VOL.2 ISSUE 2 SPRING'07
New leadership at the Geriatric Resea
5i onald Shorr, M.D., arrived in Gainesville in
S early January to lead the Institute on Aging's
clinical programs. A board-certified geriatrician and
internist, Shorr will assume three roles in his new
position -director of the Veterans Affairs Geriatric
Research, Education and Clinical Center (GREEC),
associate director of the IOA and professor and chief
of the division of geriatric medicine in the department
of aging and geriatrics in the College of Medicine.
In his new position, Dr. Shorr will help unite the
shared mission of the VA and UF -providing full-
service geriatrics care to seniors.
Dr. Shorr, who comes to Gainesville from the
department of preventive medicine at the University
of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, will
use all his skills as he begins his work in his new role.
"I moonlight as a jazz musician," Dr. Shorr said.
"I have learned that you must listen to what the band
Education and Clinical Center
Dr. Ronald Shorr, pictured outside the Veterans Affairs GRECC, comes to
the UF Institute on Aging to lead its clinical programs.
is already playing in order to make music. So as I
approach this position, I'm going to go on a listening
tour of the IOA and GRECC."
New director, ceorined on 3
Welcome from IOA Director Marco Pahor
On this issue we focus on the importance of
providing specialized geriatric care in our
Shands at the University of Florida, in
conjunction with the North Florida/South Georgia
Veterans Health System, has had a long-standing
reputation for excellence in providing geriatric
care to veterans and community members.
This partnership continues to grow under the
aegis of the Institute on Aging. To develop a one-
stop opportunity for providing geriatric health
care, UF's department of aging and geriatrics
incorporated UF's geriatrics division, which was
formerly housed in UF's department of medicine.
This restructuring effectively brought together
UF and VA students, faculty and clinicians who
specialize in providing senior care.
This integration of services addresses one of the
fundamental goals of the UF Institute on Aging
-to foster the development of a cross-campus
system of health care for older people. T
Ii o -ngg
A clinic that cares:
UF Senior Care at Tower Hill
F's Institute on Aging and
department of aging and
geriatrics are pleased to announce the
expansion of the UF Physicians Senior
Care at Tower Hill with the addition
of geriatriciansJohn Meuleman, M.D., LK
and Kaleeswari Arulselvam, M.D. Arul
The Senior Care clinic offers
advanced care from UF physicians who
provided specialized health care for
seniors. They oin Henrique Kallas, MD,
Rebecca Beyth, M.D., Miho Bautista,
M.D., and April Tilton, PA-C. Hen
Predictors of Adherence in LIFE
O here is national evidence of a decline in physical
activity with age and an association between
inactivity and increased risk for physical disability.
The Lifestyle Interventions and Independence
for Elders (LIFE) Pilot is a randomized controlled
trial that was designed to examine the feasibility of
conducting a large multi-center trial on the effects of
increasing physical activity in sedentary, functionally
rique Kallas, M.D.
(I-r) Miho Bautista, MD; April Tilton, PA-C; Rebecca Beyth, MD; Ron
Shorr, MD, Division Chief; John Meuleman, MD
The year-old clinic seeks to meet the needs of senior
patients and its mission of managing all aspects of their
health care. Physicians at UF Senior Care are board-
certified in geriatrics and provide quality care for both
healthy and frail older adults.
Comprehensive services range from specialty care
for incontinence, falls, memory disorders and acute and
chronic illnesses to preventive care focused on patient
wellness and independence. t
For more information or to arrange an appointment, please call
compromised older adults to delay or prevent the
onset of mobility disability. One of the objectives
was to examine predictors of adherence to physical
The community setting for the pilot
included institution-based and home-based physical
activity for 213 men (31.1%) and women (68.9%)
with an average age of 76.5 years who were at risk for
disability. Adherence to physical activity interventions
was not related to differences in demographic
profiles. Similarly, there was not strong, consistent
evidence that adherence is related to comorbidities,
level of physical functioning, physical symptoms, or
even cognitive processes related to functioning and
physical activity that exist prior to the onset of an
The results were heartening in that the physical
activity intervention appears to have been well
tolerated by diverse groups of older adults. The role
of prior behavior in predicting later adherence to the
program underscores the importance of anticipating it
and developing advance interventions for its treat. ?
