Divisions » Geriatrics & Palliative Medicine

Geriatrics & Palliative Medicine

female nurse sitting and listening senior female patient

Life expectancy in the United States has so improved that the fastest growing population in the United States is over the age of 85. Our board-certified geriatric  and palliative medicine specialists at The GW Medical Faculty Associates provide comprehensive care for medically complex patients. Services including primary and preventative healthcare, medical and cognitive assessment, management of acute and chronic health problems, memory disorders, and palliative medicine consultation. Our geriatric specialists offer a whole team approach to patient care, which includes support from a social worker. Continuity is important to us, and so we follow our patients in the clinic, in the hospital, in skilled nursing facilities and in the home.

Our mission is to improve the health and well-being of elderly persons, as well as all persons with serious, complex and/or chronic illness through compassionate and skillful multidisciplinary care. We are committed to educating the physicians -in- training in care for these patients, and our educational activities are targeted to medical students, residents and fellows. GW sponsors the first and largest fellowship training program in geriatric and palliative medicine in the Washington metropolitan area.

Based at MFA, our dynamic faculty include 11 experienced and board-certified geriatric and palliative physicians and three mid-level practitioners, as well as a fulltime social worker. Additionally, six adjunct faculty at the Veterans Administration lead our fellowship educational programs.

Division Information

Geriatric Clinic

Our Geriatric Team consists of Board Certified Geriatricians, Board Certified Internal Medicine Physicians, Fellows, and a Nurse Practitioner.

Our physicians are:

  • Involved in cutting edge research in geriatric medicine
  • Part of a palliative care team within the hospital involving a multi-disciplinary team
  • Involved with patient care within the clinic, hospital, and nursing care facilities

Initial Evaluation:

  • Expect 60 minutes or more for the initial visit with the team.  Family member or caregiver should be present
  • Patient should be previously informed as to the nature of the visit
  • Information will be collected using a variety of functional/cognitive tests
  • Physical examination and laboratory test will be done
  • Referrals for further specialized studies
  • Referrals for community resources

House Calls Program

The GW MFA Medical House Call Program has provided hands-on, high quality medical care to hundreds of men and women who have difficulty leaving their homes.  We strive to improve the quality of life of homebound persons, as well as their caregivers, offering them best possible service and practical support, regardless of their financial resources.

As part of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine of the George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates, we believe our mission is to educate physicians of tomorrow about the complex needs of the homebound.

For homebound patients we provide the following services:

  • Preventive health care
  • Diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions
  • Prescription of medications, with an emphasis on safety and affordability
  • Support to family members and other caregivers
  • Referrals for rehabilitation
  • Assistance with practical needs, including wheelchairs
  • Pain management
  • Comprehensive, patient-centered end-of-life care for the terminally ill

Memory Disorders Clinic

  • Evaluation of geriatric memory disorders or cognitive complaints
  • Evaluation of Adult Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Recurrent falls or mobility problems that threaten independence
  • Mood disturbances or behavioral abnormalities in late life
  • Recent episodes of confusion or delirium during hospitalization
  • Late life neuropsychiatric disorders
  • Concerns about competency or safety for independent living
  • Failure to thrive
  • Behavioral problems with dementia
  • Assistance with pain management
  • Suspected Alzheimer Disease
  • Progressive Alzheimer Disease

Initial Evaluation:

  • Expect 60 minutes or more for the initial visit with the team.  Family member or caregiver should be present
  • Patient should be previously informed as to the nature of the visit
  • Information will be collected using a variety of functional/cognitive tests
  • Physical examination and laboratory test will be done
  • Referrals for further specialized studies
  • Referrals for community resources

Palliative Medicine

Palliative Medicine is a medical specialty that focuses on improving quality of life for patients and their families who are coping with serious illness.

The goal is the relief of pain and other distressing symptoms, such as nausea and fatigue, and to attend to emotional, practical and spiritual concerns of both patient and family.

The Division sponsors a physician lead for the George Washington University Hospital program in palliative care, and runs a robust Palliative Medicine Fellowship program with many training locations. 

Community Partners

Geriatric Medicine Fellowship

The ACGME accredited George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences Geriatric Medicine Fellowship provides one-year training and experience in an unsurpassed range of clinical settings.

Learn more about Geriatric Medicine Fellowship


Hospice Palliative Medicine Fellowship

The ACGME accredited George Washington University Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship is a one year program that offers a variety of clinical settings and prepares fellows to assume roles of physician leaders, master teachers and quality improvement experts.

Learn more about Hospice Palliative Medicine Fellowship


GW Integrative Geriatric and Palliative Care Fellowship Program

The GW Integrative Geriatric and Palliative Care Fellowship program began in 2011 and our center is the main clinical site for the program. Under the guidance of our Medical Director, Mikhail Kogan, the 1-year fellowship offers in depth learning of Integrative Approaches to care for elderly and frail patients for one fellow per Year.

For more details visit http://www.gwcim.com/education/integrative-fellowship/

Washington DC area Geriatric Education Center Consortium

The goal of the Washington D.C. Geriatric Education Center Consortium (WAGECC) is to strengthen the geriatric workforce in order to improve the health, quality of life, and potential of older persons, particularly those in underserved areas.  WAGECC aims to accomplish this goal by providing interprofessional education and support to health care professionals, faculty and students. WAGECC’s curriculum incorporates facilitated learning through the humanities and arts to enhance the competencies of geriatric practitioners and to improve their ability to provide person-centered care.

Learn more


George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health (GWISH)

Since its inception in 2001 as the first university-chartered Institute for Spirituality and Health in the United States, GWish has sustained a leadership role in building a more compassionate system of health care, a system premised not only on concrete scientific principles but that also addresses the psychological, social and spiritual needs of patients.

Learn more about GWish


GW Center for Aging Health and Humanities

Founded in 1994 by the late Gene D. Cohen, MD, The Center serves as the interprofessional home for faculty across departments and schools at The George Washington University who are working to improve the lives and health of older persons through education, research, and work in clinical arenas, with particular focus on the potential of the humanities and the creative arts to promote healing and wellness throughout the life span.

Learn more about GW Center for Aging Health and Humanities


Center for Integrative Medicine

The Center for Integrative Medicine at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences is dedicated to creating a healing environment in which patients have access to a medical doctors and variety of complementary and alternative therapies to promote healing and wellness.

Learn more about the Center for Integrative Medicine

MEET our Faculty Explore Our Geriatric Medicine FellowshipExplore Our Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship

Directors

Geriatrics

Katalin Eve Roth

Division Director:
Katalin Eve Roth, MD, JD

 

Elizabeth Cobbs

Fellowship Director:
Elizabeth L. Cobbs, MD

Palliative Medicine

Karen Blackstone

Hospice & Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program Director:
Karen Blackstone, MD


For Patient Care information or inquiries, please visit the GW Medical Faculty Associates.