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Eastern Colorado Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center

The goal of Eastern Colorado Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) is to improve the health of older Veterans through the development of innovative research, clinical and educational initiatives. We focus our training efforts on translating existing and new geriatrics knowledge and skills into clinical practice at the local, regional, and national levels. These efforts build on the substantial geriatrics educational and training activities at the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center and leverage important resources from the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Committed to Care Excellence of the nationwide Age-Friendly Health Systems movement

An age-friendly health system - committed to care excellence

Age-friendly health systems is a movement of hundreds of health care facilities committed to ensuring that all older adults receive evidence-based care. This means that Eastern Colorado GRECC is working towards reliable practice of evidence-based interventions for all older adults in their care known as the 4-Ms (What Matters, Medications, Mentation, Mobility).

In that effort, the Tele-Dementia/Geriatrics and Tele-Palliative Care Clinics have been recognized as Level 2 Committed to Care Excellence of the nationwide age-friendly health systems movement. These clinics now have three months of verified data to demonstrate early impact of using the 4-Ms Framework:

  1. What Matters - Know and align care with each older adult's specific health outcome goals and care preferences including, but not limited to, end-of-life care, and across care settings.
  2. Medication - If medication is necessary, use Age-Friendly medications that does not interfere with What Matters to the older adult, Mobility, or Mentation across care settings.
  3. Mentation - Prevent, identify, treat, and manage dementia, depression, and delirium across care settings.
  4. Mobility - Ensure that older adults move safely every day in order to maintain function and do What Matters.

Leadership Team

Wendy M. Kohrt, PhD - Acting director

Jennifer Stevens-Lapsley, PT PhD - Associate director for research

Kathryn Nearing, PhD, MA - Associate director education and evaluation and founder, coordinator and facilitator of the Older Veteran Engagement Team

Lauren Abbate, MD PhD - Associate director clinical

Elizabeth Juarez-Colunga, PhD - Associate director informatics

Eric Qualls - Administrative officer
Phone: 720-788-6733
Email: alfred.qualls@va.gov

Norma Rogers - Administrative support assistant
Email: Norma.Rogers@va.gov

Clinical Core

Eastern Colorado GRECC is a hub of clinical innovation committed to creating systems of support for Veterans as they age and across the continuum of care, regardless of geography. We participate in national clinical dissemination projects, including GRECC Connect and Gerofit.

Learn more about our clinical programs.

2 clinical programs of note are:

Gerofit

Optimizing mobility

Education Core

The Eastern Colorado GRECC focuses its training efforts on translating existing and new geriatrics knowledge and skills into clinical practice at the local, regional and national levels. These efforts build on the substantial geriatrics educational and training activities at the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center and leverage important resources from the University of Colorado School of Medicine. 

Learn more about our Education core.

Educational opportunities

Veteran Community Partnership (VCP)

Access to care rounds

Geriatric medicine grand rounds

Older Veteran Engagement Team

If you have any questions or concerns please contact Joe Huggins joe.huggins@va.gov

Research Core

The research foci of Eastern Colorado GRECC are:

  1. Consequences and treatments of obesity in older adults
  2. Gender differences in health (focusing on women’s health)

These are both areas of significant existing research interest, resources, strengths, and achievements within the University of Colorado School of Medicine Division of Geriatric Medicine. These areas are of consequence due to the increasing number of female Veterans and greater understanding of the multiple functional, metabolic, and cognitive risks of obesity. However, they have received only modest attention to date from existing GRECCs.

In 2010, the VA Women’s Health Services Research Conference identified complex chronic conditions, aging, and long-term care as a focus area for defining the future direction of VA women’s health research and its potential impact on practice and policy. Research priorities identified under this initiative included advancing the understanding of aging issues of women Veterans in such areas as menopause, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, and heart failure.