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News Releases & Publications

News Releases:

  Singapore Visitors Tour U-M Geriatrics' Programs
On September 28th and 29th, the University of Michigan Geriatrics Division hosted 21 special guests from Singapore to tour our Geriatric programs. The guests requested a whole day to study our Geriatrics Center in depth, understanding how the clinical and academic enterprises synergize as they look at developing Functional Aging at the National University Health System, especially as it spans primary to tertiary care. The visitors wanted to meet collectively to study our Geriatrics Center as they plan their Aging Program back home. They will be building a new campus, adjacent to their current tertiary campus, which will focus on intermediate-level care for an aging population, and include an acute hospital, community hospital, nursing home, hospice, diagnostic center, rehabilitation center, and programs dedicated to functional aging, innovation, and educating lay people in the care of the elderly. Throughout the day, our guests toured the East Ann Arbor Geriatrics Clinic, Turner Senior Resource Center, Biogerontology Lab, Neuroscience Lab ACE, PACE, Public Health Research at North Ingalls Building, Program for Positive Aging, Mobility Research Center, and Glacier Hills, where they also did individual site visits, meeting with some of our faculty members and doctors one-on-one. Read more.

  Dr. Brant Fries quoted in the Wall Street Journal's article: "Nursing-Home Rehab Raises Medicare's Tab"
Dr. Brant Fries, Research Professor of the Institute of Gerontology, was recently quoted in the Wall Street Journal's article: "Nursing-Home Rehab Raises Medicare's Tab". He spoke about the amount of therapy that should be given to a geriatric patient and how the outcomes are generally not good even with a large amount of therapy. Dr. Fries quotes: "It can be difficult to anticipate when to reduce therapy. However, after ultrahigh therapy, a large number of people are ending up in hospice and that's not a good outcome. If you have a lot of people who are dying, it doesn't make any sense why your giving them rehab". Read more. Watch video.

  Dr. Lona Mody Receives a Mid-Career Development Award to Promote Translational Research in Aging Populations
Dr. Lona Mody, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Research Associate Professor of the Institute of Gerontology, has received a K24 grant to mentor junior faculty from a variety of specialties in translational research. This new funding will enable her to expand her research program in directions that will create new and exciting opportunities for her and her mentees. They will conduct patient-oriented research to test innovative models that will reduce healthcare-associated complications, promote best practices and enhance quality of care.

  Dr. Phillip Rodgers featured in Pallimed
Dr. Phillip Rodgers, Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, was featured in Pallimed, a Hospice and Palliative Medicine blog. His blog is entitled "Advocacy Works! Medicare Proposes Payments for Advanced Care Planning!". Read the blog here.

  Infection Control Practices in Nursing Homes
Findings from Lona Mody, MD, MBBS, MSc, associate division chief of clinical and translational research and associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan, and a team of researchers demonstrate the efficacy of a multi-modal targeted infection program (TIP) for reducing the prevalence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) organisms and incident infections among nursing home patients with urinary catheters and feeding tubes. Read more.

  Turner Senior Resource Center's Silver Club has been awarded a renewable grant for up to three years
The Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation and the Anna Botsford Bach Fund for Seniors has awarded a renewable grant (up to three years) of $15,000 per year to support the Turner Senior Resource Center's Silver Club Early Stage Dementia Program. The total amount of the grant for all three years is $45,000. Read more.

  Dr. Phillip Rodgers quoted in CQ Healthbeat News regarding end-of-life planning
Dr. Phillip Rodgers, Associate Professor of the Departments of Family Medicine and Internal Medicine, was quoted in CQ Healthbeat News regarding end-of-life planning. Read more.

  Dr. Keith Van Oosterhout is Awarded 2015 Anthony V. DeVito II Memorial Award
Keith Van Oosterhout, MD, has been selected as the 2015 Anthony V. DeVito II Memorial Award recipient. The award is presented annually by the U-M Geriatrics Center to recognize outstanding service, dedication and commitment to excellence in geriatrics education in Michigan. Read more.

  Dr. Lillian Min was Awarded "Best Geriatrics Research Oral Abstract" at the 2015 SGIM Annual Meeting
Dr. Lillian Min, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, was awarded the "Best Geriatrics Research Oral Abstract" for her talk, "Net Harms of Aggressive Blood Pressure Control on Cardiovascular Events and Fall Injury in Older American Adults". This award was given to Dr. Min at the 2015 Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) annual meeting in Toronto. See press release.

  Lifespan of mice and primates correlates with immunoproteasome expression
A new study on aging, by research fellow of pathology, Andrew Pickering, as well as Dr. Richard Miller and Marcus Lehr, was recently published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI). The paper looks at pathways within cells that help to deal with damaged proteins, which are thought to contribute in important ways to aging and to many of the diseases that afflict people as they age. The work suggests that a search for drugs that modulate proteasome activity might someday lead to preventive medicines that help postpone many diseases of aging in people. Read more.

  Andrzej Galecki named Fellow of the American Statistical Association
Dr. Andrzej Galecki, Research Professor of Internal Medicine and Research Scientist of Biostatistics, has been selected as a 2015 Fellow of the American Statistical Association for his outstanding contributions to the statistical profession. Dr. Galecki will be presented with his award on Tuesday, August 11, 2015, at 8:00 p.m. in Seattle, Washington at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center. This honor is awarded yearly for outstanding contribution to statistical professions to roughly 60 statisticians (about 0.3 percent of the ASA membership) from academia, government, and industry from all over the world.

