Eastern Colorado Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) - VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System
Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System

Veterans Crisis Line Badge
My HealtheVet badge
EBenefits Badge

Eastern Colorado Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC)



1 November 2019

Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Centers (national network) collectively provide more geriatric-specific training than any other entity. The Eastern Colorado GRECC has several education programs with national, regional and local reach. Ongoing educational opportunities are featured on our education calendar and include:

Welcome to Eastern Colorado GRECC Educational Programs

Simply click on the plus (+) symbol to expand the section and read more about each selected research project. And the minus (-) to close that section.

Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) presents: AGING EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR JULY 2019

Every month the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) collects educational opportunities for everyone interested in keeping with this ever-changing field. We will post these at the beginning of each month as we receive them.

October 2019

9 October 2019 - Geriatric and Palliative Care SCAN ECHO
Polypharmacy and Deprescribing - Presented by: Michelle Gaynor, PharmD
2PM ET - Click for access (limited to VA employees)

31 October 2019 - CU Geriatric Grand Rounds
Sleep and aging - Brice McConnell, MD PhD
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM | CU Anschutz Campus, Academic Office 1 (AO1) - 7th Floor Board Room (Room 7000)

Geriatrics and Palliative Care SCAN ECHO series

National reach: Monthly webinar series offered on the 2nd Wednesday, noon to 1 pm MST. This Employee Education Service approved series offers the following continuing education credits for those who register to participate through the VA’s Talent Management System: ACCME, ACCME-NP, ANCC, ACPE, APA, and ASWB. The target audience is rural providers and interprofessional teams serving rural Veterans.

9 October 2019 - Geriatric and Palliative Care SCAN ECHO
Polypharmacy and Deprescribing - Presented by: Michelle Gaynor, PharmD
2PM ET - Click for access (limited to VA employees)

Access to Care Rounds: Access to Care Rounds

An educational series developed by the Colorado Veteran Community Partnership: The Colorado Veteran Community Partnership (VCP) aims to connect Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC front-line teams with diverse community partners in Eastern Colorado to achieve the vision of establishing an integrated network of support for older Veterans and their family members/caregivers.

As a concrete step toward accomplishing this vision, Colorado VCP launched Access to Care Rounds in FY18. Each Access to Care Rounds includes a cross-sector panel that discusses specific efforts to link a medically complex Veteran to resources. Since January 2018, Access to Care Rounds have been held every other month (with a break in the summer) at the Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC or at a member organization.

This model was developed with stakeholder input and has highlighted topics, and connected VCP members with expertise, related to chronic pain management, suicide prevention, homelessness, adult protective services, transportation, home-based primary care, hospice care, and firearm safety. Each Access to Care Rounds highlights lessons learned related to care coordination, communication, resource finding, and key processes that others can utilize to better serve older Veterans. Each Access to Care Rounds has had an average of 30 individuals attend in person who represent the VA, community-based organizations, universities, and other governmental entities.

Those who attend are most often social workers, physicians, psychologists, registered nurses, and students/trainees. Participants receive a general description of the Veteran situation; the names, credentials, organizational affiliations and roles/expertise of each panelist; and, a resource list relevant to the constellation of issues addressed by the panel to enhance access to information and resources for those working to support older Veterans. We collect evaluation feedback immediately following each Access to Care Rounds and share the results with VCP partners and panelists.

Nearly 40% (38.2%) of respondents have reported intentions to make a concrete change to their professional practice as a result of what they learned during an Access to Care Rounds. The following are illustrative comments:

  • More use of [Area Agencies on Aging]; more knowledge of/use of APS/mandatory reporting.
  • Aware of Veteran Service Officers as additional resources for Veterans.
  • Increase collaboration.
  • Will ask more clients about firearms.
  • Research our database to ensure we have resources to help older Veterans. Add resources heard about today.

Geriatric Scholars Program/Rural Interdisciplinary Team Training (RITT) - Webinar Series for Cognitive Aging and Dementia

The VA Geriatric Scholars Program integrates geriatrics into primary care practices through tailored education for professional development. By providing continuing education and professional development on geriatric topics, inter-professional (e.g., physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, social workers, psychologists) educational experiences encourage innovation and creativity to promote function and independence in older adults.

The program serves Veterans through its efforts to improve quality of care and improve access to health care providers who are knowledgeable about geriatric care. Formats include: intensive educational courses, clinical practicum training experiences, on-going coaching and mentoring opportunities and choices among self-directed learning activities. The Geriatric Scholars Program is an example of the VA’s commitment to providing high quality care to all Veterans.

