The John A. Hartford Foundation’s Centers of Excellence in Geriatric Medicine and Geriatric Psychiatry
An American Federation for Aging Research-administered program that provides funding to advance academic geriatric training and research and addresses nation’s shortfall of geriatricians
The John A. Hartford Foundation Centers of Excellence in Geriatric Medicine and Training were initiated in 1988 to address the critical shortage of geriatrics faculty at medical schools across the country. Currently, 28 Centers of Excellence (Centers) are training fellows and faculty in the special knowledge and skills needed to ensure quality healthcare for older adults. To date, nearly $50 million has been granted to create the cadre of academic leaders in geriatrics. As our nation ages, we need these leaders to teach optimal care of older adults and conduct the research to improve that care. The Centers of Excellence National Program Office, established at AFAR, oversees the John A. Hartford Foundation’s Centers of Excellence Program. The coordination through a centralized National Program Office allows for a more streamlined operation, and a more flexible annual budgeting process.
The critical need for geriatricians
The first Boomers turned 65 in 2011, the average life expectancy is rising, and the number of older Americans continues to grow. Patients aged 65 and older require by far the largest share of health care services. Some estimates project a need for 36,000 geriatricians by 2030, but currently there are fewer than 7,500 physicians with the skills and expertise necessary to care for older patients. The shortage is further compounded by a dearth of academic geriatricians to train medical specialists and subspecialists, general practitioners, and other geriatricians. Currently, there are fewer than 900 full-time academic geriatricians in the U.S., while some experts project that 2,400 are required to meet the growing demand. The situation is even worse in the field of geriatric psychiatry.
Investing in Future Academic Geriatricians
The Centers of Excellence initiative supports the development and training of academic geriatricians with in selected medical schools that have the necessary components — research and medical education infrastructure, advanced training opportunities, academic mentoring, and enlightened institutional support.
Center of Excellence funds add resources to these institutions to train larger numbers of future faculty more rapidly than would otherwise be possible. The funding for scholars provides protected time for research, training to become expert clinician educators, and the ability to pioneer new models of research, training, and care. With the highest quality mentorship and support, these talented scholars acquire the skills to build a solid foundation on which to launch successful careers and to become tomorrow’s leaders and innovators in the fields of geriatric medicine and geriatric psychiatry.
Below are the 28 Centers of Excellence:
2009 Task Force on Aging Research Funding, Alliance for Aging Research