  Research by Dr. Helen Kales, shows that antipsychotics are less effective than nondrug treatments
Research by Dr. Helen Kales, U-M Professor of Psychiatry, shows that antipsychotics are much less effective than nondrug treatments, such as caregiver interventions, in controlling symptoms of dementia. When we think of Alzheimer's disease or other dementias, we think of the loss of memory or the inability to recognize familiar faces, places, and things. But for caregivers, the bigger challenge often is coping with the other behaviors common in dementia: wandering, sleeplessness and anxiety or aggression. Using antipsychotic drugs to try to ameliorate these symptoms has been common. According to a report released Monday from the Government Accountability Office, 1 in 3 dementia patients in nursing homes receives antipsychotics. Outside of nursing homes, 1 in 7 dementia patients are prescribed the drugs. Antipsychotics are much less effective than non-drug treatments in controlling the symptoms of dementia, according to a study published Wednesday in the British Medical Journal. Dr. Helen Kales, a psychiatrist who directs the University of Michigan's Program for Positive Aging, examined more than two decades of scientific studies, along with her coauthors, Laura N. Gitlin and Dr. Constantine Lyketsos, both of Johns Hopkins University. They say the treatments that showed the best results were the ones that trained caregivers how to communicate calmly and clearly, and to introduce hobbies or other activities for the patient. The treatments also followed up with caregivers. Read more.

  U-M Geriatrics ranks 4th in U.S. News & World Report
This year's edition of the U.S. News & World Report medical school rankings again confirms that the U-M Medical School is among the very best in the nation. U-M is listed 10th among research-oriented medical schools, and 5th for primary care training, up three spots from last year. In the U.S. News specialty rankings, U-M Geriatrics is listed 4th among the top academic programs in the nation, and Internal Medicine, Women’s Health and Family Medicine each rank 7th in the nation. The School of Public Health has once again ranked 1st in the nation for training in health care management, and 4th for public health training. In all, 13 of the Medical School’s departments rank in the top 10 in the nation for NIH research funding for their discipline. All rank in the top 35. This is the 23nd year in a row that UMHS has been recognized for strong across-the-board performance on a national level. Read more.

  New Study on Reducing Readmissions published in AJMC
A multidisciplinary team including Tami Remington, Karen Hall, and Diane Griffith of the U-M Geriatrics Center, have published a new study on reducing readmissions among older adults in patient-centered medical homes in the American Journal of Managed Care. Read more.

  Study led by Dr. Lillian Min Highlighted in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons
A research study on geriatric trauma consultations, led by Dr. Lillian Min, was published online in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. Read more.

  Michigan Theater hosts February 15 special screening of “Still Alice”
The Michigan Theater will host a special screening of the new film STILL ALICE on Sunday, February 15 at 3 PM, featuring a post-film panel discussion and Q & A with representatives of the Alzheimer’s Association and the UM Geriatrics Center Silver Clubs, as well as a UM Professor of Neurology. The event is open to the public and tickets are available at the Michigan Theater box office. The film stars Oscar nominee Julianne Moore as linguistics professor Alice Howland, who finds her family bonds tested when she is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Her struggle to stay connected to who she once was is frightening, heartbreaking, inspiring – and real. According to the Alzheimer’s Association,of the more than 5 million Americans with Alzheimer’s, up to 5 percent have early-onset and women are at the epicenter of the Alzheimer's epidemic. Almost two-thirds of American seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease are women, and women in their 60s are about two times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease in the rest of their lives than they are to develop breast cancer. “In hosting this special screening and discussion, we hope to offer our patrons more than just a moving film, but also help to answer questions they may have about Alzheimer’s and introduce them to the many local resources available to assist anyone grappling with this disease,” said Michigan Theater Executive Director Russ Collins. Following the film, Jennifer Howard, Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association Michigan Great Lakes Chapter, Kathi Tobey of the UM Geriatrics Silver Club programs, and Dr. Nancy Barbas, of the Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Center and Associate Professor of Neurology at UofM, will discuss memory loss and Alzheimer’s and the resources available for anyone affected by the disease, both patient and family. The audience will also hear from Barbara Cumming, a local resident and member of the Elderberry Club for women with memory loss, about her personal experiences. Read more.

  Dr. Susan Maixner named new Director of Geropsychiatry Program
Dr. Susan Maixner, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and currently Interim Director of the Geropsychiatry Program, has been appointed as Director of the Geropsychiatry Program as of the start of this calendar year. She takes over from Dr. Helen Kales, Professor of Psychiatry, who has asked to step down from this role to allow an increased focus on research, mentorship, and national/international collaborations. Under Dr. Kales’ leadership (2009-2014), the program has grown from regional to national prominence with 11 subspecialty-boarded faculty, and has attained a large grant base including VA, NIH and Foundation funding. We are grateful to Dr. Kales for her leadership and her establishment of the Program for Positive Aging, which she will continue to direct within the Geropsychiatry Program. Additionally, Dr. Kales will continue in her role as Associate Director for Mental Health and Aging Research at the University of Michigan Geriatrics Center. Dr. Maixner has been on our faculty since completing her residency and Geropsychiatry Fellowship here in 1999. She also directs our Geropsychiatry Fellowship and oversees the Geropsychiatry Clinic; she will continue in these roles at the present time.

  New Book on Improving Memory Loss by Geriatric Center Social Workers
A new book on improving memory loss was created by two Geriatric Center Social Workers, Janet Fogler and Lynn Stern. The authors note that it is not uncommon to worry about your memory. Rather than worrying about it, this book contains a wealth of information about how to keep your memory sharp, whether you are a young adult or a senior citizen.Read more.