Upcoming Trainings

Dementia-friendly VA facilities
9 October 2019
Mary Wyman, PhD

Past Trainings

What are the next steps after the diagnosis of dementia?
12 June 2019
Emily Trittschuh, PhD
Watch archive video
Rural Interdisciplinary Team Training (RITT) - Cognitive Aging and Dementia: Risk Factors and Health
10 July 2019
Emily Trittschuh, PhD
Watch archive video
Non-pharmacological approaches to dealing with difficult behaviors in dementia
11 September 2019
Kristine Fredrickson, LICSW

University of Colorado School of Medicine Geriatric Medicine Grand Rounds

A one-hour, conference offered generally on the 1st and 3rd Thursday from 7:30 to 8:30 am. Topics range from clinical and patient care reviews to presentations on the clinical implications of GRECC research. Attendees range from medical trainees (students, residents and fellows) to Geriatric medicine faculty and primary care providers/ geriatricians from the community to allied health professionals and trainees representing pharmacy, nursing, and social work.


5 September 2019
NASH/Liver disease - Emily Schonfeld, MD
31 October 2019
Sleep and aging - Brice McConnell, MD PhD
7 November 2019
Opioid testing - Geza Bodor, MD
5 December 2019
Speaker: Gretchen Orosz, MD
2 January 2020
Geriatric Education - Helen Fernandez, MD
16 January 2020
Marijuana in older adults - Ian Reynolds, MD
30 January 2020
Pharmacy related - Angie Llanos, Geriatrics Pharmacy Resident
6 February 2020
Speaker: Angene Johnson, MD
20 February 2020
Ortho - treatment of rotator cuff pathology - Rachel Frank, MD
5 March 2020
Speaker: Juliana Wilking-Johnson, MD
19 March 2020
Speaker: Sarah Tietz, MD
2 April 2020
Speaker: Chris Schifeling, MD
16 April 2020
New Drug Update - Danielle Fixen PharmD & Scott Pearson PharmD
30 April 2020
AGS Preview - Various Speakers TBD
21 May 2020
Pearls from the ACP - Jeff Wallace, MD

Rocky Mountain Regional Geriatrics Conference

VISN-wide reach: Each year, the Eastern Colorado and Salt Lake City GRECCs partner to provide a regional conference. The 16th Annual Rocky Mountain Geriatrics Conference, “Aging in Place: Promoting Independence and Planning for the Future of our Aging Population” was held September 24-25, 2018 in Denver. The learning objectives were:

  1. Identify, manage and monitor common conditions affecting older adults that may threaten their ability to successfully age in place;
  2. Understand the benefits of interprofessional collaboration and community resources to promote healthy aging, mobility and independence in older adults; and
  3. Identify key components of medical, legal and financial planning for aging adults.

Over the course of the two-day conference, a total of 73 professionals earned continuing education credits and recorded 884 person hours of learning. The audience included physicians, psychologists, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, social workers and community-based service providers.

The evaluation survey asked respondents what they would take from the conference and apply in practice (e.g., as a member of an interdisciplinary team, as an educator, etc.). We received about 100 responses to each of the three open-ended questions. Examples, which document the potential for disseminating conference information, insights, tools and resources, include:

“Specifically of importance to me as an instructor in the College of Nursing was that loss of function during even a short hospital stay contributed significantly to increases in morbidity and mortality.”

“I found information in several of the presentations applicable to teaching CNAs. I plan to incorporate tips and information learned from the following presentations into my course discussions: Dementia and Caregiver Stress – What Non-home Health Providers and Clinicians Should Know; Cultural and Ethnic Considerations, A Focus on Function, and Elder Mistreatment and Justice.”

“There were many resources given regarding aging at home. I will incorporate them into my practice.”

“More attentive listening and questioning of elderly individuals to get a better understanding of their unique needs, concerns and have them more involved in their own care planning and implementation.”

“Modeling non-confrontational techniques to caregivers of patients with dementia.”

“Each segment held some “ah-ha” moments. Models for aging in place were particularly helpful since I work primarily with Veterans via home telehealth aiming to keep them at home as long as possible.”

“As a team, broaden the available services and devices that may improve a patient’s quality of life.” Comments from attendees

Associated Health Training Program

Established to meet the statutory obligation of training the workforce of the VA healthcare system, the Associated Health Training Program is VA’s flagship training program. The Eastern Colorado GRECC program has grown every year, both in terms of absolute numbers of trainees and in terms of the number of disciplines involved.

We currently support eight training slots and 12 trainees representing the following allied health professions: audiology, pharmacy, psychology and social work. Geriatric Medicine Fellows from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus participate with Associated Health Trainees through core didactic opportunities, clinical huddles and shadowing opportunities. In FY20, physical therapy residents will formally participate in our Associated Health Training program, and we continue to find synergies with the nurse residency program at the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center.

We have also extended our training capacity by building a pipeline for workforce development within our own healthcare system and facility. In 2017, we received approval for a post-graduate year (PGY) 2 residency training slot in pharmacy; 2019- 2020 will be the second year that we have one of our PGY1 pharmacy residents matriculate into the PGY2 residency slot. We hope to replicate this success with psychology, pending accreditation.

