Another Genius in Geriatrics!

In the US, every year the MacArthur Foundation gives an award called the “Genius Grant”(and $500,000 with no strings attached) to, what else, but a number of geniuses.  And this year it included a geriatrician, Dr. Eric Coleman!

Dr. Coleman, at the University of Colorado, is already famous in geriatrics for his groundbreaking work in care transitions.  An increasingly complicated problem, the fact that older adults are more likely to be in the hospital means that, naturally, they are more likely to be discharged from hospitals.  Discharged where?  Sometimes they are discharged back home, but sometimes to a nursing home or rehabilitation center and then back home.  Or– unfortunately– often back to the hospital.  The maze of transitions is only worse because doctors, nurses and the health care systems they work in do not do it well.   This is where Dr. Coleman comes in.  He has created systems to help make the back-and-forth to the hospital happen less often or happen more smoothly when it does.  And this is both an immensely complicated and immensely important problem to be solving– hoping to save money, lives, time and quality of life.

He joins some incredible people who have been honored in the past for their incredible work for older adults.

Last year, Marie-Therese Connolly, and elder rights lawyer was recognized for her work in elder abuse.  In 2009, Dr. Mary Tinetti at Yale won for her pioneering work in falls. And in 2008, Dr. Diane Meier at Mt. Sinai in New York won for her incredible work in palliative care for people at the end of life.

The more these leaders are recognized for their committment and contribution to the care of older adults, the more the world will see the important and serious problems facing older adults today.  Hooray to the geniuses working to help seniors!


About Anna H. Chodos, MD

I am an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco. A geriatrician and primary care doctor, I see patients in an urban safety net health care system. My work is focused on improving the care of older adults, and I write about issues affecting their health and health care.

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