Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC)
New England GRECC
Research Focus Areas
Function and Frailty
Technology and Telehealth
Our research spans from bench science to the implementation of innovative models of clinical care optimizing the functioning and quality of life of aging Veterans. Our bench science research has developed models of the aging nervous system using stem cells and is identifying mechanisms causing neurodegeneration from dementia and brain injury. Our researchers have also made substantial contributions to understanding how trauma exposure, alcohol and vascular risk factors affect the aging brain. We have identified how frailty adversely impacts both care management and patient valued outcomes. We have established a strong training environment for research trainees and junior faculty desiring a career in medical research.
Education and Evaluation
NE-GRECC’s educational initiatives include annual conferences in Geriatric Medicine for both Geriatricians and Non-Geriatricians targeting healthcare providers of all types. Our education programs span not only VA Boston Healthcare System and the Bedford VAMC but extend throughout VISN 1. We provide bimonthly seminars and journal clubs for our trainees and welcome participation from trainees of our affiliated institutions and partners, which include but are not limited to Harvard Medical School, Boston University School of Medicine, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. Our staff provide monthly webinars on ethical issues in aging and educational leadership skill. We also developed an educational application that highlights Aging related educational opportunities for VA clinicians nationally. With all of our educational programs, we aim to keep innovation and evaluation as a primary focus.
NE-GRECC’s clinical demonstration projects focus on improving the quality and experience of care for older veterans across the care-continuum. These programs have targeted improving care transitions, expanding access to multidisciplinary geriatric care, and focusing resources on those who need them the most. We have integrated geriatric care principles across the medical center by embedding geriatricians and geriatric pharmacists into clinics such as Nephrology, Cardiology and Rehabilitation. By leveraging telehealth and Veterans Video Connect, we serve patients that suffer from chronic diseases such as dementia in their own homes. We are developing innovative approaches to rehabilitative care that help prevent functional decline and disability. Currently, we are leading a VA Boston Healthcare System effort to provide hospital level care in the home, helping patients to avoid unnecessary hospitalizations. Collectively, our goal is to develop innovative models of care that prioritize the quality of life for aging Veterans and allow the VHA to use its valuable resources most efficiently.