  Geriatrics Center & Program for Positive Aging Study Highlighted
A multi-disciplinary study, featuring collaboration between the U-M Program for Positive Aging and U-M Geriatrics Center, has been included in an online collection of the most downloaded articles published in Routledge Health and Social Care journals in 2014. The collection highlights the top three most downloaded articles that were published in 2014 in each Routledge Health and Social Care journal. The title of the study is ‘Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy With Older Adults: An Exploratory Study,’ published in the Journal of Gerontological Social Work. Collaborating on the study were Mariko Foulk, Clinical Social Worker in Geriatrics; Berit Ingersoll-Dayton, Professor of Social Work; Janet Kavanagh, Director of Development for PPA; Elizabeth Robinson, Research Assistant Professor of Psychiatry; and Helen Kales, Professor of Psychiatry, Director of PPA and Associate Director for Geriatrics Center Research on Mental Health and Aging. Read more.

  U-M ACE Unit featured in Modern Health Care
More than 100 hospitals have acute care for the elderly (ACE) units, featuring such adaptations as slip-free flooring, large-face clocks to help patients remain oriented, thick mattresses, soundproofing and indirect lighting. This inpatient geriatric unit, jointly run by St. Joseph Mercy Health Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan Health System is designed to reduce falls and skin ulceration. Read more.

  Study suggests increase in falls among the elderly (January, 2015)
Over a 12-year period, the prevalence of falls among older adults appeared to be on the rise, according to a new nationally representative study. Falling is the most frequent cause of injury among older adults and about a third of older adults fall each year. Researchers analyzed data from 1998-2010 among adults age 65 and over and found an 8 percent increase in falls - which translates to a relative increase of nearly 30 percent. The findings appear in JAMA Internal Medicine. Read more.

  Study looks at why oldest seniors are hospitalized (January, 2015)
A new look at hospital discharge data of extremely elderly patients - those 85 or older - underscores how many visits might be avoidable. The National Center for Health Statistics looked at 10 years of discharge data ending in 2010, and of the most common diagnoses for seniors, study author Shaleah Levant said, "A lot of these conditions are preventable if caught early." Read more.

  U-M Institute of Gerontology involved in nationwide study on safety of older drivers (January, 2015)
The U-M Transportation Research Institute is one of five national test sites selected by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety to address the well-being of older drivers. Longitudinal Research on Aging Drivers (LongROAD) is a five-year, $12 million project that will allow researchers to better understand the role of physical and cognitive functions, medical conditions, medications and vehicle technologies in driving safety. Read more.

  Love brain games? Research lacking on benefits (January, 2015)
If you're turning to crossword puzzles and computerized brain games to keep your mind sharp, some doctors and researchers say they've got a better idea for a New Year's resolution. Take a walk. Hang out with friends. Read a book. "We're not saying there's no evidence for change or positive impact" from such mind-benders, said Dr. Kenneth Langa. But, he added, "there's no evidence that doing a crossword puzzle will keep you out of a nursing home." Read more.

  Mild memory and thinking issues: What works, what doesn't? (December, 2014)
For up to one in five Americans over age 65, getting older brings memory and thinking problems - along with the embarrassment of not being as "sharp" as they once were, and the worry that it will get much worse. What can be done to prevent or slow mild cognitive impairment? And how much should seniors fear that their thinking or memory problems will get much worse? Drs. Kenneth Langa and Deborah Levine have put together a definitive look at the evidence, based on a thorough review of recent studies about mild cognitive impairment. Read more.

  Dr. David Fink receives national VA research award (December, 2014)
Gene therapy pioneer, U-M Medical School Department of Neurology chair and longtime VA researcher David Fink, MD, received the 2014 Paul B. Magnuson Award in a surprise ceremony at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. Dr. Fink is a staff neurologist, and an investigator with the Geriatrics, Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) at the Ann Arbor VA. Read more.

  99-year-old memoir-writing instructor retires (December, 2014)
Helen Hill is retiring again, this time at the age of 99. At 2:30 p.m. on December 4, 2014, present and former students will gather at the Turner Senior Resource Center to celebrate her 20 years of teaching memoir writing for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Michigan. With toasts and presentations they will express their respect and affection for Helen and their appreciation of her role in encouraging and guiding their writing and nurturing a supportive community of writers. Many have remained with the group for years as it has continued to evolve with the addition of new members. Read more.

  Dr. Susan Maixner quoted in HAP Balanced Living, on aging-related anxiety (December, 2014)
Susan Maixner, MD, associate professor of Psychiatry, was quoted recently in a HAP Balanced Living article on the anxiety that comes with aging. For many seniors, panic arises from age-related anxieties - deteriorating health, fear of falling or loss of mobility and needing to ask for help with things you once handled independently. "Everyone experiences anxiety a little differently," says Dr. Maixner. Physical sensations can include rapid breathing, feeling heavy and tired, having an upset stomach or even having to go to the bathroom more frequently. You may not know exactly what's wrong, but you know something isn't right. "A little bit of worry can motivate you to do things," she says, but it becomes destructive when anxiety interferes with daily living. Read more.

  Dr. Ted Suh named American Geriatrics Society Fellow (November, 2014)
Ted Suh, MD, PhD, associate professor in Geriatric and Palliative Medicine, has been named an American Geriatrics Society Fellow by the AGS Board of Directors. Fellowship status is awarded to AGS members who have demonstrated a professional commitment to geriatrics, contributed to the progress of geriatrics care, and are active participants in the Society's activities. Attaining AGSF status places Dr. Suh in a specially recognized group of healthcare providers who are dedicated to geriatrics education, clinical care, and research, as well as to their own continuing professional development. Dr. Suh becomes one of only a handful of AGS fellows based in the state of Michigan. His advancement to fellowship will be formally announced at the annual AGS meeting in May 2015.

