Baylor College of Medicine News

Huffington Center on Aging Timeline

As the Huffington Center on Aging celebrates its 25th anniversary, we commemorate important milestones in its history. 


A portrait of Phyllis and Roy Huffington, date unknown. Photo courtesy Baylor College of Medicine Archives.

Dr. Robert J. Luchi takes a geriatrics sabbatical in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Dr. Luchi founds the first geriatric care facility at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

The first Isla Carroll Turner Visiting Professor program is established. The program continues today.

Dr. Luchi is appointed as director of the geriatrics program at Baylor College of Medicine.

The first private geriatrics clinic opens at Scurlock Tower.

The geriatrics fellowship program receives accreditation.

The Center receives the first Texas Consortium of Geriatric Education Centers Grant. This grant continues today.

Harris Health System opens the first geriatrics clinic at the Ben Taub Medicine Clinic, which is headed by Dr. Rebecca Elon, the first Baylor geriatrics fellow to graduate.

The Baylor Task Force on Aging recommends the creation of a Baylor Program in Aging.

The Center is awarded a Geriatric Leadership Academic Award by the National Institute on Aging.

The first research and clinical electives in geriatrics are initiated for medical students at Baylor College of Medicine.

The Huffington’s endowed the program, establishing The Roy M. and Phyllis Gough Huffington Center on Aging at Baylor College of Medicine.

Dr. Luchi is appointed the founding director of the Center.

The geriatrics section is established within the Baylor department of medicine.

The Center receives the Aging Training Grant from the National Institute on Aging. This grant continues today.


From left to right: Mr. Roy M. Huffington, Brooke Fatigante (the Huffington’s grand-niece), Phyllis Gough Huffington, Terry Huffington and husband Dr. Ralph Dittman (BCM class of 1973).

The Center is awarded the John A. Hartford Foundation Grant to create a geriatrics in primary care residency training program and creates computer-based learning modules, which were early innovation and included four editions. 

The first Spring Forum, an annual event to provide the community with medical education, is established.

The first Women’s Health Summit is held. This annual fundraising luncheon for the Center has a unique component of three educational speakers in the morning program.

Dr. Roy G. Smith is selected as the second director.

Baylor College of Medicine is designated as a John A. Hartford “Center of Excellence” in geriatrics.


Dr. George E. Taffet

Roy M. and Phyllis Gough Huffington establish The Phyllis Gough Huffington Bicentennial Endowment.

Geriatrics track of Longitudinal Ambulatory Care Experience is established to provide medical students with both community and clinical experiences. 

Dr. George E. Taffet is appointed chief of the section of geriatrics at the College.

Faculty at the Center develop the Geriatrics Emergency Prepared and Response Curriculum, the first national curriculum on bioterrorism as it relates to older adults. 

Dr. Gretchen Darlington is named interim director of the Center.

Center commemorates 20th anniversary.


Dr. Hui Zheng

Dr. Hui Zheng is named the third director of the Center.

Dr. George Taffet is appointed to the Robert J. Luchi, M.D. Chair in Geriatric Medicine.

The Estela E. Medrano Award for Excellence in Research on Aging is established.

Dr. Zheng is appointed to the Huffington Foundation Endowed Chair in Aging.

The first Huffington Health Forum is held. This is an expansion and energizing of the Spring Health Forum. 

The Senior Care Center, the Baylor College of Medicine private outpatient practice for geriatrics, opens at Park Plaza Hospital.