The Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology supports a nationally recognized, comprehensive clincial program that delivers cutting edge care. Its 17 fellowship-trained geriatricians work in concert with a host of other clinicians with advaced training in the care of adults and older adults. The program has served the needs of aging adults in the City of Madison, the State of Wisconsin and the national and international communities at-large for over 26 years. The Division is based within the Department of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Its clinical mission is to deliver exceptional geriatric specialty care, primary care and hospital-based services as it works along side other world class clinical programs within the University of Wisconsin. The strong links between the aging research and clinical programs provide distinctive translation of state-of-the art, compassionate care to all of our patients and their families.
Our services span across a continuum of care settings including clinics, hospitals, homes, assisted-living facilities and area nursing homes. The Division staffs and manages an inpatient geriatrics unit at the University of Wisconsin Hospital (UWH). Given that hospitalizations can be landmark events in the lives of older persons resulting in a transition from health to frailty, the geriatric unit seeks to aggressively minimize these negative events and improve the functional trajectory of the older patient. The Division also provides Geriatric Consultation for inpatients at the UWH. It has recently received funding from the Hospital to initiate an innovative Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) consultation program that will serve at-risk older adults hospitalized in the UWH. Under the leadership of Dr. Mike Siebers, a senior geriatrician with acknowledged expertise in primary care geriatrics, this ACE program is actively evaluating patients at the UWH.
The Geriatrics Division supports outpatient clinics at four UWHC clinic locations within Madison: Oakwood Village, University Station, UW Clinics East and UW Clinics West. This network of geriatric-specific clinics is unique within the Midwest. We aim to provide holistic care that places equal emphasis on disease management, functional rehabilitation, prevention and, when necessary, end-of-life support. Our primary care extends into the community as we serve homebound seniors through the Eldercare Partnership Program. We also meet the special care needs of those who reside temporarily or long term in area nursing homes. Several of our geriatricians (Drs. Barczi and Siebers) either serveas nursing home directors or consultants in facilities in the Madison area.
Our clinical program boasts a spectrum of subspecialty emphasis clinics that distinguishes it from the majority of geriatric programs throughout the country. All of these clinics incorporate a multidisciplinary team approach to address the physical and psychological dimensions of common age-associated conditions. For example, “Bone Health and Osteoporosis Services,” in conjunction with the Department of Medicine Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, are offered at the West Clinic. Likewise, several “Comprehensive Memory Assessment Clinics” are held each week and a “Falls and Mobility Clinic” addresses this important issue. Interdisciplinary support in pharmacy, nursing, physical therapy, neuropsychiatry and social work is available at clinic sites as needed for each of the subspecialty emphasis and primary care clinics. Further, UW hospital-based clinics exist in geriatric sleep and dysphagia/swallowing disorders.
There are also consultative services available for geropsychiatry and a wide range of medical and surgical specialties. Noteworthy among the subspecialty groups is a close collaboration with the Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center (UWCCC) and the Cancer and Aging Program (PI: Weindruch) funded jointly by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA). Two of our geriatricians (Drs. Barczi, LoConte) have expertise in managing symptoms and optimizing comfort in advanced, incurable illnesses. Dr. LoConte works concurrently at HospiceCare, Inc. of Dane County and offers patient-centered care that meets the preferences and needs of patients at the end-of-life.
The Division of Geriatrics is home for three centers of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health: the Center of Excellence in Women's Health, the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute(WAI) and the Hartford Center of Excellence in Geriatric Medicine and Education. All of these centers were founded by and are presently lead by Division faculty (Drs. Carnes, Sager). Under the supervision of Mark Sager, MD, the WAI sponsors a network of 30 Dementia Diagnostic Clinics distributed throughout the State of Wisconsin that provide state-of-the-art evaluation of cognitive impairments seen commonly among the elderly.
The VA GRECC is a National Center of Excellence for care of older adults within the VA Healthcare System. At the VA Hospital, there are both inpatient and outpatient geriatric consultations. The GRECC also sponsors outpatient primary care and subspecialty emphasis clincs for older veterans. Subspecialty emphasis clinics include Geriatric Evaluation and Management (GEM), Osteoporosis, Memory Assessment, Geriatric Sleep, Geropsychiatry, Palliative Care, Musculoskeletal, and Older Women's Health. The GRECC is the home of an innovative and nationally-recognized, Swallowing Disorders Program with a very active clinical comoponent. The Palliative Care Consult Team at the VA is supported in part by GRECC-based geriatricians. The GRECC has outstanding support services in Rehabilitation and Phsyical Medicine where driving, gait and other functional evaluations are routinely performed under the supervision of occupational and physical therapists. Pharmacy support is also available for the elderly population.