Carlson has evaluated the availability of hospice care nationally and how availability of hospice care varies by key characteristics of communities including racial and ethnic composition, per capita income, median age, educational attainment, region, and degree of rurality. This information is critical for understanding disparities in use of hospice and for informing policies to increase the availability of hospice to older adults with serious illness and their families.

Dr. Carlson earned a doctorate from Yale University in the Division of Health Policy and Administration with a concentration in Health Economics. Prior to pursuing her doctorate at Yale University, Dr. Carlson was an assistant epidemiologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, while earning an M.P.H. from Columbia University. Dr. Carlson also holds an M.B.A. from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a B.A. in mathematics and economics from the College of the Holy Cross.

Brookdale Leadership in Aging Fellow Class of 2007