Edward Schneider, MD
Professor of Gerontology, Medicine and Biology
Emeritus Dean of the Andrus Gerontology Center
Edward Schneider, MD, is a professor of gerontology at the Andrus Gerontology Center and a professor of medicine at USC School of Medicine, with a joint appointment in biological sciences and molecular biology. Before coming to USC in 1986, Dr. Schneider was the deputy director of the National Institute on Aging and the chief of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, Gerontology Research Center and National Institute on Aging.
Dr. Schneider’s research interests include polypharmacy, geriatrics and health care costs of an aging population. He was the first recipient of the William and Sylvia Kugel Chair of Gerontology, is the chairperson of the Los Angeles Elder Abuse Forensic Center Advisory Committee and is involved in elder abuse litigation.
Dr. Schneider and his team are looking at ways to reduce drug usage by older Americans, and he is engaged in several clinical studies at the Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging. In his initial study, he demonstrated that it was possible to wean patients off anti-hypertensive medications to reduce their risk of falls and other side effects. He is now exploring reducing the use of other common medications taken by older persons.
Caroline Cicero, PhD, MSW, MPL
Instructional Associate Professor of Gerontology
Director, USC Age Friendly University Initiative
Caroline Cicero, PhD, MSW, MPL, is a policy advocate, educator, practitioner and researcher focusing on the intersection of individual and population aging, urban planning for lifelong communities and social and health service delivery. Making local communities better places to grow old is one of her primary interests, in addition to educating her students, policy makers and the public about older people and the aging process. One of her favorite teaching and research methods is visual gerontology — an analysis of aging’s portrayal in popular media, fine art and the public square.
For the last 25 years, Cicero has lived in the Los Angeles area, where her professional work includes senior care management, affordable housing development, fall prevention, environmental design and policy planning in public, private and nonprofit settings.
Julia Walsh, JD
Julia R. Walsh, JD, is an attorney licensed to practice in California before the California Supreme Court, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and in federal and state district courts in California. She graduated with a degree in biology from Rice University. She was involved in biological research at both Rice University and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston as an undergraduate and worked at UCLA’s Hematology-Oncology Division in a cancer research laboratory for several years.
Walsh went on to attend law school at USC and practiced law in the Los Angeles office of Pillsbury Winthrop, specializing in regulatory, litigation and transactional law. She later went in-house to become the manager of the corporate legal department at the Automobile Club of Southern California, a large multistate not-for-profit company with a related insurance exchange.
Walsh has a long history of advocacy on a variety of issues, including disability, health, children’s issues and education. She served for several years as the legislation and advocacy chair of a large nonprofit membership organization with over 30,000 members.
Cary Kreutzer, EdD, MPH, RD, FAND
Associate Professor of Gerontology and Pediatrics
Assistant Clinical Professor, Keck School of Medicine of USC
Director of Master of Science in Nutrition, Healthspan and Longevity Program
Cary Kreutzer, EdD, MPH, RD, FAND, has been a practicing registered dietitian since 1982, primarily serving at-risk and underserved pediatric and young adult populations. She worked in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates as a clinical dietitian and directed maternal and child health nutrition for the New Mexico Department of Public Health. For over 20 years, she directed community education at USC Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Teaching responsibilities have included part-time nutrition courses at several universities in Southern California and at USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology since 2014, where she now teaches full-time.
Over a 20-year period, she served as a consultant on the state review team and California Children’s Medical Services Branch, as a hospital reviewer of inpatient, outpatient and intensive care units and providing individual counseling in the Medical Therapy Program. She continues to provide limited services at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in the Alta Med Pediatric Clinic, running healthy eating workshops for parents and children who are overweight or obese.
Training in leadership and interdisciplinary care has prepared her for ongoing mentoring of students in the health disciplines. She has been the recipient of local, state and federal grants targeting health systems improvement, improved access to care and public health training and education. Her areas of expertise include obesity prevention and intervention, developmental disabilities and chronic illness, public health and nutrition education, nutrition and health literacy, health systems and health care access. In USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, she is leading the start-up of a distance master’s degree coordinated program in nutrition, healthspan and longevity. The program is accreditation-eligible through the Accreditation Council on Education in Nutrition and Dietetics and approved by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges to deliver the program online.
Following completion of a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics, Kreutzer completed a dietetic internship at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. She received a master’s degree in public health, health services management and administration from the University of Washington, Seattle. She then completed a doctoral degree in urban education leadership with an emphasis in educational psychology at USC Rossier School of Education.
Chief Executive Officer at West Bay Senior Living
Jim Biggs has been directly involved in the senior living industry since 1988, working with more than 45 communities in both the United States and China. He recently completed six years as the managing director of a full-service senior housing management company located in China. During this time, he was instrumental in the development of three senior housing product lines, bringing American best practices to this evolving market.
Prior to his time in China, Jim spent 23 years with Life Care Services, the third-largest manager of rental senior living communities and continuing care retirement communities in the U.S. He served as vice president of the company’s largest territory, providing direct oversight for over 20 older-adult housing developments and operational communities located primarily in the western U.S.
Chief Operating Officer at West Bay Senior Living
Josh Johnson has been managing senior living communities since he received his undergraduate degree in 1997 — and was hired by Jim Biggs. Josh spent most of his career in California managing senior living properties, where he broke records for highest net margin, highest price per unit and highest occupancy during the recession. He also holds a Master of Arts in Gerontology from USC.
In 2012, Josh moved to China to help a large Chinese company establish their senior living platform. While there, he successfully opened a 3,000-apartment CCRC and helped develop plans for six similar communities in China. He also led a team that was the first large insurance company in China to successfully invest in the U.S. senior housing market. In 2016, he started his own investment company, Atlantis Senior Living, which has been responsible for brokering over 60 properties worth more than $900 million.