-A A +A

UCLA/Hartford Center of Excellence

For four decades, the UCLA Multicampus Program in Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology (MPGMG) has been recognized as a national leader in providing clinical care for older persons, teaching health professionals how to better care for older persons, and conducting research aimed at improving the health and independence of older persons. A key component of the MPGMG's mission is to train faculty in geriatrics. In 1988, the UCLA/Hartford Center of Excellence (CoE) was among the first 10 Centers funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation. In 1998, UCLA developed a faculty development strategy that has persisted to the present. The basic elements of that strategy rely on:

  • innovation (i.e., developing new approaches to faculty development)
  • investment (e.g., support of faculty from advanced training until they become senior faculty, creating infrastructure to support junior faculty) and
  • leverage (i.e., relying primarily on other sources of funding)

This approach has been highly successful in generating academic geriatrics faculty who have gone to other institutions or have remained at UCLA. Some previously supported CoE faculty are serving as mentors for the current trainees.

The UCLA/Hartford CoE builds upon its existing institutional and extramural resources to support the development of clinician-scientist and clinician-educator faculty. Drs. David Reuben and Alison Moore co-lead the program. They bring to CoE the broad resources of UCLA including the Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center; the VA Geriatrics Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC); and other state, federal, and foundation grants. The UCLA/Hartford CoE accomplishes its goal through four approaches:

  1. Tuition and research/educational project support of advanced geriatrics fellows, including those who are in combined geriatrics-subspecialty training programs
  2. Salary support of junior clinician-scientist geriatrics faculty to provide protected time for career development and project support to ensure their success as researchers
  3. An augmented mentoring program for junior faculty in geriatric medicine
  4. Infrastructure support for advanced fellows and junior faculty to facilitate manuscript and grant submission and post-award grant management

The UCLA/Hartford CoE currently supports three trainees:

  • Emiley Chang, MD is a geriatrician who, by June 2016, will have completed a second advanced fellowship through the National Research Service Award (NRSA) program at UCLA and will obtain a Masters in Health Sciences. She plans to become a clinician-scientist with a focus on reducing barriers to care and improving quality of care for older adults, particularly among the Asian American immigrant population. For this award, she will develop a coalition of Chinese American elders to facilitate research participation of this community as she found unexpected challenges recruiting this population during her prior CoE projects addressing factors impacting antihypertensive medication adherence in older Chinese Americans.
  • Lee Jennings, MD, MSHS is a geriatrician and clinician-scientist who is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Geriatric Medicine at UCLA. Her research focuses on improving the quality and delivery of care for vulnerable older adults with advanced illness. She plans to continue her prior CoE-funded work evaluating the impact of statewide adoption of the Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) on hospital, emergency department, and hospice care utilization among California nursing home residents.
  • Joanna Schaenman, MD, PhD is an internist specializing in infectious disease and clinician-scientist who is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at UCLA. Her research focuses on transplant infectious disease in older adults. She wishes to examine the frequency of and mechanism underlying impairment of T cell immune function in the older kidney transplant recipient

For more information about the UCLA/Hartford CoE, please contact Lucio Arruda at larruda@mednet.ucla.edu