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Steven Zweig, MD, director of MU's Interdisciplinary Center on Aging, examines an elderly patient. MU is launching a new geriatric medicine training project to emphasize teamwork training and the patient-centered 'medical home' model of care, which is especially important to elderly patients with multiple chronic illnesses.


MU Awarded $1 Million Grant to Improve Care for Elderly Population


New geriatric medicine training project supported
by Donald W. Reynolds Foundation


As the first baby boomers begin turning 65 years old next year, the University of Missouri will launch a project to improve care for the rapidly growing elderly population. MU's innovative training effort is supported by a new $1 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.

MU will enhance geriatric medicine education by offering several new programs for medical students and resident physicians. The programs will emphasize teamwork training and the patient-centered "medical home" model of care. The model involves close collaboration among multiple care providers, which is especially important to elderly patients with multiple chronic illnesses.

"The burgeoning number of older adults compels us to enhance the geriatric care skills of all who are involved in providing health care to elders," said Steven Zweig, MD, the project's principal investigator and director of the MU Interdisciplinary Center on Aging. "Teamwork is essential, and at MU we have the skilled leadership, enthusiastic faculty members and innovative program designs to make us successful."

Zweig also leads MU's family and community medicine department, which is highly ranked for its success in improving health care delivery and education. He and his department colleagues were awarded their first geriatric medicine education grant from the Reynolds Foundation in 2003. MU is one of 10 universities to receive the new round of funding from the Reynolds Foundation.

"The new grant will strengthen our internationally admired education program for students by giving them more opportunities to learn about interdisciplinary teamwork and the complexities of caring for older adults," said Michael Hosokawa, EdD, the project's co-principal investigator and a professor of family and community medicine at MU. "In addition, physicians completing training in family medicine and internal medicine will learn more about interdisciplinary care in office and hospital settings, with the goal of improving quality, safety and satisfaction for patients."

The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, it has committed over $210 million nationwide to its Aging and Quality of Life programs.

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