Eastern Colorado Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) - VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System
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Eastern Colorado Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC)


Research Overview

20 December 2019

The research foci of Eastern Colorado GRECC are:

  1. Consequences and Treatments of Obesity in Older Adults; and
  2. Gender Differences in Health (focusing on women’s health)

These are both areas of significant existing research interest, resources, strengths, and achievements within the CU-SOM Division of Geriatric Medicine. These areas are of consequence due to the increasing number of female Veterans and greater understanding of the multiple functional, metabolic and cognitive risks of obesity. However, they have received only modest attention to date from existing GRECCs.

In 2010, the VA Women’s Health Services Research Conference identified complex chronic conditions, aging, and long-term care as a focus area for defining the future direction of VA women’s health research and its potential impact on practice and policy. Research priorities identified under this initiative included advancing the understanding of aging issues of women Veterans in such areas as menopause, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, and heart failure.

The proposed GRECC has a high potential to make significant contributions in Gender Differences in Health. The importance of focusing on Consequences and Treatments of Obesity in Older Adults is highlighted by the observation that more than one-third of Veterans seen in primary care in 2002 met the criterion for obese and the prevalence is likely even higher now and in older Veterans. The GRECC will establish a cadre of investigators with expertise to both investigate mechanistic causes for the numerous health conditions and diseases associated with obesity and test translational therapeutic strategies for improving health.

Eastern Colorado GRECC Investigators

Wendy M. Kohrt, PhD
Title: Associate Director for Research
Contact: wendy.kohrt@cuanschutz.edu
Research Activities:
— Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium (MoTrPAC): NIH Common Fund initiative to establish a comprehensive map of the molecular responses to endurance and resistance exercise, with long-term goal of understanding mechanisms for health benefits of exercise. CU-AMC is one of seven Clinical Centers that will enroll 3000 participants.
— Bioenergetic and Metabolic Consequences of the Loss of Gonadal Function
— Novel Modifiers of Musculoskeletal Adaptations to Exercise

Lauren Abbate, MD
Title: Advanced Research Fellow – Emergency Medicine
Contact: lauren.abbate@cuanschutz.edu
Research Activities:
— Integration of an Evidence-based Exercise Program, Walk with Ease, into the Existing MOVE! Program

Jesse Christensen, PT, DPT, Ph.D, SCS
Title: GRECC Advanced Research Fellow, Physical Therapy
Contact: jesse.christensen@cuanschutz.edu
Research Activities:
— Clinical biomechanics in patients undergoing joint reconstruction and the effects that wearable technology have on correcting movement pattern abnormalities

Cory Christiansen, PT PhD
Title: Professor, Physical Therapy
Contact: cory.christiansen@cuanschutz.edu
Research Activities:
— Physical Activity Behavior Change for Older Veterans after Dysvascular Amputation — Integrating Walking Behavior Change into Rehabilitation for People with Amputation because of Vascular Disease/Diabetes

Marc Cornier, MD
Title: Professor, Endocrinology
Contact: marc.cornier@cuanschutz.edu
Research Activities:
— Appetite Regulation in Older-Aged Obese Individuals

Michael Harris-Love, PT, MPT, DSc, FGSA
Title: Visiting Professor, CU Physical Therapy Program
Contact: Michael.Harris-Love@cuanschutz.edu
Research Activities:
— Promoting the functional independence of older adults
— Developing viable methods of assessing muscle quality
— Employing innovative exercise interventions for those with sarcopenia

Dwight Klemm, PhD
Title: Professor, Pulmonary Sciences
Contact: dwight.klemm@cuanschutz.edu
Research Activities:
— Age- and Sex-associated Production of Adipocytes from Bone Marrow Stem Cells

Hillary Lum, MD, PhD
Title: Associate Professor, Geriatric Medicine
Contact: hillary.lum@cuanschutz.edu
Research Activities:
— Patient-centered Outcomes Research to Support Diverse Communities with Advance Care Decision Making

Daniel Matlock, MD
Title: Associate Professor, Geriatric Medicine
Contact: daniel.matlock@cuanschutz.edu
Research Activities:
— Shared Decision Making; Hospice Decision Aids
— Decision Aids for ICDs and LVADs
— Doctor-Patient Communication and Patient Engagement

Ed Melanson, PhD
Title: Professor, Endocrinology and Geriatric Medicine
Contact: ed.melanson@cuanschutz.edu
Research Activities:
— Effects of Lifestyle Factors (physical activity, diet, and sleep) on Bioenergetics (energy and substrate metabolism, and physical activity), particularly related to Obesity and Aging

Matthew Miller, PT, DPT, NCS
Title: GRECC Advanced Research Fellow – Physical Therapy
Contact: Matthew.J4.Miller@cuanschutz.edu
Research Activities:
— Movement and Behavior Change in the Context of the Chronic Condition of Dysvascular Lower Limb Amputation

Kerrie Moreau, PhD
Title: Professor, Geriatric Medicine
Contact: kerrie.moreau@cuanschutz.edu
Research Activities:
— Gonadal Regulation of Endothelial Function

Kathryn Nearing, PhD, MA
Title: Assistant Professor, Geriatric Medicine
Contact: kathryn.nearing@cuanschutz.edu
Research Activities:
— Older Veteran Engagement Team (OVET)

Robert S. Schwartz, MD
Title: Director, Division of Geriatric Medicine
Professor, Geriatric Medicine
Contact: robert.schwartz@cuanschutz.edu
Research Activities:
— primary care for older patients including: dementia, depression, hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, nutrition/exercise, thyroid disease, over-medication and sleep disorders

Jennifer Stevens-Lapsley, PT PhD
Title: Professor, Physical Therapy
Contact: jennifer.stevens-lapsley@cuanschutz.edu
Research Activities:
— Improving Function in Older Veterans with Hospital-associated Deconditioning
— Improving Rehabilitation Outcomes After Total Hip Arthroplasty
— Shifting Rehabilitation Paradigms in Skilled Nursing Facilities toward Higher-Intensity Rehabilitation

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