Department of Medicine

Office of Geriatric Medicine/Gerontology

The Office of Geriatric Medicine/Gerontology functions administratively within the Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine. The Office consists of three full-time and two part-time faculty engaged in primary care and consultative geriatrics as well as geriatric/gerontologic education and research.

The faculty and staff listed below come from various disciplines, and therefore, their expertise provides the office with the uniqueness of a multidisciplinary team approach to service, education, and research.

Cletus U. Iwuagwu, M.D.; Associate Professor of Medicine

Victoria Steiner, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor of Medicine; Coordinator of Research and Education, Office of Geriatric Medicine/ Gerontology; Assistant Director, Office of Rural Health & AHEC

Barbara Hicks, R.N.C., M.S.N.; Assistant Professor of Nursing; Geriatric Clinical Nurse Specialist

Mission Statement

Clinical Services




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Mission Statement

The Office of Geriatric Medicine/Gerontology faculty and clinicians provide leadership in geriatric education, research, and community service and are viewed as a valuable resource for geriatric health care issues in the Northwest Ohio area.

The Office is committed to the continuation of excellence in interdisciplinary education and serves as a resource for geriatric education. In addition to active leadership in the annual statewide geriatric conference, faculty are called upon to present a variety of geriatric topics to colleagues, health professionals, health service providers, and the community.

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Geriatric Center

The Geriatric Center of the Medical College provides comprehensive health care for the older adult and support services for their families.

Specific services include:

  • Comprehensive evaluation and management of health problems in the older adults
  • Primary care with personal physician services
  • Consultations and second opinions
  • Continuity of care with 24 hour coverage
  • Health promotion and education
  • Supportive services in the areas of patient/family coping and adjustment issues

Staff of the Geriatric Center

Cletus U. Iwuagwu, M.D. Board Certified Internal Medicine/Geriatrics

Barbara Hicks, R.N.C., M.S.N. Geriatric Nurse Specialist

Loni Ahl, R.N.

Lori Flick Behrens, M.A.

Phone: Monday through Friday 8:30 - 5:00 p.m. (419) 383-5610

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Research interests in the Office of Geriatric Medicine / Gerontology predominantly relate to issues in the care and management of people with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders. In addition to clinical aspects of care, office faculty are interested in psychosocial issues such as caregiver stress and burden and interventions to help caregivers cope. The office collects a database of information for clinical and research purposes from the caregivers of the patients seen in the Dementia & Memory Center. Faculty in the office have also been conducting a study looking at the process and outcome of hospitalization for dementia patients with comorbidities.

Office faculty are also interested in other chronic problems older adults experience. A new interdepartmental project will focus on nocturnal incontinence in older adults and the use of the drug desmopressin.

Students have also been involved with research projects in the office. One medical student helped to develop a survey to understand the information needs and resources of primary care physicians, particularly regarding mental health issues and the elderly. Another student is working on a proposal to study medication compliance in older adults.

A strength of the office is the various disciplines that are represented by the faculty, bringing a biopsychosocial approach to research and educational activities, as well as the delivery of medical care to older adults.

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Medical Students
As part of primary care education, medical students are provided with a core foundation in geriatric medicine. Beginning in year one, students are introduced to the concepts of aging. Geriatric content is integrated throughout the basic and behavioral sciences in year two. The Office provides a 20 hour required course focused on clinical geriatrics to second year medical students in addition to what is integrated in other courses.

As part of a required ambulatory clerkship, selected third year students are assigned to work in the Geriatric Center and are precepted by one of the two geriatricians. A four week geriatric elective is also offered to interested students.

 Experiences include:

  • Outpatient primary care clinics
  • Nursing home rounds
  • Didactic sessions with faculty on topics in Geriatrics
  • Community experience with Visiting Nurse Service
  • Journal Club
  • Set curriculum with references

Resident Education
A core curriculum focuses on important topics in clinical geriatrics such as normal aging, dementia, falls and mobility problems, incontinence, common musculoskeletal problems, and problems that come up in the day-to-day management of geriatric patients. This curriculum is supplemented with discussion sessions one to two times a week with a member of the Office of Geriatric Medicine staff. The resident participates in a weekly multidisciplinary team conference held to organize and coordinate patient care. To round off the experience, the resident will visit a selection of community based agencies to gain an understanding of the health care services needed and provided for older adults.

Residents from other specialty programs can also elect this rotation if space is available. Experiences are as those listed above.

For more information phone: (419) 383-5605

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The Consortium of Ohio Geriatric Academic Programs (COGAP) was developed by the seven state supported medical schools to provide a network of resources in geriatric medical education. Working collaboratively, the latest in geriatric education and research is disseminated to other physicians throughout Ohio via programs designed to promote professional growth and initiative.

One of the strengths of COGAP is the collaborative nature of many of its activities. During the last biennium, in addition to providing geriatric medical education to regional students and physicians, members of COGAP worked on two major statewide initiatives. These include the annual geriatrics faculty development workshop and the annual statewide geriatric medicine conference at Salt Fork State Park.

COGAP members have established four common goals and core objectives essential to their mission of providing geriatric medical education to students. Each office incorporates its own strengths into their approach of these goals. The current goals and core objectives of COGAP are as follows.

COGAP Goals and Objectives

Goal I. Undergraduate Medical Education

Objective 1. Develop undergraduate curricular content whereby all Ohio medical students acquire a foundation in geriatric medicine.

Objective 2. Provide medical students with learning opportunities in the full spectrum of environments where geriatric care is provided with an emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches.

Objective 3. Expose medical students to faculty role models who emphasize geriatric medicine philosophies and provide career guidance.

Goal II. Postgraduate Medical Education

Objective 1. Serve as a resource to enhance residency curricular content.

Objective 2. Assist appropriate residency programs to develop educational experiences in geriatric clinical teaching sites that reflect the range of settings.

Objective 3. Share curricular materials and teaching strategies throughout the state.

Goal III. Knowledge Base Enhancement

Objective 1. Continuing Education for physicians and other health care professionals.

Objective 2. Assist geriatric focused faculty to stay abreast of new knowledge through educational endeavors and research.

Goals IV. Outreach and Consultation

Objective 1. Work collaboratively with COGAP.

Objective 2. Function collaboratively within COGAP to serve as a resource to other state supported medical education programs such as AHEC and family medicine.

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Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) -- Includes Clinical Practice Guidelines

Alzheimer's Association -- Dedicated to researching the preventions, cures, and treatments of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, and providing support and assistance to afflicted patients and families.

The Whole Brain Atlas -- Contains neuroimaging of normal and pathological brains.

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Last Updated: 6/30/19