Vitae: Year in Review | Annual Report 2008

UMMS Receives $2 Million Grant to Transform Geriatrics Training

reynolds grant 

The Reynolds Grant award to UMMS resulted from the work of, from left: Jerry Gurwitz, MD; Mary Ellen Keough, director of Educational Programs for the Meyers Primary Care Institute; LInC Project Manager Tricia Droney; Sherly Jean-Bart of the Of? ce of Educational Affairs; Director of Grants and Special Projects Emily Ferrara; Michele Pugnaire, MD; Sarah McGee, MD, MPH; and Mary Zanetti, senior director of Research and Evaluation.

No matter their specialty, every physician will need targeted training to address the special health care needs of the elderly, a patient cohort growing to unprecedented numbers.

Affirming its commitment to prepare its trainees for this demographic shift, UMass Medical School has been awarded a $2 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the United States. The UMMS award, one of ten grants made in 2008 by the foundation as part of its Aging and Quality of Life Program, will support implementation of a comprehensive geriatrics curriculum across the span of medical training for students, residents and practicing physicians. UMMS will commit additional funding in excess of $1 million to support the initiative.

Grant co-investigators Michele P. Pugnaire, MD, associate professor of family medicine & community health and senior associate dean for Educational Affairs, and Jerry Gurwitz, MD, the Dr. John Meyers Professor of Primary Care Medicine, professor of medicine and family medicine & community health and chief of the Division of Geriatric Medicine, bring foundational expertise in researching and implementing best practices in geriatric care and curriculum development. “The time is right for this project at UMass Medical School,” said Dr. Pugnaire. “We are in the midst of a major curriculum redesign, and aging has been endorsed by our curriculum committees and redesign teams as a unifying theme for all components of our new curriculum.”

Specific initiatives of the four-year UMMS project will include an integrated educational program in geriatrics spanning undergraduate and graduate medical education, with faculty development focusing on the principles of providing high quality care to the elderly; a new Geriatrics Education Resource Center to bring together the essential state-of-the-art educational services, technologies and expertise in curriculum development; a special program to educate chief residents across the medical and surgical specialties regarding the unique considerations in providing care for older patients; and the recruitment of new geriatrics faculty.