Dr. Robert Pope is currently an Assistant Professor at Dominican University of California in San Rafael, CA.  He graduated from California State University of Hayward with a Master’s of Science in Nursing as a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner and earned his doctorate from the University of California San Francisco, in San Francisco, California. While training as a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner at a VA hospital in California, he began seeing older vets with substance use disorders and developed an interest in understanding the basic social processes surrounding illicit drug use among older African Americans. Prior to being awarded the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) fellowship in 2008, Dr. Pope was awarded a 2004 John A. Hartford Scholarship whose mission is Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity.


Dr. Pope has presented his research findings on social determinants of substance abuse in older African Americans at national and international conferences. In 2006, a poster titled “The Media and Substance Abuse in Older African Americans,” was presented at the Gerontological Society of America’s 59th Annual Scientific Meeting; in 2007, a poster titled “The Social Construction of Older African American Street Drug Users: Allostatic Overload,” was presented at the 40th Annual Western Institute of Nursing Conference. He traveled to Yokohama, Japan that same year to present a poster titled “A Person-Environment Perspective on Control: Implications for Aging and Cross-Cultural Research and Practice,” at the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Conference.  Additionally, he was the co-lead on a symposium presentation at the 2007, Gerontological Society of America’s 60th Annual Scientific Meeting, in San Francisco, CA., titled, “Ethnicity, Culture and Chronic Illness Discourses: Challenges and Opportunities in Research with Understudied Groups.” In 2009, he traveled to Durban, South Africa to present a poster titled “The Social Determinants of Substance Abuse in Older African American Street Drug Users” at the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Conference. A manuscript of the same name was published in the April 2010 issue of Journal of Transcultural Nursing.


Alzheimer’s disease is a life journey that impacts the individual, their family members, friends, and community. I am convinced that more work needs to be done with outreach and serving underserved communities that are disproportionately impacted. Therefore, I support the mission of ICARE in hopes of a better tomorrow.


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