The Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) is funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs and provides an integrated program of basic biomedical, clinical and health services research, education of trainees and practitioners, and clinical demonstration projects designed to advance knowledge regarding care of the elderly, with an emphasis on stroke. The research component of the GRECC consists of three elements;
- basic science,
- health services research, and
- rehabilitation research.
The basic science component is focused on the identification of novel genes whose products play a role in regulating cell death after ischemia, and the development of strategies to reduce expression of neurotoxic response genes or enhance expression of neuroprotective gene products in response to stroke. Health services research is directed at addressing the overuse of medications in the elderly VA population (geriatric polypharmacy). Rehabilitation research consists of studies designed to determine the optimal parameters for rehabilitation of aphasia resulting from stroke, and to develop a quality-of-life instrument for stroke survivors.
Clinical studies of post-stroke depression and other mood disorders are also underway. The education component of the GRECC is designed to ensure that existing knowledge in geriatrics and new research findings are integrated into clinical practice and disseminated locally, regionally and nationally, and consists of two elements;
- postgraduate fellowship training in geriatrics for physicians and trainees in affiliated health science fields, and
- continuing medical education in geriatrics for physicians and other health service practitioners.
The clinical projects of the GRECC utilize existing geriatric programs to pilot model demonstration projects designed to improve the non-institutional care of the frail elderly in the community. The GRECC accounted for over $3,000,000 in externally funded research report (direct dollars, independent of the GRECC funding), had more than 35 trainees, 1300 attendees at CME activities, and 2 active clinical demonstration projects in the last fiscal year. Opportunities exist for GRECC trainees to gain first hand experience in the several areas on which the GRECC focuses.
Steven H. Graham, MD, PhD, Professor of Neurology is the Director of the GRECC. Other Neurology faculty members in the GRECC are Jun Chen, MD and Paula Clemens, MD. Faculty members in the GRECC are also from the Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics and General Internal Medicine, Psychiatry Department and Communications Sciences Department in the School of Rehabilitation Sciences.