Veterans Affairs Creates Geriatric Center

(May 2015) The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced in October that it has awarded a Geriatrics Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) to Colorado, the first such award in more than 20 years.

The GRECC will provide up to $1 million to establish programs and add 12 new staff who will improve care for the country’s veterans. The centers were started by the VA in the late 1970s, but the department has not opened a new facility devoted to research and education for aging veterans since the late 1980s.

Robert Schwartz, MD, director of the Center on Aging on the Anschutz Medical Campus and head of the Division of Geriatric Medicine at the School of Medicine, coordinated the application effort.

The research and education center will include 6,000 square feet of lab space and 800 square feet of office space inside the new VA hospital currently under construction on land adjacent to the Anschutz Medical Campus. The center will include a team of 12 researchers and staff who will conduct work on two specialized fields: gender-related healthcare and the consequences of obesity in aging adults.

“If you look at the population overall, there’s going to be a doubling of the people 65 and older between 2010 and 2030,” Schwartz told the Denver Post. “That’s a real opportunity to develop new research and clinical methods to take care of them in a resource-wise way.”