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Awards to 5 IU School of Medicine physicians address critical need for geriatricians

INDIANAPOLIS Five Indiana University School of Medicine geriatricians are among only 83 advanced fellows and junior faculty members nationwide who will share in $2.5 million in career development awards from The John A. Hartford Foundation. The IU School of Medicine was one of the top-funded institutions.

Award recipients from the IU School of Medicine are:

  • Tochukwu Iloabuchi, M.D., advanced geriatrics fellow joining IU faculty in July 2012.
  • Todd James, M.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine.
  • Michael LaMantia, M.D., MPH, assistant professor of medicine and Regenstrief Institute investigator.
  • Arif Nazir, M.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine.
  • Kathleen Unroe, M.D., MHA, visiting assistant research professor of medicine and Regenstrief Institute investigator.

All 83 recipients of the new career development awards are based at Hartford Foundation Centers of Excellence in Geriatric Medicine and Training. The Centers of Excellence program is funded by the foundation, a champion of improving health care for older adults, and administered by the American Federation for Aging Research. Since 2010, the foundation has granted more than $7.5 million toward the goal of increasing the number of academic leaders in geriatric medicine.

"We have been fortunate to assemble a very passionate and talented group of young faculty members in geriatric medicine who aim to improve the health care of older Americans. Support from the Hartford Foundation is critical to helping them achieve their goals of becoming better teachers and researchers." said Steven Counsell, M.D., Mary Elizabeth Mitchell Professor of Geriatrics at the IU School of Medicine. Dr. Counsell is director of IU's Hartford Center of Excellence and of the IU Geriatrics program. He is also a Regenstrief Institute affiliated scientist.

As the population ages, there is a growing need for individuals to train future geriatricians and geriatrics researchers. Currently, according to The Hartford Foundation, the U.S. has fewer than 900 full-time academic geriatricians, a number far below that needed.

"As America ages, the Hartford Foundation's support of the next generation of geriatricians is more important than ever," said Richard Besdine, M.D., chief medical officer for the American Federation for Aging Research and vice chair of the federation's National Program Office Advisory Committee, which administers the program. "These scholars are extremely impressive, both in their accomplishments and in their dedication to the important cause of promoting excellent medical care for older adults through their research, teaching and leadership. Without this support, progress to better care for elders would be seriously impeded, and we are all grateful."

"The Hartford Foundation believes that all physicians need to be prepared to meet the specialized needs of older patients, who are the heaviest users of our health care system," said Nora OBrien-Suric, senior program officer at The John A. Hartford Foundation. "The Hartford Centers of Excellence award is the only one of its kind supporting young academic geriatricians at this critical time in their careers, and is designed to maximize its impact by giving the leaders of geriatrics training programs a high degree of flexibility in how they use the award."

Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
Indiana University School of Medicine

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