Aging & Quality of Life

The Foundation launched its Aging and Quality of Life Program in 1996. Its goal remains improving the quality of life for America’s elderly by preparing physicians to provide better care for frail older people. Most physicians today lack adequate training to meet the needs of the frail elderly patient. Such patients typically suffer from interacting physical, social and psychological conditions –both acute and chronic – that limit their independence and threaten their capacity to function in daily life.

The first grants under the Aging and Quality of Life Program were awarded by the Foundation’s trustees in 1997 to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, in Little Rock. One grant provided for construction of the Donald W. Reynolds Center on Aging. Others provided operating and endowment support for the newly established Donald W. Reynolds Department of Geriatrics.

The University of Oklahoma was the second grantee under the Aging and Quality of Life Program. Its Donald W. Reynolds Department of Geriatric Medicine was established in Oklahoma City in 1999. Most of the grant is devoted to building the Department’s faculty through the endowment of ten geriatric medicine faculty positions.

In April of 2000 the Foundation’s trustees approved a major initiative under the Aging and Quality of Life Program, calling on the nation’s academic health centers to undertake comprehensive programs to strengthen the training in geriatrics of medical students, residents and practicing physicians. The trustees originally conceived of three cohorts of ten grants, each totaling up to $2 million over four years. A fourth cohort of ten grants was added due to the success of the first three.

As part of its geriatrics training initiative, the Foundation has provided support to the Association of Directors of Geriatric Academic Programs (ADGAP) to carry out important facilitating activities including the hosting of annual meetings of the Foundation’s geriatrics training grantees and the facilitation of information exchange among those in America’s academic health centers who are engaged in strengthening geriatrics training of physicians. One novel means of information sharing is POGOe, an online clearinghouse that provides practicing physicians, clinician educators and physicians-in-training high quality geriatric educational materials. The POGOe website can be found at
Click here to view a map that represents all of our Aging Program Grantees

In addition to the four cohorts of grants to strengthen geriatrics training at individual academic health centers, in July of 2004 the Foundation’s trustees awarded four grants totaling $12 million over six years to train academic health centers’ faculty in geriatrics. Under the grants, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, New York’s Mount Sinai Medical School and the University of California, Los Angeles have formed the Donald W. Reynolds Consortium to Strengthen Faculty Expertise in Geriatrics in U.S. Academic Health Centers. The Consortium offers fellowships to train clinician educators in geriatrics and continue the training of their own junior faculty members, with a goal of placing as many as possible as faculty in other institutions; offers one-week mini-fellowships and courses to strengthen the knowledge of geriatrics of faculty members who teach medical students and residents in other institutions throughout the United States; and provides on-site consultation to other academic health centers aimed at strengthening their geriatrics training.

Other grants in the Foundation’s Aging and Quality of Life portfolio include a Reynolds Center for Geriatrics Nursing Excellence grant to the University of Oklahoma in 2008, and funding to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences for the replication of a home caregiver training program.

Foundation Staff Contact: Rani Snyder

Cohort #1 - Description of Geriatrics Training Grants Approved in April 2001

Cohort #2 - Description of Geriatrics Training Grants Approved in July 2003

Cohort #3 - Description of Geriatrics Training Grants Approved in June 2006

Cohort #4 – Description of Geriatrics Training Grants Approved in October 2008


John R. Burton, MD
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Harvey J. Cohen, MD
Duke University Medical Center

William J. Hall, MD
University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

Rosanne M. Leipzig, MD, PhD
Mount Sinai Medical Center

David B. Reuben, MD
University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine