Reynolds Foundation Gives Montefiore and Einstein $2 Million to Train Doctors to Care for Elderly

Jul 11, 2006 — A $2 million grant has been awarded to Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Medical Center to develop a program to train doctors in caring for the elderly.

The initiative, known as the GeriEd Program, will contain both educational and clinical components. The project is funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation of Las Vegas.

“Almost all physicians will be caring for older adults in the years to come,” said program co-leader, Laurie Jacobs, M.D., division chief of Geriatrics at Montefiore and director of the Resnick Gerontology Center at Einstein, while noting that there are currently only about 6,000 geriatricians –- physicians who specialize in the care of the elderly –- in the nation.

“Our goal,” she said, “is to improve physicians’ skills in medicine as well as in navigating the healthcare system so they can expertly and appropriately access available services and programs for their elderly patients.”

The GeriEd Program is highly innovative. It addresses fragmentation in geriatric care by targeting physicians who provide acute or chronic primary care for the elderly – including doctors who care for hospitalized patients, emergency room physicians, internists and family practitioners. They, in turn, will influence and improve geriatric care provided by Montefiore now and in the future.

“The program allows us to bridge the academic and research environment at Einstein with the clinical and patient care settings throughout Montefiore, offering innovative mentoring and research opportunities that hopefully will lead some to consider geriatrics as a focus for their careers at a time when we find ourselves treating more and more patients who are elderly,” said Joe Verghese, M.D., the grant co-leader and associate professor of Neurology at Einstein, who is active in research regarding aging, falls, and dementia, as well as in clinical care and training.

“Also, by teaming Neurology with Geriatrics, we will work toward increasing awareness and recognition by medical students, residents, and physicians of such common neurogeriatric syndromes as dementia. At the same time, they will witness, firsthand, how such collaborations benefit the needs of older patients.”

“Because Montefiore is an integrated healthcare delivery system that treats patients throughout their lives, Montefiore is an ideal place for this kind of program,” Dr. Jacobs said. “We see an enormous number of elderly patients who need to be linked to a system of care so that they are provided with appropriate treatments overall, and their conditions tracked over time.”

Montefiore Medical Center, which is the main teaching hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine, houses one of the largest residency programs in the United States and will develop the GeriEd Program. The program will target 157 practicing physicians and residents and 750 medical students annually.

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