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Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC)

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Little Rock GRECC

Little Rock GRECC

Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System
2200 Fort Roots Drive
Little Rock, Arkansas 72114

Phone 501-257-2503
Fax     501-257-2501

GRECC Director

Dennis H. Sullivan, MD

Associate Director, Clinical Research

Kalpana P.Padala, MD

Associate Director, Health Services Research

Ramona L. Rhodes, MD

Associate Director, Clinical Innovations

Prasad R. Padala, MD

Associate Director, Education and Evaluation

Lana M.Brown, PhD, RN

Administrative Officer

Julie M. Smith

research foci heading
  • Pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s dementia
  • Neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia
  • Biology of aging outcomes in skeletal, muscle, central nervous and cardiovascular systems
  • Exercise and nutrition interventions
  • Advance care planning and palliative care
research heading
  • Using drug and non-pharmacological treatments targeting neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia or altering trajectory of neurodegeneration  
  • Neuromodulation for enhancing exercise adherence in older adults
  • Defining basic mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease and neurodegeneration including the role played by disruption of insulin and glucose regulation, similar to diabetes
  • Characterizing events and molecules involved in Alzheimer's disease and related disorders with an emphasis on genetics and inflammation in disease causation and progression
  • COVID-19 impact on dementia and caregiving, on physical activity in older adults, and on biopsychosocial factors of loneliness and social isolation in older rural Veterans
  • Impact of statins for prevention of dementia
  • COVID-19 prophylaxis in Community Living Center residents using nitazoxanide
  • Meeting the supportive care needs of chronically and seriously ill Veterans and their caregivers
  • Increasing mobility for older adults through technology and technology-based exercise programs
  • Evaluating Staffing Methodology and Veteran Outcomes in the Community Living Centers
  • Janssen COVID vaccine study: This study is now in a follow-up phase to determine the long-term safety and benefits of this vaccine.
  • The CONFIRM Study: A large, pragmatic trial of 50,000 Veterans to compare the effectiveness of screening colonoscopy vs. annual FIT screening for the reduction in colon cancer mortality
  • The Burn Pit Study – Understanding the chronic health issues experienced by Veterans exposed to open burn pits by studying the DNA methylation biomarkers
education heading
  • Interactive education “bursts” focused on engaging staff in geriatric topics with emphasis on cognitive impairment, dementia, delirium, depression and palliative care
  • Monthly webinars and ask-the-expert sessions focused on geriatric care in primary care and Community Living Centers
  • Health Profession Training Program (HPTP) with monthly interdisciplinary geriatric education and training
  • Host site for Geriatric Scholars tailored clinical practicum
  • Interdisciplinary format of dementia education for medical students
  • Monthly GRECC Journal Club
  • Quarterly Medical Ethics Case Conference
  • Year 4 medical student clinical rounds
clinical heading
  • Advance Care Planning-Group Visits, a Diffusion of Excellence Initiative, engages Veterans in advance care planning in partnership with the National Social Work Program Office and the Office of Rural Health
  • Geriatric Walking Clinic (partnered with Gerofit for dissemination)
  • Virtual Geriatrics (formerly known as GRECC Connect) geriatric education collaborative among GRECCs
  • DASH program (collaboration to promote early and progressive patient ambulation during hospitalization)
  • Memory clinic (clinically sustained with Mental Health and refining neuropsychology battery to predict function)
  • National Ask the Expert-Geriatric Psychiatry: A national network of geriatric psychiatrists supporting clinicians in the field treating geriatric mental health issues
  • Monthly Dementia Case Conference: VISN-16 interdisciplinary panel of experts discussing treatment options in a case-conference model for complex issues related to dementia care
  • Connection Plans for Social Isolation and Loneliness: a low-tech intervention based on cognitive behavioral therapy wherein trained interventionists help Veterans make Mind, Body and Social connections
  • Supportive C-TRAC: a low cost, telephone-based case management program that fosters patient-centered care that aligns with Veteran patients’ goals and provides assistance with care transitions
  • TeleGeriatrics Consultation/Co-Management for Rural Older Veterans: a program to improve the care delivered to Veterans in their home through video telehealth
  • Tai Chi for Health and Recovery in Older Veterans – a multi-site Tai Chi virtual exercise program to help Veterans improve their strength and balance
  • Stay Home Stay Fit: program to enhance fitness in older Veterans
publications heading