Brown named Center of Excellence in Geriatric Medicine and Training

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] “”The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University has been named a Center of Excellence in Geriatric Medicine and Training by the John A. Hartford Foundation, the nation’s largest private foundation focused solely on aging and health.

Alpert Medical School was one of three medical schools chosen from a pool of 27 applicants to earn the Hartford Foundation designation. Rhode Island Hospital received the three-year, $450,000 grant award that accompanies the designation.

Grant funds will be used to train 13 geriatrics junior faculty and fellows — a tactic that will help ensure that Brown’s doctors-in-training can meet the needs of older patients. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans age 65 and older will double to 71 million by 2030. By that time, demographers predict a shortfall of 26,000 geriatricians across the country.

“We’re looking down the barrel of a loaded gun,” said Center of Excellence project leader Richard W. Besdine, M.D., professor of medicine at Brown, director of the Division of Geriatrics in the Department of Medicine, and head of the Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research. “We simply don’t have enough medical specialists to care for the coming ‘silver tsunami’ — a shortage that will only get worse over time. The Hartford Foundation award will help Alpert Medical School support the fellows and junior faculty who teach the next generation of doctors how to care for older adults and how to conduct research to improve that care.”

With the grant funding, Alpert Medical School and Rhode Island Hospital will:

train advanced fellows and junior faculty to conduct aging-related research, including clinical, basic biology and health services research;
train advanced fellows and junior faculty to be effective teachers, whether that is teaching medical students, residents or practicing physicians about geriatrics care;
expand recruitment and training programs for advanced fellows and junior faculty.

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