The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson has been awarded a prestigious grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation to strengthen physician training in geriatrics.
With the rapid growth of the American elderly population, especially in Arizona, an urgent need exists to assure that all physicians are prepared to provide the best of care for older adults. This $1 million grant (The University of Arizona Health Network provided an additional $847,845 of matching) provides much-needed support to train Arizona’s physicians in geriatric care, with an emphasis on hospitalists and surgical and medical specialists. This grant program will support and extend the successes of the Arizona Reynolds Program of Applied Geriatrics, founded in 2006 by a previous Reynolds grant, which built an infrastructure of excellence in geriatric education and training.
“This generous grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation will ensure that hospitalized older adults will be cared for by specialists who have been trained to meet the unique health-care needs of older adults,” said Principal Investigator Mindy Fain, MD, division chief of geriatrics, general internal medicine and palliative medicine at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson and co-director of the UA Center on Aging. Founded in 1954, headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization that has committed more than $245 million to its Aging and Quality of Life program.
The targeted specialties are: emergency medicine; pulmonary/critical care; hospital medicine; orthopedics; and surgery – all are responsible for the acute care of older, frail adults. In addition to training these key specialists in geriatric principles, the program will develop high-value, team-based models of geriatric care for older, frail adults, such as a Senior Emergency Room and an Acute Care of Elders program. The following Reynolds Scholars in Aging – outstanding physicians who have been selected to implement and extend staff training for these exciting new geriatric programs – include:
- Cristine Berry, MD – pulmonary/critical care
- Bellal Joseph, MD – acute care/trauma surgery
- Sathish Karmegam, MD – hospital medicine
- Evan Ong, MD – HPB/surgical oncology
- Michelle Rhodes, MD – emergency medicine
- Jason Wild, MD – orthopaedic surgery
Co-Principal Investigators Jane Mohler, PhD, NP, MPH, and Barry Weiss, MD, will use their expertise to help create these enduring programs that will spread geriatric principles of care to approximately 200 physician-residents, chief residents, fellows, hospitalists and selected surgical and medical specialists, all with the aim to improve care for Arizona’s frail elderly. They will be supported by geriatric faculty members Drs. Ellyn Lee, Ana Sanguineti and Elise Reinhard.
UA Geriatrics is nationally recognized for excellence in the care of older adults; the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, in partnership with The University of Arizona Health Network, has established an institutional culture that embraces interprofessional geriatric education and practice. U.S. News and World Report ranked UA Geriatrics No. 34 in the nation in 2013.