  The great digital divide in healthcare: Older Americans may be left behind (November, 2014)
When it comes to the benefits of electronic health records, older Americans may be left behind, according to a new University of Michigan study. Less than a third of Americans age 65 and over use the Web for health information and barely 10 percent of those with low health literacy - or ability to navigate the health care system - go online for health-related matters, according to the nationally-representative study that appears in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Read more

News Archives:


  Dr. Robert Hogikyan receives 2014 Spirit of Planetree Award (October, 2014)
Robert Hogikyan, MD, MPH, associate professor of Internal Medicine, has been selected to receive the Spirit of Planetree Physician Champion Award for 2014 for the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. The Spirit of Planetree Awards were created by the Planetree organization to promote patient- and resident-centered care by publicly recognizing individuals who personalize and demystify the health care experience for others, as well as programs and services that support extraordinary achievement in patient centered care. Read more

  New grant to fund fellowship position in pediatric palliative care (October, 2014)
Through the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, the University of Michigan has been awarded a fellowship grant from the Y.C. Ho/Helen and Michael Chiang Foundation. The grant is in the amount of $40,000, and will partially support a fellowship position in pediatric palliative care beginning with the 2015 academic year. The U-M Department of Pediatrics has agreed to match the foundation's grant by committing financial support to supplement any pediatric fellow salary and benefits not covered by the grant.
The C.S. Mott Children's Hospital has had a very successful Pediatric Palliative Care Program since 2004. The Pediatric Palliative Care service consults on over 400 children with serious and life-threatening illnesses per year and has become a national leader in providing end-of-life training to physicians and allied health professionals. In 2013 the Mott program welcomed its first pediatric fellow, whose training was paid for by the fellow's home institution. In 2014 a second fellow was admitted to the program and supported by a philanthropic gift.

  $3 M grant funds Paul F. Glenn Center for Aging Research at U-M (September, 2014)
A $3 million grant from The Glenn Foundation for Medical Research will allow the University of Michigan to establish a national center of excellence in biogerontology research. The Glenn Center for Aging Research at U-M will focus on exploiting and expanding the growing evidence that drugs can slow the effects of aging and postpone diseases in animal models. Researchers aim to unlock mechanisms of aging that can help develop medications that may help people live longer, healthier lives. Read more

  Dr. Donovan Maust receives Beeson Career Development Award in Aging (September, 2014)
Donovan Maust, MD, MS, assistant professor of psychiatry in the Program for Positive Aging, has received the Paul B. Beeson Career Development (CDA) Award in Aging. The aims of the Beeson CDA are to "encourage and assist the development of future leaders in the field of aging, deepen the commitment of research institutions to academic research, and to translate research outcomes to geriatric medicine by involving mentors and recipients in establishing and advancing the recipient's career in aging research.” Read more

  Mary James receives Anthony V. DeVito II Memorial Award (September 2014)
Mary L. James, M.A., has been selected as the 2014 Anthony V. DeVito II Memorial Award recipient. The award is presented annually by the U-M Geriatrics Center to recognize outstanding service, dedication and commitment to excellence in geriatrics education in Michigan. Read more

  Dr. Richard Miller's new study featured in Wiley's News Round-Up (September, 2014)
Dr. Miller's new study, published in Aging Cell, is being featured in Wiley's News Round-Up, a biweekly mailing that promotes a selection of the most newsworthy research published across Wiley's journals. The study found that levels of a regulatory protein called ATF4, and the levels of the molecules it controls, are elevated in the livers of mice exposed to interventions known to increase longevity. Read more

  Dr. Phillip Rodgers quoted in NY Times: coverage for end-of-life talks gaining ground (August, 2014)
The issue of paying doctors to talk to patients about end-of-life care is making a comeback, and such advance care planning sessions may be covered by Medicare as early as next year. But the issue is complex. "The politics are tough," said Dr. Rodgers. "People are so careful about getting anywhere close to the idea that somebody might be denying lifesaving care." Read more

  Art & Design professor studies impact of creativity on memory loss (August, 2014)
Anne Mondro, associate professor of art and design at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, is teaching a new course, "Memory, Aging & Expressive Arts," studying the impact of creativity on the care of individuals with memory loss. Mondro's students visit the Geriatric Center's Silver Club, a community program for adults with mild to moderate memory loss, and brainstorm ideas for creative projects with members. Read more

  Dr. Kenneth Langa co-authors new study: obese seniors more likely to survive sepsis (August, 2014)
University of Michigan Health System researchers revealed an obesity paradox among older Americans suffering from sepsis. In a study of 1,404 Medicare beneficiaries, heavier patients were more likely to survive the life-threatening infection that can lead to a stay in a hospital’s intensive care unit. The findings, published in the August issue of Critical Care Medicine, raise interesting questions about how obesity impacts the body’s response to infection. Read more

  An emotional crossroad for caregivers of people with dementia: when loved ones struggle to eat (July, 2014)
Dr. Caroline Vitale has helped counsel families through one of the most difficult stages of caregiving: when a loved one's dementia progresses so far that eating without help is no longer possible. She and a team of colleagues recently updated the American Geriatrics Society's national guidelines to help caregivers and families through these difficult situations, determining that for older adults with advanced dementia, the risks of feeding tubes far outweigh the potential benefits. Read more

