Michelle Hilgeman

Adjunct Associate Professor


  • PhD, The University of Alabama

Research Areas

  • intervention development, adaptation, and implementation
  • person-centered care for people with dementia and their caregivers
  • LGBTQ+ Veteran health


Michelle M. Hilgeman, Ph.D. received her PhD from The University of Alabama in 2010. A VA Research Clinical Psychologist and Adjunct Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology, Dr. Hilgeman’s work focuses on the development, adaptation, and implementation of behavioral interventions that improve access to high quality care and outcomes for at risk Veterans (i.e., dementia, caregivers, LGBTQ+, rural) across healthcare settings. Dr. Hilgeman’s work has been supported by grants from the VA Office of Rural Health, VA Innovation Ecosystem, VA Rehabilitation Research & Development Service, and VA Health Services Research & Development. For example, Dr. Hilgeman’s current projects include evaluation of: 1) a 6-month telephone-based counseling approach for community-dwelling Veterans with dementia and their family caregivers; 2) an implementation and effectiveness clinical trial of Montessori-informed person-centered care approach in VA long-term care neighborhoods; and 3) evaluation of a 10-week health education group for sexual and gender minority Veterans. Dr. Hilgeman is a strong mentoring presence in the geropsychology program, currently co-mentoring four doctoral students, and regularly serves on thesis and dissertation committees for graduate students. Dr. Hilgeman is not currently teaching courses at UA, but she does teach didactic seminars for Psychology Interns and Chaplain Residents at the VA Medical Center on topics including: ethics, rural health, capacity assessment, behavioral modification, and cultural humility/ diversity issues (e.g., LGBTQ+ Veterans, individuals with disabilities).


  • Alabama Research Institute on Aging
  • Selected Publications

    1. Hilgeman, M. M., Lange, T. M., Bishop, T., & Cramer, R. J. (2022). Spreading pride in all who served: A health education program to improve access and mental health outcomes for sexual and gender minority veterans. Psychological Services. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/ser0000604
    2. Palmer, J.A., Hilgeman, M.M., Balboni, T., Paasche-Orlow, S., Sullivan, J.L. (2021). The spiritual experience of dementia from the health care provider perspective: Implications for intervention. The Gerontologist. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnab134
    3. Hilgeman, M.M., Simons, K.V., Bower, E.S., Jacobs, M.L., Hagemann, L., Eichorst, M., Luci, K. (2021). Improving Suicide Risk Detection and Clinical Follow-up after Discharge from Nursing Homes. Clinical Gerontologisthttps://doi.org/10.1080/07317115.2021.1927280
    4. Blosnich, J.R, Hilgeman, M.M., Cypel, Y.S., Akhtar, F.Z., Fried, D., Ishii, E.K., Schneiderman, A., & Davey, V.J. (2021). Potentially traumatic events and health among lesbian, gay, bisexual and heterosexual Vietnam veterans: Results from the Vietnam Era Health Retrospective Observational Study. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policyhttps://doi.apa.org/doi/10.1037/tra0001025
    5. Hilgeman, M. M., Boozer, E. M., Snow, A. L., Allen, R.S., & Davis, L. L. (2019). Use of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) in a Rural Outreach Program for Military Veterans. Journal of Rural Social Sciences. 34(2): Article 2. Available At: https://egrove.olemiss.edu/jrss/vol34/iss2/2
    6. Luci, K., Simons, K., Hagemann, L., Jacobs, M.L., Bower, E.S., Eichorst, M.K. & Hilgeman, M.M. (2019). SAVE-CLC: An Intervention to Reduce Suicide Risk in Older Veterans Following Discharge from VA Nursing Facilities. Clinical Gerontologist, Special Issue on Late Life Suicide, co-edited by A. Fiske, PhD, and R. Cui, MS. DOI: 10.1080/07317115.2019.1666444
    7. Hilgeman, M., Uphold, C., Collins, A., Davis, L., Olsen, D., Burgio, K., DeCoster, J., Gay, W., & Allen, R. (2018). Enabling Advance Directive Completion: Feasibility of a New Nurse-Supported Advance Care Planning Intervention. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 44(7), 31-42.
    8. Hilgeman, M. M., Allen, R. S., & Carden, K. D. (2016). Identity process as a predictor of memory beliefs in older adults. Aging and Mental Health. Link to article: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13607863.2016.1154013
    9. Hilgeman, M. M., Allen, R. S. Snow, A. L., Durkin, D.W., DeCoster, J., & Burgio, L., (2014). Preserving Identity and Planning for Advance Care (PIPAC): Preliminary Outcomes from a Patient-Centered Intervention for Individuals with Mild Dementia. Aging & Mental Health, 18(4): 411-424. DOI:10.1080/13607863.2013.868403; Link to article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2013.868403
    10. Hilgeman, M.M., Mahaney-Price, A.F., Stanton, M.P., McNeal, S.F., Pettey, K.M., Tabb, K.D., Litaker, M.S., Parmelee, P., Hamner, K., Martin, M.Y., Hawn, M., Kertesz, S.G., Davis, L.L. and the Alabama Veterans Rural Health Initiative Steering Committee. (2014). Alabama Veterans Rural Health Initiative: A Pilot Study of Enhanced Community Outreach in Rural Areas. Journal of Rural Health; 30:153-163.