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MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant Goes to D.C. Activist Who Fights Elder Abuse

Theories led to prosecution of nursing home abuse

Marie-Therese Connolly has been awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for her work in the prevention of elder abuse.

Watch: Inside E Street interview with Marie-Therese Connolly. 

MacArthur Fellowship for the prevention of elder abuse

Marie-Therese Connolly. — Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post/Getty Images

“I was shocked that the problem is so invisible,” said Connolly in a recent interview. “There is so much opportunity for change, and I can’t think of another issue that affects so many people and where less is being done.”

As director of the Department of Justice's Elder Justice and Nursing Home Initiative, Connolly, developed new legal theories of liability that led to successful prosecution of cases of abuse and neglect in nursing homes.

The $500,000, “no strings attached,” also known as the “genius” grant was awarded to Connolly and 21 others. Recipients include a musician, sports medicine researcher, evolutionary geneticist, public historian and clinical psychologist, to name a few. The recipients learned, through a phone call out of the blue from the Foundation, that they will each receive $500,000 over the next five years. Read article at Washington Post.

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