Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC)
The Durham GRECC has been serving older Veterans in North Carolina, most of Virginia, and parts of West Virginia since 1984.
The Durham GRECC research ranges from basic biomedical, clinical, health services and rehabilitation studies in the following areas of concentration: Care delivery and transitions in various health care settings; exercise and physical function; infectious diseases, immunology and vaccines; medication-related problems; and osteoporosis, falls and bone fractures. This research is funded by the VA Office of Research and Development, the National Institutes of Health, private foundations, and industry funders. GRECC researchers make major contributions to discovery science and clinical research in physical activity promotion in older adults, nutrition and metabolism, zoster and influenza vaccines, osteoporosis and fracture care and prevention, implementation of evidence-based practices to improve care for Veterans in long term care and with dementia, and acute care health services.
Education and Evaluation
The Durham GRECC provides training programs in geriatrics for multiple health disciplines, including medicine, nursing, social work, pharmacy, physical therapy, psychology, and dentistry and the delivery of geriatrics educational products to multiple learners. Our Geriatrics Physician Fellowship Program (PGY-4) is an ACGME accredited program operated with our academic affiliate, Duke University Medical Center. We feature a continuously updated structured curriculum for post-graduate training for internal medicine residents and fellows. The Durham GRECC has Advanced Fellowships in Geriatrics, a Fundamentals in Geriatric Nursing Training program, Geriatrics in Primary Care web-based education series, Physical Activity education programs, a Specialty Center of Excellence focusing on the perioperative management of older Veterans, affiliated social work internship, pharmacy residency program, geriatric psychiatry fellows and physical therapy residency. GRECC staff are national experts in the content areas noted under Research and serve as subject matter experts and lecturers locally and nationally.
Durham GRECC clinical innovations focus on implementing and exploring new ideas in clinical care of older Veterans and their caregivers. All of these activities are enhanced by productive collaborations with researchers, educators and services locally, at VISN 6 medical centers, other GRECCs, our University affiliate, Duke University Medical Center, and other VA and academic centers around the country. We have made substantive contributions to the practice of geriatric medicine locally, regionally and nationally. Some examples include: vaccination to prevent herpes zoster and post-herpetic neuralgia, influenza and pneumococcal disease, promotion of physical activity to prevent functional decline, care of Veterans in long-term care environments, management of patients and their caregivers living with dementia, improved acute care delivery with the reductions of hazards of acute care for older adults, zoledronic acid use after hip fracture to reduce both subsequent fractures and mortality in older adults as well as improved evaluation and treatment of osteoporosis after fracture, and appropriate medication use in older adults.