  Ann Arbor named 2nd best college town in country for retirees (July, 2014)
Kiplinger magazine recently ranked Ann Arbor #2 on its list of best college towns for retirees, with the University of Michigan's geriatric care, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and the Turner Senior Resource Center among the most prominent reasons why. Read more

  Mariko Foulk leads new social work study on mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (June, 2014)
A new study published in the Journal of Gerontological Social Work describes the results of an 8-week mindfulness-based cognitive therapy group for older adults with depression and/or anxiety. The data showed significant improvements in reported anxiety, ruminative thoughts, and sleep problems, and a reduction in depressive symptoms for the group's participants. Read more

  Hypoglycemia rising in older people with diabetes (June, 2014)
In a recent New York Times article, Dr. Jeffrey Halter was quoted about the need for improved treatment of older adults with hypoglycemia. Recent years have seen a rise in hospital admissions for hypoglycemia among the elderly, implying that doctors may need to alter their approach when treating frail diabetes patients with multiple medical conditions and compromised functioning. "It's a systems failure when older adults get hypoglycemia," Dr. Halter said. Read the full article

  Stephanie Gatica receives award for excellence in administration (June, 2014)
Congratulations to Stephanie Gatica on receiving the Award for Excellence in Administration, at the 2014 Department of Internal Medicine awards dinner on June 6, for her hard work and outstanding leadership in both the Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine, and the Division of Infectious Diseases. Read more

  UM among 10 clinical trial sites in country for major study in preventing fall injuries among elderly (June, 2014)
Each year, 1 out of 3 adults aged 65 and over falls. These falls are the leading cause of both nonfatal and fatal injuries among older adults and can lead to further declines in health and loss of independence. The University of Michigan has been chosen as one of 10 trial sites in the country to take part in a landmark study that will address this critical health issue. The National Institutes of Health and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute awarded first-year funding of $7.6 million to the multi-site, clinical trial this month. Read more

  Dr. Scott Pletcher: Sense of taste could affect length of life (May, 2014)
Perhaps one of the keys to good health isn't just what you eat but how you taste it. Taste buds - yes, the same ones you may blame for that sweet tooth or French fry craving – may in fact have a powerful role in a long and healthy life - at least for fruit flies, say two new studies that appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Read more

  Big Hearts for Seniors featured in Ann Arbor Life maganzie (May, 2014)
As part of a fundraiser to benefit local seniors, the award-winning documentary Age of Champions will be presented Thursday, May 29, 2014, at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor. Click here for more details.

  Senior Living Week (May 2-10, 2014)
Each spring Senior Living Week is offered to the community by the UMHS Housing Bureau for Seniors, and sponsored by the Geriatrics Center. This is a one-stop opportunity to obtain information and resources to help make decisions for better living as you and your loved ones age. Read more at the Housing Bureau for Seniors site.

  Dr. Pearl Lee receives VA Career Development Award (April 2014)
For her study "Veterans with Diabetes Mellitus: Improving Physical Activity & Participation," Dr. Pearl Lee will receive a VA Career Development Award. The award was granted by the VA's Rehabilitation Research & Development Service. The VA established its Career Development Award program to provide mentoring and funds for junior researchers, in all areas of VA research: biomedical laboratory, clinical science, health services, and rehabilitation research.

  A new approach (DICE) to manage dementia symptoms (April 2014)
A new approach to handling agitation, aggression and other unwanted behaviors by people with dementia may help reduce the use of antipsychotics and other psychiatric drugs in this population, and make life easier for them and their caregivers, according to a team of experts led by Dr. Helen Kales. Read more.

  Helping a Senior with Dementia who Wanders (April 2014)
Dr. Laura Struble, a nurse practitioner with the U-M Program for Positive Aging, addresses the complexities of treating older patients with dementia who wander. Click here to read the article.

  Nearly three-quarters of U.S. seniors have living wills (April 2014)
According to a new study by Dr. Maria Silveira, published in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, a record number of elderly Americans have living wills that explain their wishes for end-of-life medical care or appoint a surrogate medical decision maker. Click here to read more.

  Ann Arbor one of the nation's best cities for aging, in large part because of U-M's geriatric care (March 2014)
Ann Arbor was named the 7th best small city in the U.S. for successful aging by the Milken Institute in 2012; it made the list of U.S. News and World Report's best affordable places to retire in 2009; AARP named it the healthiest city in the U.S. in which to live and retire in 2008; and it ranked No. 5 on Forbes' 2011 list of best places for an active retirement. Click here to read why.

  5 Things physicians and patients should question (March 2014)
Dr Caroline Vitale was a member of an American Geriatrics Society (AGS) committee, called Choosing Wisely, whose goal was to create a list of recommendations for physicians and patients, focusing on the overuse of healthcare resources in the U.S. She recommended against the use of physical restraints in elderly hospitalized patients with delirium. To read more about the group's recommendations, click here.

  PPA faculty will serve as AgingCare experts (March 2014)
Drs. Helen Kales, Mary Blazek, and their Program for Positive Aging (PPA) colleagues will be sharing their knowledge on the website, via monthly articles and answering questions in an online forum of family caregivers. Faculty will share information about managing later-life mental and cognitive disorders, to enhance the PPA's mission as a national resource for older adults and their caregivers. Click here to see the first post.

  "Bad to the Bone" or Broken Brain? (March 2014)
Helen Kales, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, and Director of the U-M Program for Positive Aging, addresses misconceptions about behavioral issues in older patients with dementia. Click here to read the article.

