Sun Health Foundation Donor Gives $20K to Center for Healthy Aging

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Gift will benefit The Center for Healthy Aging, the first longevity research program in Arizona aimed at understanding the psychosocial, cognitive, medical and physical factors contributing to healthy aging. The study involves more than 1,200 Arizonans, ages 50 and up.

Sun Health Foundation donor Barbara Larney with a plaque honoring her late husband John L. Larney.

My husband and I both believed in the importance of doing research on aging. There was not much being done in this area, and there's a real need for it. We are all aging.

A volunteer for a longevity study being conducted by Banner Sun Health Research Institute's Center for Healthy Aging recently donated twenty thousand dollars to the program in memory of her husband.

Barbara Larney made the gift through Sun Health Foundation in honor of John L. Larney, who passed away in 2013. Mr. Larney enjoyed a distinguished 40-plus year career as an electrical engineer for Honeywell Avionics Division, where he specialized in navigational systems.

His job took him all over the world, often accompanied by Mrs. Larney, who earned a Ph.D. degree in sociology. The two shared much, including a love of learning.

"My husband and I both believed in the importance of doing research on aging," Mrs. Larney said. "There was not much being done in this area, and there's a real need for it. We are all aging."

The donation will benefit The Center for Healthy Aging Longevity Study, launched in 2006 to explore the psychosocial, cognitive, medical and physical factors contributing to healthy aging. The center is part of the Banner Sun Health Research Institute.

"This gift is reflective of all the volunteer work Barbara did for the study," said Walter Nieri, M.D., co-principal investigator and researcher for the study, officially known as the "Longevity Study: Learning from our Elders."

Barbara Larney interviewed more than 120 elderly Arizonans between 2008 and 2012 as part of her volunteer work at the center. "Every one of the participants had amazing stories to tell," she said. Longevity project coordinator Kathy O'Connor praised Larney's ability to put participants at ease and get them to share rich details from their lives.

A plaque honoring John Larney now hangs on a classroom wall at the Banner Sun Health Research Institute. "We really appreciate this gift," Dr. Nieri said.

About Sun Health Foundation
For nearly 50 years, Sun Health Foundation donors have supported superior health care in the West Valley. The foundation is the philanthropic partner to the Banner Sun Health Research Institute, Banner Boswell and Banner Del E. Webb medical centers, as well as community wellness programs and senior living services provided by Sun Health.

About The Center for Healthy Aging
The Center for Healthy Aging is the first longevity research program in Arizona aimed at understanding the psychosocial, cognitive, medical and physical factors contributing to healthy aging. The study involves more than 1,200 participants, ages 50 and up, from across Arizona. Data collected since 2006 allows information to be evaluated over time, making it a longitudinal study, which makes it more appealing for larger collaborative research opportunities. It is part of Banner Sun Health Research Institute.

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