Educational activities at the VA GRECC
Oo health-care providers can better care for their patients
and seniors can better understand the aging process, the
Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center at the VA
joins with the University of Florida's College of Medicine and
the Institute on Aging to provide various educational activities.
The courses, lectures and other educational offerings target
different audiences in three general areas: (1) career development
of younger clinicians and researchers, (2) training of health-
care providers and (3) outreach activities in the community.
To enhance development of research, clinical and leadership
skills among students, trainees and fellows, UF and the GRECC
provides a two-week geriatric clerkship for fourth-year medical
students, weekly seminars, workshops on writing grants and
manuscripts, among other topics.
Educational offerings for faculty and staff include two weekly
interdisciplinary aging seminar series focused on research and
clinical topics. Special education events such as the Whittington
Lecture series, educational workshops and regional/national
conferences on geriatrics take place throughout the year.
For older adults, the GRECC initiates health campaigns
to educate the public about health strategies to reduce the risk
of stroke and produces videos to empower patients to manage
their conditions. ?
Giving for a healthier, more
ood health and independence
make for quality living, especially
as we age. The University of Florida
is committed to leading in research,
education and patient care through the
Institute on Aging.
You can invest in a healthier and more
independent future for you and your loved
ones by investing in the Institute on Aging.
Your support educates future geriatricians
and health-care providers for older people,
generates critical resources for our world-
class faculty to conduct cutting-edge
research and creates a legacy for UF to
remain a leader in providing a healthier
and more fulfilling tomorrow for us all.
For information on making a gift,
please contact Troy Munn, director of
development for the Institute on Aging, at
352-265-7227, 888-374-2867 or tmunn@
The Veterans Health Administration initiated a
strategy in the mid-1970s to focus attention on
the aging veteran population, to increase the basic
knowledge of aging, to transfer that knowledge to
health-care providers and to improve the quality of
senior care. A cornerstone of this strategy has been
the development of GRECCs. Gainesville has one
of 21 centers of excellence currently operating in
The Institute on Aging's three-part mission also
involves patient care, education and research. One
of the key components for enacting this mission
comes from its relationship with the GRECC.
The work of the IOA naturally lends itself to the
mission of the GRECC and vice versa, Shorr said.
He said his goal for the GRECC is to help translate
some of the more mechanistic research findings that
come out of the Institute on Aging so they can be
applied to patients.
"A guy like me can take that research and translate
it to apply to the care of our patients with problems
like frailty, which is one problem we deal with that is
linked to aging," Dr. Shorr said.
Dr. Shorr will also oversee the IOA's clinical
operations, including the geriatricians at the UF
Physicians Senior Care of Tower Hill clinic.
Dr. Shorr holds a master's degree in epidemiology.
His research interests include the appropriate use
and adverse effects of medications in older adults.
He is currently the principal investigator of an NIH
grant to test whether proximity alarms reduce fall
risk in acute care.
'George J. Caranasos, M.D.
University of Florida
Q: Dear Dr. Caranasos,
Why should I see a geriatrician?
A: Although aging is not a disease, the longer we live,
the greater our chances of developing health problems.
A geriatrician is specially trained to treat these unique
and complex issues, including the psychological and
social aspects of illness in the elderly and how it affects
the entire family.
Geriatricians have specialized training for medical
conditions without a clear-cut cause that are common
in the elderly, such as incontinence, poor mobility,
recurrent falls, decreased ability to care for oneself and
A geriatrician can recognize these conditions and
potential problems, simplify medication regimens and
coordinate care, and is uniquely qualified to evaluate
and treat patients as a whole.
A geriatrician can be of special value when
there are "multiples" -multiple medical problems,
multiple doctors, multiple medicines. When patients
take many medications simultaneously, known as
polypharmacyy," they can experience adverse drug
effects and harmful drug interactions. The combined
effects of the drugs can frequently mimic problems
seen in older patients such as poor appetite, weight loss,
slowing down, forgetfulness, confusion, depression,
anxiety and constipation.
Geriatricians are also trained to use a team approach
to care, which incorporates the work of nurses,
dietitians, psychologists and physical and occupational
therapists to care for the whole person. P
Ia n III 11110
Marco Pahor, IOA Director
Mickey Cuthbertson, Design
U institute on
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA