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Marcia Ory

Regents and Distinguished Professor

Marcia Ory's primary passion is to promote population health through innovations in research, education, and practice.


Marcia G. Ory, PhD, MPH, is a regents and distinguished professor in the Department Environmental and Occupational Health at the Texas A&M School of Public Health. She also serves as Founding Director of the University-wide Texas A&M Board of Regents Center for Population Health and Aging. Her primary passion is to promote population health through innovations in research, education, and practice that examine social, behavioral, economic, environmental, and technological solutions linking academic and real-world settings. She has been responsible for designing and implementing interventions at the individual, organizational, and technology-environmental level to improve the health and well-being of individuals across the life-course.She has published more than 450 papers in peer-reviewed journals, edited 10 books and 25 special journal issues, and penned 50 book chapters and forewords. Of special relevance is a 2015 special Research Topics issue in Frontiers in Public Health which serves as a foundational reference for articles on evidence-based programming for older adults. Most recently she has co-edited another Research Topic issue in Frontiers in Public Health which addresses how the RE-AIM Framework can help shed light on the implementation and dissemination of programs, policies, and services both nationally and internationally.She is an ex-officio member of Texas Healthy at Home and has worked closely with the aging services network to help support the widespread implementation and dissemination of evidence-based chronic disease management and fall prevention programming throughout Texas.


Recognizing women in science, Aging, Public Health
Vital Record

September 07, 2021

Center for Population Health and Aging director and affiliate appointed as co-editors of a new Frontiers journal research area

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Over 40% of nursing home staffs in Brazos County remain unvaccinated

August 12, 2021

“The issue is at the very beginning of COVID the hotspots were in nursing homes. The good news is that most nursing home residents, about 80% have been vaccinated,” said Dr. Marcia Ory, Founding Director for the Texas A&M Center for Population Health & Aging. “The bad news is the people who work with them on a daily basis are less likely to be vaccinated. Ory says the data is concerning. She says a shortage of healthcare workers combined with unvaccinated healthcare workers could have a ripple effect on an already strained healthcare system.

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Active For Life
Texas A&M Today

March 24, 2021

Marcia G. Ory is a leading scholar who embodies what women in health sciences can achieve. She’s nearing her 20th year at Texas A&M University, part of a career spanning four decades. From her positions in the Texas A&M University School of Public Health, including Regents and Distinguished Professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, as well as founding director of the Texas A&M Center for Population Health and Aging, Ory engages in a broad portfolio of research, education and practice that has made a difference in the lives of countless older adults and their families across the nation.

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A&M expert: Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine has “more advantages than disadvantages”

February 01, 2021

While those numbers do not sound as promising as the >90% efficacy demonstrated in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, experts are encouraged by the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Including Marcia Ory, a Regents and Distinguished Professor in the Texas A&M School of Public Health. Ory calls the Johnson & Johnson vaccine a partial success. “It gives us another vaccine that people can utilize,” Ory explains, “and particularly people in the Brazos Valley where vaccines have been particularly limited.”

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How will society change as the US population ages?
The Conversation

September 25, 2020

Even as average life expectancy has started to trend downward in the U.S., Americans 65 and older are living longer. The change toward longer old age will have profound effects on health care needs, families and what it means to be old. Marcia G. Ory, founding director of the Texas A&M Center for Population Health and Aging, explains why all Americans will be affected by a bulge in the graying population.

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Effectiveness and economic impact of a diabetes education program among adults with type 2 diabetes in South Texas
BMC Public Health

2021The long-term growth and sustained high prevalence of obesity in the US is likely to increase the burden of Type 2 diabetes. Hispanic individuals are particularly burdened by a larger share of diabetes than non-Hispanic White individuals. Given the existing health disparities facing this population, we aimed to examine the effectiveness and potential cost savings of the Diabetes Education Program (DEP) offered as part of Healthy South Texas, a state-legislated initiative to reduce health disparities in 27 counties in South Texas with a high proportion of Hispanic adults. DEP is an 8-h interactive workshop taught in English and Spanish. After the workshop, participants receive quarterly biometric screenings and continuing education with a health educator for one year.

