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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 11/03/00
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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Geriatric Medicine Office Funded to Develop National Database

Cincinnati--The University of Cincinnati (UC) Office of Geriatric Medicine has been chosen by the Association of Directors of Geriatric Academic Programs (ADGAP) to research and develop a national database called the Reynolds/ADGAP Longitudinal Study of Training and Practice in Geriatric Medicine. ADGAP was awarded a two-year grant of $729,908 from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and then chose UC to launch a project to develop a first-of-its-kind, national database to document current activities of geriatric education, training, research and practice and to track its progress over time.

Gregg Warshaw, MD, director of the UC Office of Geriatric Medicine and Martha Betty Semmons Professor of Geriatric Medicine, and ADGAP submitted a proposal to the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation to fund the database project. Warshaw will serve as the principal investigator, working closely with Al Tuchfarber, PhD, director of the UC Institute for Health Policy and Health Services Research (IHPHSR) and his staff.

In order to provide sound geriatric care, physicians and physicians-in-training must be properly educated in the discipline. Until recently, very few people were specifically trained in geriatrics. To date, there is no formal, organized method of tracking or documenting the development of geriatric training programs or who is actually receiving geriatric education.

"This documentation is important because there are quite a few federal and state as well as foundation-based programs that are providing funds to academic medical centers to build geriatric education programs," Warshaw said. "These funding agencies need to know what impact they are having: are more students receiving education in geriatrics, are more residents considering fellowships in geriatrics and are more faculty being recruited to medical schools to teach geriatrics."

The database will be based in and implemented by IHPHSR on the Medical Center campus and will serve academic leaders in geriatrics at every medical school across the nation. The project has a national oversight committee with representation from the American Medical Association, the American Association of Medical Colleges, the National Institute on Aging and from key foundations in the field. Warshaw and his staff, in collaboration with the committee, will help define what information should be in the database, collect the data by survey research and then integrate and combine it into one national database located at UC.

"The exciting part of this project is that we are finally going to have a way of looking at the full experience around the country in geriatric education so we can document the progress we are making," Warshaw said. "This is a great opportunity for the UC Medical Center to be the home of this important new project."

Warshaw said if the first phase of the project is successful, ADGAP will submit a second grant proposal to Donald W. Reynolds for phase two of the project. The goal of the second phase will be to build the longitudinal part of the database so it can be updated regularly and have the information publicly available via the Internet. The first phase is concentrated just in geriatric medicine. In the second phase, Warshaw hopes to be able to extend the database to other health disciplines such as nursing or social work.

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