Trainees participate as a cohort in a core curriculum that is aligned with formal, published discipline-specific competencies, with the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) competencies serving as a common anchor. Examples of core curricular components, which are case-based and provide structured opportunities to practice interprofessional collaboration skills, include:

Interprofessional Case Conference series
2nd Wednesday of the month
Noon - 1PM
A1-230 Yarrow Conference Room
One-hour session to support interprofessional practice. Trainees (1) discover the specific expertise and resources represented by other disciplines; (2) how the knowledge held, and information provided by, other disciplines can enhance one’s own practice; and, (3) ways to most effectively solicit and utilize the resources of an interprofessional team when providing care to Geriatric patients. This experiential case-based series is designed for Associated Health trainees and Geriatric fellows.
Changing the Narrative: Addressing Ageism by Shifting How We Talk about Aging
Guest Speaker: Janine Vanderburg, a FrameWorks Institute certified master trainer
In this special presentation for GRECC Associated Health Trainees, you'll learn:
Why changing the way we talk about aging and ageism is so important
What the general public believes about older people and about aging in America
What ageism is, and the harmful effects it has not only on all of us as we age, but also on our communities and the economy
The benefits to all of us of having positive views of aging and using age-positive language as we get older
How common words and phrases can have negative consequences that we don't intend because they reinforce ageist attitudes and stereotypes about older people
Evidence-based messaging and communications strategies based on three years of research by FrameWorks Institute that have been proven to increase support for age-friendly policies and to decrease bias against older people
Some concrete tips for using the new messages and sharing them with those around you.
Register here
Future Clinical Ethics Seminar
24 October 2019
19 December 2019
20 February 2020
23 April 2020
Bioscience, BLDG P
A dedicated opportunity to learn about and apply clinical ethical decision-making frameworks to Geriatrics cases, explore core ethical questions and common dilemmas in Geriatrics and the care of older Veterans from diverse disciplinary and stakeholder perspectives. Trainees participate in small and large group interdisciplinary discussions and are encouraged to share cases that emerge from their training and clinical practice experiences.
Friday Educational Conference Series
Friday mornings (except for 4th Friday)
CU Anschutz A01 (2101)
A learner-initiated conference comprised of ~40 sessions/year. Clinical topics are selected, researched and presented by anyone from trainees to faculty through a one-hour interactive didactic presentation and discussion. Geriatric specific topics are presented in PowerPoint, case discussion or literature review. Participants include Geriatric Medicine Fellows, Associated Health Trainees, faculty/ supervisors and internal medicine residents (on their geriatric medicine rotation).
Geriatric Grand Rounds
1st and 3rd Thursdays
CU Anschutz A01 (7th Floor)
Journal Club
2nd Thursday, Sept - June
State Veterans Home
A one-hour session led by geriatric medicine faculty. One to two journal articles, released within the last 6 months, and pertinent to geriatric research and clinical care, are critically evaluated by one faculty member, which stimulates high-level critical review and discussion. Geriatric faculty, fellows, internal medicine residents and Associated Health Trainees participate.

Eastern Colorado GRECC VA Pulse Group

Persons in the Associated Health Training Program can see all the events and download all relevant documents through our Eastern Colorado GRECC VA Pulse group (you must have a VA email address to access this link).

New Dementia Safety Resources – Firearm Safety and Driving Safety

The Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention (OMHSP) and Office of Geriatrics and Extended Care (GEC) have developed the following materials that VA clinicians can use to discuss firearm safety as well as driving safety with Veterans who have been diagnosed with dementia and their families.

Resources on issues of firearm safety for Veterans with dementia

The following Office of Geriatrics and Extended Care Internet website (under the "Safety and Other Concerns" tab) contains useful information on safe firearm storage and dementia:

VA also recently created an updated brochure on Preventing Suicide Among Older Veterans, which includes information on lethal means safety such as firearm safety tips:

Additionally, VHA has published a safety planning guide for older adults to assist with suicide prevention efforts, as well as a supplemental resource for safety planning with this population, which include tips on firearm safety for Veterans with dementia:

Questions regarding guidance on lethal means safety, including the topic of safe firearm storage and Veterans with dementia, can be directed to Dr. Andrew Moon, Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention (10NC5) at Andrew.Moon4@va.gov.

Resources on issues of driving safety for Veterans with dementia

2017 VHA Dementia Driving Safety Workgroup Report contains recommendations to VHA providers caring for Veterans with dementia regarding driving an automobile. The Workgroup Report is posted on the VHA Dementia SharePoint site (only available within VA network), along with a PowerPoint slide set with summary information for VHA clinicians.

VA Brochure Driving and Dementia (IB 10-82 P96107 Rev Aug 2017)

Questions regarding these driving documents can be directed to Dr. Susan Cooley, Office of Geriatrics and Extended Care (10NC4) at susan.cooley@va.gov

Return to Top

Site Map