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Marcia G. Ory Assessing weekly minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) before and during the global COVID-19 pandemic in the US
APHA 2021 Annual Meeting and Expo

2021We assessed potential changes in weekly minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (weekly-minutes-of-MVPA) from immediately prior to the pandemic (baseline) to a typical week since the start of the pandemic (post). Texas residents in multiple cities were surveyed from May to August 2020. Analyses included approximately 1400 residents aged 18 and older who did not have a physical impairment preventing physical activity, given the outcome was engagement in weekly-minutes-of-MVPA. Both subjective (reporting one’s neighborhood is easy to be physically active in since COVID-19 began) and objective (Walkscore, score 0-49 for car-dependent; score 50-100 for walkable) measures of activity-friendliness of one’s neighborhood were assessed.

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The community-based LIVE WELL Initiative: Improving the lives of older adults
Journal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community

2021A collaborative partnership among community-based organizations (CBOs) could strengthen local services and enhance the capacity of a community to provide services as well as meet the diverse needs of older adults. The United Way of Tarrant County developed the LIVE WELL Initiative, partnering with six CBOs to provide nine evidence-based or evidence-informed health interventions to improve the health and lower healthcare costs of vulnerable individuals at risk for poor health. The nine programs include specific target areas, such as falls prevention, chronic disease self-management, medication management, and diabetes screening and education. A total of 63,102 clients, nearly 70% of whom were older adults, were served through the Initiative.

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Factors Affecting Adoption of a Technology-Based Tool for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support Among Adult Patients with Type 2 Diabetes in South Texas
The Science of Diabetes Self-Management and Care

2021The purpose of this study is to describe a novel computerized diabetes education tool and explore factors influencing self-selection and use among primarily Hispanic patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in south Texas. Study participants included 953 adult patients with type 2 diabetes enrolled in a diabetes education program between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017. Participants were asked to choose either a new technology-based diabetes education tool with a touch-screen device or a traditional face-to-face education method. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was applied to identify factors associated with adopting the computerized diabetes education tool among the patients.

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COVID-19: Short term prediction model using daily incidence data
PLoS One

2021Prediction of the dynamics of new SARS-CoV-2 infections during the current COVID-19 pandemic is critical for public health planning of efficient health care allocation and monitoring the effects of policy interventions. We describe a new approach that forecasts the number of incident cases in the near future given past occurrences using only a small number of assumptions. Our approach to forecasting future COVID-19 cases involves 1) modeling the observed incidence cases using a Poisson distribution for the daily incidence number, and a gamma distribution for the series interval; 2) estimating the effective reproduction number assuming its value stays constant during a short time interval; and 3) drawing future incidence cases from their posterior distributions, assuming that the current transmission rate will stay the same, or change by a certain degree.

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Implementing a Diabetes Education Program to Reduce Health Disparities in South Texas: Application of the RE-AIM Framework for Planning and Evaluation
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Health disparities in diabetes management and control are well-documented. The objective of this study is to describe one diabetes education program delivered in the United States in terms of the RE-AIM (Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance) Planning and Evaluation Framework. Questionnaires, clinical data, and administrative records were analyzed from 8664 adults with diabetes living in South Texas, an area characterized by high health disparities. The Diabetes Education Program delivered was a professionally led 12-month program involving 8 h of in-person workshop education followed by quarterly follow-up sessions. Changes in average blood glucose levels over the past 3 months (e.g., A1c levels) were the primary clinical outcome. Descriptive and multiple generalized linear mixed models were performed. This community-based initiative reached a large and diverse population, and statistically significant reductions in A1c levels (p < 0.01) were observed among participants with Type 2 diabetes at 3 months. These reductions in A1c levels were sustained at 6-, 9-, and 12-month follow-up assessments (p < 0.01). However, considerable attrition over time at follow-up sessions indicate the need for more robust strategies to keep participants engaged. For this diabetes education program, the RE-AIM model was a useful framework to present study processes and outcomes.

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Attitudes Toward Technology and Use of Fall Alert Wearables in Caregiving: Survey Study
JMIR Aging

Wearable technology for fall alerts among older adult care recipients is one of the more frequently studied areas of technology, given the concerning consequences of falls among this population. Falls are quite prevalent in later life. While there is a growing amount of literature on older adults’ acceptance of technology, less is known about how caregivers’ attitudes toward technology can impact care recipients’ use of such technology.

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Area of Expertise


Academy for Behavioral Medicine Research : Member

American Academy of Health Behavior : Member

American College of Sports Medicine : Member

American Public Health Association : Member

Gerontological Society of America : Member

Society for Behavioral Medicine : Member


Johns Hopkins University : Chronic Disease Epidemiology

Johns Hopkins University : Behavioral Sciences

Purdue University : Family Studies and Sociology

Indiana University : Sociology and Human Development

University of Texas : Sociology and Psychology

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