The Huffington Center on Aging is committed to improving the quality of life for older people by training scientists and physicians to become leaders in the fields of gerontology and geriatrics.

As a leader in medical education for clinicians, the center is actively involved in training Baylor College of Medicine medical students, residents, and geriatric fellows. For healthcare professionals, the center provides educational opportunities for care providers of all disciplines. The center also provides valuable educational programs for the community at large.

HCOA faculty and faculty associates are course directors as well as faculty in education and training activities offered by the medical and graduate schools of the College and the postgraduate training programs of several clinical departments.

Geriatrics Fellowship Program

The Geriatric Medicine Fellowship of the Department of Internal Medicine is coordinated by the Huffington Center on Aging at Baylor College of Medicine. It is a fully accredited, two-year program for physicians designed to develop leadership skills for successful academic careers as clinicians, investigators, educators, and administrators in geriatrics. The exceptional resources of the Baylor College of Medicine and its affiliated institutions provide exposure to a wide variety of faculty, clinical training sites, research, and teaching opportunities.

Clinical Education and Training

The HCOA is designated as a "Center of Excellence in Geriatrics" by the John A. Hartford Foundation, Inc. of New York City. The mission of our Center of Excellence in Geriatrics is to train physicians to become academic geriatricians who will provide service, training, and research to meet the needs of older people. As a Center of Excellence, HCOA is committed to recruiting and training geriatric fellows as either clinical educators or investigators. Trainees will be selected from a variety of medical disciplines including medicine and family medicine.

The Curtis and Doris K. Hankamer Foundation has provided generous support for clinical and research fellowships in geriatrics since 1990. During this time, six fellows have had the opportunity to explore research projects related to cell aging, a value history instrument, characterization of SDI1, a gene related to senescence in human cells, exercise responses in elderly patients with CHF, gene defects that cause unlimited growth in cancer cell and the examination of the genes related to the muscular atrophy of aging.

The goal of the Student Training in Aging Research program is to increase the number of students committed to academic careers in geriatrics and gerontology. Medical students are recruited during their first and second years of medical school. Graduate students are targeted their first year to do an aging-related research project. The process involves selecting a mentor who agrees to work with the STAR students and by submitting a written application to HCOA. The Texas Geriatric Interest Foundation is an organization for medical students wanting to learn more about aging. The primary goals are education and service. Monthly meetings, seminars, field trips, pre-clerkship preceptorships, and community service projects give members personal experiences in geriatrics.

The HCOA at the MEDVAMC supports the only residency program in Geriatrics for Physician Assistants. This one year program provides clinical training in many aspects of the continuum of care experienced by an elder from wellness to hospice. The effort is run be Lurie McAdow, PA-C and is a unique product.

Geriatrics Education Center

As one of 45 formerly HRSA-funded GECs in the country, the Texas Consortium for Geriatrics Education and Care (TCGEC) was established in October 1985, located at HCOA and was comprised of nine academic institutions. Federal funding for all GECs ended on June 30, 2016. Dr. Robert Roush served as director for all 31 years. The members of the consortium were Baylor College of Medicine, UT-Pan American University, Texas Southern University, Prairie View A&M University School of Nursing, The University of Texas- Health Science Center Tyler, South Texas College, Texas A & M University, University of Houston-Downtown, and Texas Woman's University. Member institutions collaborated to advance the development of health professionals' capabilities to improve the lives of older Texans through educational programs, service delivery activities, and resources in the field of aging. The TCGEC sponsored the bi-monthly series Interprofessional Geriatrics Clinical Experiences, a distance learning program and other programming. To date, over 70,000 health professionals have attended TCGEC offerings.

Now a new entity continues the long-running TCGEC programming: Keeping the same acronym, it stands for Texas Consortium for Geriatrics Education and Care. We will offer an online certificate program via the Distance Learning Menu and be positioned to collaborate with others to promote a better old age for all Texans. The TCGEC will continue operating in conjunction with a new HRSA geriatrics grant at Baylor, the South East Tx GWEP, led by Drs. Aanand Naik and Angela Catic in the Section of Geriatrics, Department of Medicine. Dr. Roush will work with these two clinical geriatrics educators on interprofessional geriatrics programming in the area of elder abuse, specifically financial exploitation. Known since 2010 as the EIFFE Prevention Program, the focus of the new education outreach will be to raise awareness among clinicians that many of their older patients are highly vulnerable to being financially defrauded; to prevent poor clinical outcomes resulting from significant losses, they must screen their patients for such red flags as MCI, depression, and such other biopsychosocial events in their lives as loss of spouse or being dependent on unscrupulous family members and those who seek to enrich themselves at the expense of the elders.