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Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center Expands Focus on Geriatric Research

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – A new federally funded research center will enable Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center to expand its research into the diseases and conditions that commonly afflict older adults.

“We’ll conduct a broad array of studies, including treatments for menopause, arthritis, and heart disease, as well as the prevention of dementia in older women,” said Diane Mann, M.S., administrative director of the Medical Center’s General Clinical Research Center (GCRC).

The new research center, located in the Medical Center’s J. Paul Sticht Center on Aging and Rehabilitation, is a satellite of the main GCRC. The Medical Center’s GCRC is one of 79 across the country funded by the National Center for Research Resources of the National Institutes of Health. Charles E. McCall, M.D., has served as the GCRC program director since the center opened in 1992. The Sticht Center satellite is the first GCRC in the country to focus exclusively on geriatric research.

The new research center includes five exam rooms, a laboratory, a work station for nurses and a waiting area. The Geriatric GCRC, which is operated with federal funds, provides space and support for researchers to conduct studies in humans, including a nursing staff to perform clinical procedures, a dining room to provide special meals for dietary studies and informatics specialists to offer web-based data collection and analysis.

“We have been working at capacity in our main unit, so are glad to be able to extend our boundaries with this satellite center,” said Marcy Poletti, M.S.N., GCRC research nurse manager.

The new geriatric GCRC is located next to the Roena Bullis Kulynych Dementia Research Center, which was created through a private donation and focuses on the relationship between memory impairment, dementia and physical disability in the elderly.

“Together, these centers will enable us to expand research into critical areas such as memory loss in addition to our current research on diseases and conditions that contribute to loss of independence by older adults,” said Jeff Williamson, M.D., director of the Kulynych Center and the GCRC’s associate program director for geriatrics.

“With the help of the GCRC, Wake Forest University has become a national leader in research on prevention and treatment of disability in older people. This new GCRC satellite is further evidence of the medical center’s continuing commitment to cutting edge research and care for an aging population,” he said.

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Media Contacts: Karen Richardson, (336) 716-4453, krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu; or Barbara Hahn, 336-716-6877; bhahn@wfubmc.edu.

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