Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC)
Greater Los Angeles GRECC
The Greater Los Angeles GRECC has been serving older Veterans in Southern California and Southern Nevada since 1974.
Research Focus Areas
Falls and Instability
Molecular Biology of Brain, Bone, and Alzheimer's Disease
Endocrinology of Aging
Research on cognitive disorders involves "bench to bedside" research to identify basic molecular processes and biomarkers of Alzheimer's dementia; in addition to work to indentify potential therapies and test anti-inflammatory, nutritional and behavioral strategies to slow or reverse dementia and cognitive impairment. Our research on sleep involves clinical and health services research studying sleep in older Veterans living at home and in a variety of healthcare settings. The sleep research includes work developing and testing innovative ways to improve treatment for insomnia, sleep apnea, and other common sleep problems in older Veterans. Finally, our research on vulnerable elders focuses on individuals at risk for physical and/or functional decline, and addresses vulnerabilities commonly associated with aging. This includes research on injury prevention including basic research on bone healing, clinical research on the effects of hormones on diabetes and other imprtant health problems, and health services research to prevent falls and fall-related injuries in clinical and community settings. Additional research includes work to improve access to healthcare for vulnerable elders and special populations such as ethnic minorities and nursing home residents, and clinical reserch focused on reducing caregiver stress.
Education and Evaluation
The Greater Los Angeles (GLA) GRECC has a robust program of education including activities which focus on continuous professional development of the VA clinical workforce through national programs such as the VA Geriatric Scholars program and local/regional accredited programs to the VA, Indian Health Service or Tribal Health Programs and the community. Training stipends in geriatrics are offered through the VA Office of Academic Affiliations for eight associated health professions as well as medicine to increase knowledge and enhance clinical practice. GRECC professional staff direct both the VA/UCLA Geriatric Medicine fellowship and the VA Greater LA Advanced Geriatrics fellowship programs and participate in other educational partnerships, such as the HRSA-funded Geriatric Enhancement Workforce Program. Our staff also focus on in-service education and training to GLA nursing staff at the hospital and community living centers (nursing homes), including recognition, prevention and management of delirium, fall prevention and other important topics in geriatrics and gerontology. Nationwide education on using the Minimum Data Set v3 was also developed by GLA GRECC Staff and distributed nationally.
The GLA GRECC focuses on developing, testing and exporting innovative clinical programs to improve the health and well-being of older Veterans. Examples include the acute geriatric team, which provides inpatient and acute medical care for older Veterans using evidenced-based best practices while providing team-based interdisciplinary education and training for a wide range of healthcare trainees. In addition, GLA Gerofit is an exercise-based program designed to improve gait and balance. Further, the longitudinal geriatrics expericence for house officers was developed to improve geriatrics and gerontology knowledge among medicine hosestaff at VA GLA. Through these and other research, education and clinical demonstration activities, the GLA GRECC is committed to its mission to improve the health and well-being of older Veterans across GLA, our Veteran Integrated Service Network and the nation.