Centers of Excellence in Research and Teaching in Geriatrics and Gerontology (Claude Pepper Centers)

Three Claude Pepper centers have been funded by the NIA. The NIA also provides funds for research in numerous university-based research centers through program project grants (P01). However, it is not always possible to characterize the centers receiving such funds as primarily age-oriented in their research activities.

Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Centers of the Department of Veterans Affairs

There are 7 million veterans 65 years old or older; half of all men in this country who are 65 and older are veterans. By the year 2000 there will be 9 million veterans 65 and over; 4 million of these will be 75 and over. In response to the needs of the veteran population the Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Centers (GRECC) program was initiated by act of Congress in 1975, and was expanded by further legislation in 1980. There are now 13 GRECCs, with 3 more planned for fiscal year 1991. Their purpose is to integrate basic research, teaching, and clinical achievements. Research activities of these centers are summarized in Table 7-2.

Teaching and Research Nursing Homes

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has sponsored eight teaching and research nursing homes affiliated with university medical schools. Research activities at these institutions are summarized in Table 7-3.

Other Institutional Supports for the Study of Aging

A noteworthy step by the private sector towards recruitment for careers in geriatrics took place in 1988, as the John A. Hartford Foundation initiated a strategy of supporting centers of excellence. The program, enhanced and broadened during 1989, encourages medical students and practicing physicians at 10 sites across the United States to specialize in academic geriatrics.

Although there are dozens of university centers for the study of aging across the country (including biomedical, behavioral and social, and health services delivery programs), a 1987 review of medical school-based fellowships in geriatrics identified only 13, at that time, as having an adequate complement of research and teaching personnel and implementing a full research program in aging (Institute of Medicine, 1987).

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