Geriatrics & Gerontology
Established in 2008 with a vision to be a leader in gerontology and geriatrics training and education, this multidisciplinary division provides support for education, scholarship and clinical service across Michigan. This new program collaborates across multiple disciplines, (family medicine, internal medicine, nursing, social work, and nutrition, two colleges, College of Human Medicine and College of Osteopathic Medicine). This program will also enhance the education of fellows seeking certification of added qualifications, and of 200 residents physicians in affiliate programs of Family and Internal Medicine from both the Colleges of Human Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine.
From Our 2012 Annual Report
In my last report, I indicated that our top priorities for the coming year were to “focus on continued development of a strong administrative and clinical programming infrastructure to ensure ongoing stability and success of our current ventures.” Several of our identified goals have been achieved; our division is now more solidly positioned to respond to geriatrics educational imperatives identified in medical school and residency training, engage in collaborative research opportunities with new faculty members in Grand Rapids, and continue with our agenda to address the far reaching health care needs of the elderly in our community.
With respect to our focus on medical school education, faculty members have developed new lectures and educational tools for the nursing home clinical skills course, advised on revisions to geriatrics curricular content, and provided recommendations to the College to incorporate a vertically integrated model of geriatrics education into the medical school curriculum. For the first time, faculty members are also serving as home institution sponsors for student awardees participating in the highly competitive American Federation for Aging Research - Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) program.
Teaching in the residency has also been newly enhanced. Geriatricians are now precepting family medicine residents at the Sparrow Central clinic to increase their knowledge and competency in caring for the elderly and to model the contribution made by a geriatrician in the care of older adults with complex care needs. Our geriatric medicine fellowship is thriving and two graduating residents have been accepted into the program for 2013. Four of our past fellows sat for the Certificate of Added Qualifications in Geriatric Medicine last fall and all passed. The 100% pass rate is a testament to the success and quality of our fellowship training program!
In summer of 2013, we will welcome Scott Counts, PhD, to the Department of Family Medicine and the Department of Translational Science and Molecular Medicine in Grand Rapids. Dr. Counts is coming from Rush University Medical Center and will continue his research on age-related neurodegenerative disorders. He will also work with our division to support our scholarship efforts and collaborate on joint research proposals that bring together basic science and epidemiological concepts.
Our clinical presence continues to be strong in long-term care facilities in the Lansing area and at Sparrow Hospital, where our in-patient geriatrics consultation service is based. As solid linkages between the hospital, nursing homes, and the Sparrow Senior Health Center are further created by our group of geriatricians, the continuity of care provided to frail older adults as they transition across sites of care will improve, and accountable care mandates set forth in the Affordable Care Act will be fulfilled.
The Division now has the momentum to achieve instructional, scholarship, and clinical care goals that are distinguished and unparalleled. I look forward to summarizing what I know will be exceptional accomplishments in the years to come.
~Kevin T. Foley, MD, FACP, Director of Education and Clinical Operations, Geriatrics Program