Baker named Health and Aging Policy Fellow

Photo of Natalie Baker

By Laura Gasque

University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing Associate Professor Natalie Baker, DNP, ANP-BC, GNP-BC, CNE, GS-C, FAANP, FAAN (BSN 1985, MSN 1990, DNP 2010), has been selected to participate in the national Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program. The program awards up to 15 fellowships annually for those who want to advance their career in gerontology, providing an opportunity to gain experience and skills to make contributions to the development and implementation of health policies that affect older Americans.

“I am humbled to have been selected,” Baker said. “My personal goals for the one-year fellowship are to interact with federal agencies that regulate policies directly impacting the delivery of health care in America’s nursing homes, understand how states determine resource allocations to the aging population, and identify federal and state policy decisions that impact health metrics of nursing home residents.”

Baker is the Infection Prevention Supervisor for the Alabama Long-Term Care Strike Team, a project administered through UAB’s School of Public Health. She has maintained a practice as a nurse practitioner in the long-term care setting for more than three decades and provides care to this vulnerable patient population. She is passionate about improving the infrastructure in long-term care facilities and mentoring advanced practice nursing students and colleagues.

Recognized for her national impact on gerontological nursing education and health policy, she is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Baker also is a Distinguished Educator in Gerontological Nursing, an honor bestowed by the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence.

“The experiential opportunities gained through this fellowship align with our School’s mission to shape patient-centered, equitable health care,” Baker said. “Older adults residing in long-term care facilities are often forgotten and they deserve equitable, evidence-based care. Upon completion of the fellowship, I plan to advance policymaking initiatives through partnerships at UAB and on the state and national levels. An area of specific interest is improving infection prevention and control infrastructure in all long-term care facilities.”

Baker is a three-time graduate of the School and was named one of its 70 Visionary Leaders in 2021.

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