Zimmerman is an internationally recognized research expert in long-term services and supports for older adults, including those living with dementia. She works closely in a leadership capacity with the National Institute on Aging, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Gerontological Society of America, the National Center for Assisted Living, and the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, as well as with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and other organizations on initiatives addressing a range of issues related to care, outcomes, and quality of life for older adults.
At the University of North Carolina, Zimmerman co-directs the interdisciplinary Program on Aging, Disability, and Long-Term Care at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, and is director of aging research in the School of Social Work. She also is executive director of the national Center for Excellence in Assisted Living (CEAL@UNC).
She has served as associate dean of doctoral education in the School of Social Work.