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Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC)


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Eastern Colorado GRECC Team

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Lauren Abbate, MD PhD


Title: Associate Director Clinical Core; Director RMRVAMC Geriatric Emergency Department

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University of Colorado webpage

GeroFit is a supervised exercise program for older Veterans. Participants receive a personal exercise program based on their physical profile and goals, which can include individual and group-based exercises such as Tai Chi, line dancing, balance, core coordination, and strengthening classes. Trained exercise staff provide guidance in carrying out the exercise program. Participants have demonstrated improved health, physical function and well-being. They have shown improvements in blood pressure, diabetes management, symptom management, well-being, quality of life, physical function, overall fitness, and longevity. The Eastern Colorado Health Care System GRECC began enrolling participants in Summer 2018.

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Research Interest

See Dr. Abbate's Dimensions profile that includes: publications, grants, datasets, patents and clinical trials.


Research Interest
Evidence-based exercise interventions for Veterans with knee osteoarthritis
Non-pharmacological interventions for managing chronic diseases (specifically arthritis) in older adults

The following images visualize Dr. Abbate's work. The word cloud is drawn from publication titles. The research collaboration map shows research relationships (click the image to enlarge):

Dr. Abbate's publication titles indicate his primary work is care of Veterans
Word cloud from pub titles
Dr. Abbate's collaborations are primarily from the University of Colorado
Research collaboration map
The following research fields have been used to summarize Dr. Abbate's publications and grants. The categories are based on 30 publications and 1 grant.
Publications Grants
Clinical Research Aging
Aging Arthritis
Arthritis Nutrition
Prevention Prevention
Nutrition Obesity
Obesity Pain Research
Pain Research Chronic Pain
Chronic Pain Clinical Research
Mental Health Osteoarthritis

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Grants & Funding

Expanding Exercise Programming for Veterans Through Telehealth

Exercise is an evidence-based intervention for managing chronic conditions, yet the majority of Veterans are inactive. Group telehealth (GT) delivered exercise can improve access to and participation in exercise.
Telehealth-delivered exercise programs typically have initiation and maintenance phases. Skills for exercise initiation and maintenance differ, and interventions that focus on one or the other are not likely to result in sustained exercise participation.
The Veterans Health Administration is the largest integrated health care system in the US, and implementing successful exercise programs could profoundly impact public health.
GT exercise combines the benefits of group exercise sessions, such as social support and telehealth technology. No studies compare GT exercise booster sessions plus text messaging to text messaging alone to support exercise maintenance.
Gerofit, an existing telehealth-delivered VA exercise program implemented at multiple sites, will be used as a model. A future larger, single-site trial will test the effectiveness and evaluate the implementation of the GT exercise initiation and maintenance intervention.
Funder: Veterans Administration
NIH website
VA HSR&D website

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Recent Publications


Abbate LM, Ollerenshaw LV, Kottmeyer BM, McQuown CM, Ragsdale LC, Richardson VL, Ho PM, Ginde AA, O'Malley SM. Integrating Physical Therapy into an Emergency Department: A Clinical Pilot Program. Acad Emerg Med. 2023 Mar 13. doi: 10.1111/acem.14707. Epub ahead of print.
PMID: 36912801.


Fernandez D, Wilkins SS, Melrose RJ, Hall KM, Abbate LM, Morey MC, Castle SC, Zeng A, Lee CC. Physical Function Effects of Live Video Group Exercise Interventions for Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Veteran's Gerofit Group Case Study. Telemed J E Health. 2022 Nov 10. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2022.0175. Epub ahead of print.
PMID: 36355076.
Learn more about this publication on Dimensions

McQuown CM, Snell KT, Abbate LM, Jetter EM, Blatnik JK, Ragsdale LC. Telehealth for Geriatric Post Emergency Department Visit to Promote Age Friendly Care. Health Serv Res. 2022 Aug 28. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.14058. Epub ahead of print.
PMID: 36054025.
Learn more about this publication on Dimensions

Buck AN, Shultz SP, Huffman KF, Vincent HK, Batsis JA, Newman CB, Beresic N, Abbate LM, Callahan LF. Mind the Gap: Exploring Nutritional Health Compared With Weight Management Interests of Individuals with Osteoarthritis. Curr Dev Nutr. 2022 Apr 19;6(6):nzac084. doi: 10.1093/cdn/nzac084. PMCID: PMC9188467.
PMID: 35702382.
Learn more about this publication on Dimensions


Jennings SC, Manning KM, Bettger JP, Hall KM, Pearson M, Mateas C, Briggs BC, Oursler KK, Blanchard E, Lee CC, Castle S, Valencia WM, Katzel LI, Giffuni J, Kopp T, McDonald M, Harris R, Bean JF, Althuis K, Alexander NB, Padala KP, Abbate LM, Wellington T, Kostra J, Allsup K, Forman DE, Tayade AS, Wesley AD, Holder A, Morey MC. Rapid Transition to Telehealth Group Exercise and Functional Assessments in Response to COVID-19. Gerontol Geriatr Med. 2020 Dec 14;6:2333721420980313. doi: 10.1177/2333721420980313. PMCID: PMC7739082.
PMID: 33403222.

Allen KD, Woolson S, Hoenig HM, Bongiorni D, Byrd J, Caves K, Hall KS, Heiderscheit B, Hodges NJ, Huffman KM, Morey MC, Ramasunder S, Severson H, Van Houtven C, Abbate LM, Coffman CJ. Stepped Exercise Program for Patients With Knee Osteoarthritis : A Randomized Controlled Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2020 Dec 29. doi: 10.7326/M20-4447. Epub ahead of print.
PMID: 33370174.

Wilkins SS, Melrose RJ, Hall KS, Blanchard E, Castle SC, Kopp T, Katzel LI, Holder A, Alexander N, McDonald MKS, Tayade A, Forman DE, Abbate LM, Harris R, Valencia WM, Morey MC, Lee CC. PTSD Improvement Associated with Social Connectedness in Gerofit Veterans Exercise Program. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2020 Dec 23. doi: 10.1111/jgs.16973. Epub ahead of print.
PMID: 33368144.



Barrow DR, Abbate LM, Paquette MR, Driban JB, Vincent HK, Newman C, Messier SP, Ambrose KR, Shultz SP. Exercise prescription for weight management in obese adults at risk for osteoarthritis: synthesis from a systematic review. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2019 Dec 20; 20(1):610.
PMID: 31861990

Allen KD, Lo G, Abbate LM, Floegel TA, Lindquist JH, Coffman C, Oddone EZ, Taylor SS, Hall K. Composite measures of physical activity and pain associate better with functional assessments than pain alone in knee osteoarthritis. Clin Rheumatol. 2019 Aug; 38(8):2241-2247.
PMID: 30929153

Brostow DP, Gunzburger E, Abbate LM, Brenner LA, Thomas KS. Mental Illness, Not Obesity Status, is Associated with Food Insecurity Among the Elderly in the Health and Retirement Study. J Nutr Gerontol Geriatr. 2019 Apr-Jun; 38(2):149-172.
PMID: 30794096

Brostow DP, Warsavage TJ, Abbate LM, Starosta AJ, Brenner LA, Plomondon ME, Valle JA. Mental illness and obesity among Veterans undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention: Insights from the VA CART program. Clin Obes. 2019 Apr; 9(2):e12300.
PMID: 30793500