Designated a National Center of Excellence by the John A. Hartford Foundation, the Division of Geriatric Medicine is committed to excellence in geriatric research, clinical care, and training.
The Division's research is nationally-recognized in many areas, including the biology of aging, cancer, dementia, depression, falls, frailty, heart disease, incontinence, infections, mobility, osteoporosis, pain, pharmacotherapy, resilience, and sarcopenia. The Division also has NIH support for a Cancer and Aging Center, an Older Americans Independence Center ("Pepper"), and several NIH-funded research training grants, including a T32, T35, K24, and K07. Some key Division researchers include Stephanie Studenski, Anne Newman, Joe Hanlon, Susan Greenspan, Neil Resnick, Debra Weiner, Derek Griffiths, Werner Schafer, Susan Hardy, and Al Fisher. In addition, the University's age-related research involves more than three dozen investigators (e.g., Steve DeKosky, Charles Reynolds, Richard Schulz) in nearly all of its 16 schools, as well as at adjacent RAND-Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. The result is a university research portfolio in aging that is broad and deep and which encompasses more than $225 million in extramural support. New initiatives are being launched in translational research, quality improvement, and geriatric care models.
As an integral component of the University of Pittsburgh Institute on Aging, the Geriatric Division's clinical efforts are also extensive. Its more than two dozen faculty focus on prevention and management of the complex medical, psychological, and social problems that older adults experience. Division faculty provide vertically-integrated care for patients in every relevant setting, including nearly 15,000 annual ambulatory visits, 1500 hospital admissions, and thousands of visits to patients in their own homes, rehabilitation centers, assisted living residences, and nursing homes. In addition, Division faculty are medical directors of more than half a dozen nursing homes and 3 PACE sites. The Division also staffs hospitalist services for its own patients and provides consultative care as well. Because many Division faculty are trained in other fields in addition to geriatrics, they can provide subspecialty and geriatrically-oriented input to patients with falls and gait disorders, chronic pain, osteoporosis, polypharmacy, incontinence, delirium, depression, dementia, and palliative care needs. Many Division faculty are included in lists of America's best physicians.
The Division's educational efforts are also extensive and span the gamut, from teaching high school students enrolled in an elite statewide program to providing continuing education for clinicians. Division faculty have won local and national teaching awards as well as a variety of grants to support development of innovative educational approaches. Division faculty helped to devise the medical school's curriculum, direct some of its courses, and develop geriatrics content for other relevant courses. The faculty also devised a geriatrics "major" (Area of Concentration) for medical students, launched one of the nation's first Geriatric Medicine Residencies in 2002 and, in collaboration with the Division of General Medicine, was one of 10 national sites selected by SGIM to pioneer a new program to more tightly link the two disciplines. The Division also provides geriatric training for all of the University's residents in Internal Medicine and for selected trainees in other fields. It also offers an intensive two-year academic fellowship to prepare future leaders in geriatrics. Over the years, Division faculty have assisted AGS in developing better ways to add geriatrics into surgical subspecialty training, and have led both an AAFP effort to train residents nationally and an international training effort in incontinence. Finally, the Division offers a popular three-day geriatrics CME program that attracts more than 400 clinicians annually and another course designed for nursing home medical directors, administrators, and nursing directors.
Further information can be found on the University of Pittsburgh Institute on Aging website (www.aging.pitt.edu). The Institute on Aging couples the university's academic strengths in research and training with the clinical expertise of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.