United States Department of Veterans Affairs
Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Centers

Birmingham/Atlanta GRECC


Birmingham/Atlanta GRECC


Birmingham VA Medical Center
700 South 19th Street

Birmingham, AL 35233
Phone: (205) 558-7064
Fax: (205) 558-4749 

Atlanta VA Medical Center
1670 Clairmont Road
Decatur, GA 30033
Phone: 404-728-5080
Fax: 404-728-7779

Univ of Alabama at Birmingham / Emory University  

GRECC Director:
Richard Allman, MD

GRECC Atlanta Site Director:

Theodore (Ted) Johnson, MD

Associate Director for Research: 

Kathryn Burgio, PhD  

Associate Director for Clinical

Patricia Goode, MD

Associate Director for Education/Evaluation:

Lesa Woodby, PhD., MPH


Education/Evaluation Director:
Atlanta Office: 
Katharina Echt, PhD

Research Director, Atlanta Office:
Molly Perkins, PhD   

Clinical Director, Atlanta Office:
Camille Vaughn, MD, MS

Birmingham/Atlanta GRECC


Mission:  The Birmingham/Atlanta GRECC is composed of three separate but integrated components:
research, education and clinical care.  The mission of the GRECC is to improve the capability of the VA
health care delivery system to provide services that are effective and appropriate in meeting the medical,
psychological, and social needs of older Veterans.  We accomplish this through: research focusing on
mobility, incontinence and related disorders, and palliative care; education of health personnel, Veterans,
and their families about the principles of high quality geriatric care; and the development and evaluation
of models of clinical services for eligible older Veterans.

Research: The goals of the GRECC research component are to establish scientific excellence with an
integrated program of biomedical, clinical, health services and rehabilitation research related to preventing
and improving the treatment of urinary and fecal incontinence, nocturia, mobility loss, and symptoms and
manifestations of suffering experienced with advanced or life-threatening illness.  The ultimate goal is to
develop and test interventions to improve and maintain function and prevent and effectively manage
physical, emotional, social, and spiritual suffering and thereby improve quality of life for the Veteran
population. GRECC Research Cores are the Data Analysis Core, Muscle Research Laboratory,
Clinical Exercise Facility and Urodynamic and Anorectal Function Laboratories.

Education:  The education program goals are to become a specialized education and training, research
and service dissemination asset, to serve as a network geriatric education and training resource, to
provide support and enhance patients and family education efforts connected with the VISN's Geriatric
and Extended Care clinical program and GRECC clinical demontration programs, and to provide public
education to raise awareness of geriatric care issues and approaches.  Specific Education and Training
Projects are Continence Education Programs, Mobility Training Programs, Palliative Care Training
Programs, Sceintific Seminars and Conferences, Journal Clubs, Mentorship Program and Special
Fellowship in Advanced Geriatrics.

Clinical Demonstration Program:  The goals of the clinical demonstration programs are to develop
innovative, patient-focused models of geriatric care that maximize the quality of life and functional
independence of older Veterans; to integrate and coordinate these models of geriatric clincal care
into primary care delivery systems, including home-based and nursing home care; to support GRECC
research programs, especially maintaining clinical data sets that support health services research,
and to provide clinical sites for trainees in multiple health care disciplines to facilitate dissemination
of new clinical models and methodologies throughout the VA system. Services available are
Outpatient Continence Clinics, Fall Prevention and Mobility Clinic, and Palliative Care programs
(Consults, Outpatient Programs and In-Patient Units).

edical Center