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


Eastern Colorado GRECC Investigators

6 April 2021


Kathryn Nearing, PhD, MA
Title: Assistant Professor, Geriatric Medicine
Contact: kathryn.nearing@cuanschutz.edu
Personal Statement
Kathryn A. Nearing, PhD, MA, is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Geriatrics and Center on Aging; and, Associate Director for Education and Evaluation for the Eastern Colorado GRECC. Areas of expertise include health services research, including dissemination and implementation science; research translation, including health systems change in response to clinical innovation; community-based participatory research and stakeholder engagement; and, education, training and career development, including clinical and translational research mentorship and leadership development.
Research Interest
Dr. Nearing brings over 20 years of experience designing and implementing large-scale evaluations in the fields of clinical and translational research, public health and education (including medical education). Dr. Nearing previously served as the lead evaluator for the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute and the Eastern Colorado GRECC. The evaluation of the NIH-supported CCTSI examined how the institute catalyzed research across the translational spectrum and life course, with a focus on the mission-critical aspects of education, training and career development; regulatory processes/science; providing high-quality, cost-effective research resources and services to meet prioritized needs; and, stakeholder engagement. In this role, Dr. Nearing applied quantitative and qualitative research expertise, acquired through training as a medical and applied anthropologist and health and behavioral scientist; workflow and social network analysis; and, quality and process improvement to support specific pillars of the CCTSI.
As Associate Director for Education and Evaluation for the Eastern Colorado GRECC, Dr. Nearing leads the education, training and career development component, of which there are currently 16 trainees representing five disciplines and eight core didactic/training opportunities offered routinely with local, regional and national reach. Dr. Nearing coordinates and facilitates the Older Veteran Engagement Team – a group of older Veterans and caregivers who provide feedback and input on research and clinical and community-based services focused on older Veterans. She also actively mentors trainees and GRECC Advanced Research Fellows.
Older Veteran Engagement Team (OVET)
The GRECC has three components: research, clinical demonstration projects and workforce development. To ensure that the voice of those the GRECC hopes to serve informs this work, the GRECC established an Older Veteran Engagement Team (OVET). OVET members are older Veterans and caregivers of older Veterans. OVET engages a diverse group that collectively brings a variety of life and military experiences to bear on issues of importance to aging Veterans and caregivers. OVET meets monthly (3rd Wednesday, 10-12 at the Colorado State Vets Home) and is a resource to investigators, providers and trainees who are interested in receiving feedback and input from older Veterans and caregivers regarding some aspect of a quality improvement, education or research project.

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Recent Publications




Polzer E, Nearing K, Knoepke CE, Matlock DD, McCourt A, Betz ME. "Firearm access in dementia: legal and logistic challenges for caregivers". Int Rev Psychiatry. 2021 Apr 1:1-9. doi: 10.1080/09540261.2021.1887098. Epub ahead of print.
PMID: 33792478



Nearing KA, Lum HD, Dang S, Powers B, McLaren J, Gately M, Hung W, Moo L. National Geriatric Network Rapidly Addresses Trainee Telehealth Needs in Response to COVID-19. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2020 Jul 08.
PMID: 32639578

Polzer ER, Nearing K, Knoepke CE, Matlock DD, Azrael D, Siry BJ, Meador L, Betz ME. "Safety in Dementia": Development of an Online Caregiver Tool for Firearm, Driving, and Home Safety. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2020 Jul 06.
PMID: 32628279

Nearing KA, Nuechterlein BM, Tan S, Zerzan JT, Libby AM, Austin GL. Training Mentor-Mentee Pairs to Build a Robust Culture for Mentorship and a Pipeline of Clinical and Translational Researchers: The Colorado Mentoring Training Program. Acad Med. 2020 05; 95(5):730-736.
PMID: 1972672

Jones CD, Nearing KA, Burke RE, Lum HD, Boxer RS, Stevens-Lapsley JE, Ozkaynak M, Levy CR. "What Would It Take to Transform Post-Acute Care?" 2019 Conference Proceedings on Re-envisioning Post-Acute Care. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2020 Aug; 21(8):1012-1014.
PMID: 32192872



Drake C, Wald HL, Eber LB, Trojanowski JI, Nearing KA, Boxer RS. Research Priorities in Post-acute and Long-term Care: Results of a Stakeholder Needs Assessment. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2019 07; 20(7):911-915.

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Presentations & Media

 Poster: Formal Training in Telehealth Uniquely Prepares an Interdisciplinary Workforce in Geriatrics and Gerontology
14 November 2019 - Eastern Colorado GRECC PIs, Kathryn A. Nearing, PhD, Hillary D. Lum, MD, PhD, Skotti Church, MD along with Janna Hardland, MD and Stephanie Hartz, LCSW, BCD, presented this poster at The Gerontological Society of America's 71st Annual Scientific Meeting, taking place in Austin, Texas from November 13 - 17 , 2019. Eastern Colorado GRECC Connect integrates Associated Health Trainees (Audiology, Psychology, Social Work, Pharmacy) and Geriatric Medicine Fellows into interdisciplinary tele-geriatric and tele-palliative care consultations provided to outlying community-based outpatient clinics. During exit interviews, trainees indicated that these experiences offered unique opportunities to develop their clinical skills, particularly related to active listening and communication. They identified their involvement with GRECC Connect as a highly valued aspect of their Geriatrics training. Rigorous training in telehealth is an essential aspect of workforce development in Geriatrics and Gerontology given the concentration of older adults in rural areas.

Podcast: Access to Care Rounds

Listen as Kathryn Nearing, PhD, MA, Associate Director for Education and Evaluation for EC GRECC, discusses the model with Hillary Lum, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Geriatric Medicine, and project coordinator Courtney Bauers.


Access to Care Infographic

Our team created this infographic to help understand our work. Download the complete infographic as a PDF.

Colorado Veteran Community Partnership

The Colorado Veteran Community Partnership was established in July 2017.

Mission – Improve quality of care for Veterans and their families through committed partnerships focused on improving VA-community connections for Colorado Veterans.

Contact: Courtney Bauers, LCSW, courtney.bauers@va.gov; Khristie Barker, khristie.barker@va.gov

Learn more about Veteran Community Partnerships

The Colorado Veteran Community Partnership works closely with community partners. Joining Community Forces is an excellent source for Colorado resources, upcoming events and networking. Learn more at: http://coloradojcf.org/

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