  Urinary Tract Infections in Older Women (February 2014)
Lona Mody, MBBS, MSc, Associate Professor in the Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine, has published a new patient information article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, on caring for aging patients with urinary tract infections. The article gives an overview of UTIs, as well as suggestions on initial treatment and choice of antibiotic considerations. Click here for full article.

  Bringing Comfort to Pain and Passage (February 2014)
Palliative care eases the suffering of seriously ill patients and their families. Read more in the Winter 2014 issue of Medicine at Michigan.

  Best Doctors in America list honors Geriatrics physicians (January 2014)
Nearly 500 UMHS physicians were named to the 2014 Best Doctors in America list, including 37 affiliated with the Geriatrics Center and Division of Geriatric & Palliative Medicine. Here are our honorees, with their specialty (or specialties) listed in parentheses.

  Congratulations Drs. Manu & Vitale (January 2014)
Drs. Erika Manu and Caroline Vitale have been selected as inaugural members of the U-M Medical School’s Academy for Educational Excellence and Scholarship, in recognition of their accomplishments in furthering the school’s educational missions. The new academy was established to recognize and augment the educational rigor and innovation of faculty, to promote faculty development in education and mentoring, to foster the visibility of UMMS educational leadership nationally and internationally, and to mobilize these talents to improve educational outcomes. For more info click here.

  Dr. Scott Pletcher: Fruit flies with better sex lives live longer (November 2013)
Sex may in fact be one of the secrets to good health, youth and a longer life – at least for fruit flies – suggests a new University of Michigan study that appears in the journal Science. Male fruit flies that perceived sexual pheromones of their female counterparts – without the opportunity to mate – experienced more stress and rapid decreases in fat stores and resistance to starvation. Read more

  Dr. Lillian Min: geriatric care may help older patients find independence after car accidents or other trauma (Nov 2013)
Older patients who received extra geriatric care following a traumatic injury were able to return to roughly two thirds more daily activities than those without a consultation, according to a new study led by researchers from the University of Michigan Health System and University of California, Los Angeles. Read more

  Dr. Kenneth Langa: Good news on the Alzheimer's epidemic - risk for older adults on the decline (Nov 2013)
People are less likely to experience dementia and Alzheimer's disease today than they were 20 years ago – and those who do may be developing it later in life – says a new perspective article in the New England Journal of Medicine that examines the positive trends in dementia. Read more

  Geriatrics Center receives $1M endowment gift from Bernard Osher Foundation (Nov 2013)
The process of learning does not end with graduation from school, but is a lifelong endeavor. The Bernard Osher Foundation, which supports lifelong learning around the country, has generously made a $1 million endowment gift (in two installments) to the University of Michigan Geriatrics Center to support the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at U-M. Read more

  Dr. Richard Miller - diabetes drug helped male mice live longer (Nov 2013)
Research led by the University of Michigan, the Jackson Laboratory in Maine and the University of Texas Health Sciences Center has found that a drug commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes increases the median lifespan of male mice by 22 percent. The effects of the drug known as acarbose were smaller in female mice, producing only a 5 percent increase in lifespan, according to the findings that appear in Aging Cell. Read more

  Welcome Dr. Suh - new Geriatric Medicine faculty member (Nov 2013)
The Geriatrics Center is pleased to welcome Theodore T. Suh, M.D., Ph.D., M.H.S., to the Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Suh comes to us from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, where he was an Associate Professor of Family & Community Medicine. He was also Medical Director of the Acute Care for the Elderly unit at Christus Santa Rosa Health System in San Antonio. Read more

  Four Geriatrics Center specialists named among Hour Detroit's 2013 Top Doctors (Oct 2013)
Drs. Alan Dengiz, Judith Heidebrink, Helen Kales, and Susan Maixner, who see patients at the Geriatrics Center clinic, were selected by fellow M.D.s and D.O.s in Hour Detroit's online balloting for the area's best physicians. Dr. Dengiz is a geriatrician, Dr. Heidebrink is a neurologist, and Drs. Kales and Maixner are psychiatrists - all four have an interest in Alzheimer's Disease. See the full list

  U-M Team Walks to End Alzheimer's (Oct 2013)
This past Sunday, October 6th, 2013, hundreds of walkers of all ages participated in the Alzheimer's Association's annual Walk to End Alzheimer's, including a team of faculty, staff and family from the U-M Geriatrics Center, Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Center, and Program for Positive Aging. Read more

  Dr. Ao-Lin Hsu: Lessons from the worm - how the elderly can live an active life (Sep 2013)
When the tiny roundworm C. elegans reaches middle age—at about two weeks old — it can’t quite move like it did in the bloom of youth. But rather than imposing an exercise regimen to rebuild the worm’s body-wall muscles, researchers can bring the wriggle back by stimulating the animal’s neurons. Read more

  Dr. Pearl Lee publishes new study in Diabetes Care - physical function limitation and prediabetes (July 2013)
A new study, led by Pearl Lee, MD, identifies the prevalence of physical function limitations - and other medical complications - among older adults with prediabetes. This study is the first to give a comprehensive picture of the adult prediabetes population, and the findings have important implications for middle-aged and older adults at risk for diabetes. Read more

  Dr. Richard Miller quoted in NY Times - Finding accurate markers of aging (July 2013)
When searching for meaningful markers of aging, don't look to online calculators of "biological age" for an answer. Those focus mainly on risk factors for diseases, and say little about normal aging, the slow, mysterious process that turns children into codgers. Read more

