Wake Forest Baptist Named Center of Excellence in Geriatrics

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center was named a Center of Excellence in Geriatric Medicine and Training by the John A. Hartford Foundation in 2008 when Wake Forest Baptist was one of the three centers selected from a field of 27 applicants for the $450,000 grants.

Funding from the John A. Hartford Foundation for the Center on Excellence in Geriatrics supports the training and development of medical students and resident physicians in delivering health care to older adults with the specific goal of recruiting as many of these trainees as possible into academic geriatric medicine. In addition, the center focuses on disseminating knowledge about geriatric medicine to other physicians and the larger medical community.

The Center director is Jeff D. Williamson, M.D., M.H.S., head of the Section on Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine.

Since 1997, the John A. Hartford foundation has awarded more than $38 million to create 24 Centers of Excellence in Geriatric Medicine and Training. Other centers are at Johns Hopkins University and Yale University. 

"While people over age 85 are the fastest growing segment of our population, there is a shortage of physicians being trained with the expertise to care for these individuals," said Dr. Williamson. "This award from the Hartford Foundation supports the development of young physicians to become experts in the translation of newly discovered knowledge from our nationally and internationally recognized Claude Pepper Older Americans Independence Center and Roena Kulynych Center for Memory and Cognition Research to the bedside of patients."

According to the Hartford Foundation, current projections suggest that by 2020 the nation should triple its production of faculty in geriatric medicine to adequately train the physicians needed to care for a rapidly growing aging population.

Money from the grant is used to:

  • develop expertise in faculty from all medical specialties for improving care delivery to older adults
  • allow faculty members to spend dedicated time mentoring the development of medical students and residents who are considering a career in geriatric medicine
  • support the early career development of geriatricians

According to the Hartford Foundation, common attributes of the 24 centers of excellence include leadership in geriatric medicine; having a faculty focused on clinical care as well as research; access to excellent geriatric clinical facilities across the continuum of care; demonstrated success in obtaining competitive research funding, and a highly visible institutional commitment to geriatrics.

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Last Updated: 12-12-2014
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