  New study by Dr. Carolyn Morris investigates link between cognitive processing and incontinence (June 2013)
In a recent study by Dr. Carolyn Morris, MSN, PhD, she aimed to evaluate cognitive processing in elderly women with incontinence. The study, titled "Urge urinary incontinence and the brain factor," was published in the journal Neurology and Urodynamics. Read more

  Dr. Lona Mody helps lead Big Hearts for Seniors fundraising effort (June 2013)
Dr. Lona Mody, MD, associate professor of internal medicine at the U-M Geriatrics Center, took to the streets of Ann Arbor on Sunday, June 9, 2013 to show her support for Big Hearts for Seniors (BHS), a collaborative group of five UMHS organizations serving seniors in Washtenaw County. Read more

  Geriatrics researchers receive $1.8 million grant to reduce MDROs in Skilled Nursing Facilities (June 2013)
Patients in skilled nursing facilities often acquire and transmit multiple bacterial infections that persist despite treatment efforts, known as multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs). In a five-year RO1 study funded by the National Institute on Aging, researchers will determine the factors that impact transmission of MDROs. Read more

  Donna MacDonald receives Anthony V. DeVito II Memorial Award (June 2013)
Donna MacDonald, M.A., has been selected as the 2013 Anthony V. DeVito II Memorial Award recipient. The award is presented annually by the U-M Geriatrics Center to recognize outstanding service, dedication and commitment to excellence in geriatrics education in Michigan. Read more

  U-M and Johns Hopkins team up to develop dementia treatment tool for family caregivers (June 2013)
Aside from memory loss and cognitive impairments, often the most difficult aspect of caring for people with dementia is treating their disruptive changes in behavior. With no reliable medications to treat them and limited information for caregivers regarding alternative therapies, these behavior changes are frequently the source of increased upset, stress and burden to families. Read more

  UMHS-St. Joseph geriatrics unit featured in the news (June 2013)
An announcement by UMHS and St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor to open a new, jointly operated Acute Care for Elders (ACE) unit was shared with the community via coverage in several local outlets. Stories have run in Crain’s, Michigan Radio, and the Ann Arbor Journal. It was also viewed thousands of times on Facebook and Twitter. Read more

  Children of long-lived parents less likely to get cancer - new study by Dr. Kenneth Langa (May 2013)
Old parents may be good for your health. Children of parents who live to a ripe old age are more likely to live longer, and are less prone to cancer and other common diseases associated with aging, according to a study co-authored by a University of Michigan researcher. Read more

  U-M teams up with St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor to create hospital unit for seniors (May 2013)
In a joint effort to improve health outcomes for the region’s older adult patient population, the University of Michigan Health System and St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor will collaborate to open a medical care unit specializing in geriatric care. The new Acute Care for Elders (ACE) unit brings together the area’s foremost geriatric experts. Read more

  Dr. Robert Wessells studies impact of exercise on aging flies (May 2013)
The journal International Innovation recently featured Robert Wessells, PhD, and his team of researchers. They use flies as a model for studying the effects of exercise on aging, and seek to understand the genetic reasons why exercise preserves heart function, not only in flies, but in humans as well. Read more

  Dr. Helen Kales co-authors study on appropriate antidepressant dosages (May 2013)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s warning that high doses of the antidepressant citalopram can cause potentially serious abnormal heart rhythms might be doing more harm than good. The new Ann Arbor VA Healthcare System and University of Michigan study calls into question the FDA’s warning. Read more

  Dr. Richard Miller quoted in Washington Post: hypothalamus affects aging (May 2013)
A mechanism that controls aging has been identified in the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that controls most of the basic functions of life. By manipulating this mechanism, researchers have both shortened and lengthened the life span of mice. The discovery reveals several new drug targets that may delay the onset of age-related disease. Read more

  Dr. Jeffrey Halter interviewed in WSJ on how to improve diabetes care for the elderly (Apr 2013)
More than a quarter of Americans 65 and older have Type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and roughly another 50% have a condition known as prediabetes. Diabetics are also living longer, and are often saddled with a range of complicating health problems. Read more

  Sub-acute care service highlighted in Hospital Case Management (Apr 2013)
Physicians and nurse practitioners on the University of Michigan Health System's Subacute Service visit patients transferred to skilled nursing facilities after a hospital stay and provide follow-up care. The initiative has reduced the average length of stay. Read more

  Dr. Kenneth Langa co-authors study on high costs of dementia care (Apr 2013)
The costs of caring for people with dementia in the U.S. are comparable to – if not greater than – those for heart disease and cancer, according to new estimates by researchers at the University of Michigan Health System and nonprofit RAND Corporation. Annual healthcare costs tied to dementia, including both formal and unpaid care, reach $159-$215 billion. Read more

  New medical program to help train next generation of palliative care providers in region (Mar 2013)
Helen Snow had just returned home from hiking the Appalachian mountains when she experienced sudden symptoms of a condition that would ultimately require reliance on an oxygen tank. The onetime active pet groomer, dog show competitor, and gardener was eventually diagnosed with dermatomyositis (DM). Read more

  Dr. Raymond Yung interviewed about new palliative care program (Mar 2013)
The University of Michigan Health System has begun training teams of palliative care specialists. The new Adult Palliative Medicine Program puts more focus on helping patients manage the physical and emotional pain from chronic disease and dying. U-M Chief of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine Dr. Raymond Yung  is guiding the program. Read more

  Dr. Fitz Blake: Palliative care is an important part of medical training (Mar 2013)
Modern medicine is full of innovation. It can extend life in ways once thought impossible, but those breakthroughs come at great cost and potential risk. Dr. Fitz Blake believes the future of medicine lies in returning to the core of the doctor-patient relationship. Dr. Blake is a hospice & palliative medicine fellow well versed in the fast pace of the emergency room. Read more

  Dr. Andrzej Galecki co-authors new book on statistical models (Mar 2013)
Andrzej Galecki, M.D., Ph.D., research professor in the Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, and Institute of Gerontology, and research scientist in the Department of Biostatistics at U-M School of Public Health, recently co-authored a new book, "Linear Mixed-Effects Models Using R: A Step-by-Step Approach." Read more

  100-year-old Geriatrics Center patient on exercise: “You’re never too old to start” (Mar 2013)
In between chats with friends and quips with her fitness trainer, Margaret Rookes spent a recent morning walking on the treadmill, stepping on a NuStep and leg pressing 100 pounds. When it comes to maintaining her three-times-a-week, 75-minute workout routine, Margaret makes no excuses – not even the fact that she just turned 100 years old. Read more

  Best Doctors in America list honors Geriatrics Center physicians (Feb 2013)
More than 400 UMHS physicians were named to the 2013 Best Doctors in America® list, including 35 affiliated with the Geriatrics Center. Here are our honorees, with their specialty (or specialties) listed in parentheses. Read more

  Dr. Helen Kales study named one of top 10 psychiatry stories of 2012 (Feb 2013)
Journal Watch Psychiatry has named a University of Michigan Health System study as one of the top 10 stories of 2012. The study – whose lead author is Helen C. Kales, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry at the U-M Medical School and researcher at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System – evaluated how antipsychotics affect mortality risk in dementia patients. Read more

  Twelve Geriatrics faculty newly-boarded in Palliative Medicine (Feb 2013)
In the Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine, 11 faculty members have recently gained board certification in Palliative Medicine. This brings the division’s total to 17 faculty members with dual certification in Geriatric Medicine and Palliative Medicine, representing the majority of the division’s clinical faculty. Read more

  Fountain of Youth for the eye - backshifting the ocular aging process (Feb 2013)
Suppose we could turn back the clock on the aging process in the eye so that diseases like age-related muscular degeneration or glaucoma would start 10, 20 or 30 years later than they do now. A University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center scientist has proposed a way to get there. Read more

  Dr. Jocelyn Wiggins named an inaugural member of Internal Medicine society for excellence (Jan 2013)
Jocelyn Wiggins, BM, BCh, has been inducted into the Department of Internal Medicine Clinical Excellence Society, entitled Academiae Laureati Medici. She is one of the inaugural members of the society, which is designed to recognize clinical excellence in the DOIM. Read more

  Geriatrics Center patient shares story of surviving the Holocaust in book "I Have to Survive" (Jan 2013)
“I remember my father saying after we left Lodz, ‘I have to survive the war. I have to survive the war.’ And this was in my head, you know. I felt I have to survive the war. And maybe this was the reason I really was strong, to tell myself, I have to do it, I have to do it.” Read more

  Dr. Jay Bhatt, geriatrics fellow, honored by AMA (Jan 2013)
Jay Bhatt, DO, MPH, MPA, a geriatric medicine fellow, has been named one of only four recipients of the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation’s 2013 Resident and Fellow Leadership Award. This national award honors achievements in community service, medical education, and public health. Read more

  Geriatrics Center and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute featured in Where To Retire Magazine, Wall Street Journal, and Michigan Daily


Drs. Preeti Malani, Maria Silveira, and Caroline Vitale publish new study reviewing antimicrobial use in patients with advanced cancer - December 2012

Dr. Gregory Cartee leads new studies on skeletal muscle and aging - December 2012

Dr. David Lombard publishes study in Cell on anti-aging gene and tumor suppression - December 2012

Dr. Helen Kales identifies six steps for managing dementia without medication - December 2012

Dr. Alan Dengiz among experts in award-winning TV show - December 2012

MCubed funds new collaborative research projects with Geriatrics faculty - December 2012

Dr. Richard Miller Named AAAS Fellow - 12/3/12

Support Care Transitions with Smart Use of Time and Energy - 11/16/12

Experts including Dr. Jeffrey Halter report gaps in knowledge, call for more research on diabetes in older adults - 10/26/12

Elderly Men Most Likely to Committ Suicide - 8/13/12

U.S. News & World Report Ranks U-M Hospitals Among America's Best - 7/21/12

Sub-Acute Care Service reduces hospital stays and readmissions - 7/26/12

NIH Plans to Cure Alzheimer's Disease by 2050 - 5/16/12

Older adults with diabetes live long enough to benefit from interventions and research - 5/2/12

Dr. Marcos Montagnini selected for Spirit of Planetree Award - April 2012

Mary Rumman named 2012 Social Worker of the Year - 3/29/12

One in Seven with Alzheimer's or Other Dementia Lives Alone - 3/8/12

Phosphate Enemas May Be Deadly in Elderly - 2/24/12

New Phone Number to U-M Memory Loss and Dementia Services - 2/23/12

High Rates of Disability and Healthcare Use Found in Older Americans With Cirrhosis - 1/10/12

Understanding Delirium - Winter 2011/12





Advisor - Summer 2010

Advisor - Spring 2009

Program for Positive Aging Newsletter - Summer 2013

Silver Club Memory Programs Newsletter - Winter 2015

Turner Senior Wellness Program Calendar - Winter 2015