The Division of Geriatrics was founded in 1983 by Dr. David Hamerman, creating a unified Division of Geriatrics between Einstein and Montefiore. During the course of his tenure, Dr. Hamerman created the fellowship program and was responsible for career development of many fellows and faculty members, several of whom went on subsequently to have prominent positions in or direct other Divisions of Geriatrics.
In 1982 Dr. Hamerman was a Co-Principal Investigator with Dr. Robert Katzman on the first national NIA Teaching Nursing Home Award that was made to Einstein. He promoted the concept of interdisciplinary team development, the evolution of geriatric practice from primary care, and the broader conception of the teaching nursing home integrated into the academic medical center.
From 1986 to 1992 Dr. Hamerman was an NIA Geriatric Leadership Academic Awardee. In 1989 Einstein was awarded an NIA Aging Training Grant, which established a core of basic science investigators involved in aging-related research. This training grant, established under Dr. Hamerman's leadership, continues today with more than 20 investigators in aging related fields.
Initiated in 1983, the Montefiore Einstein Geriatrics Fellowship Program is highly regarded, and has trained a generation of clinicians, academicians and national leaders in the field. The Division of Geriatrics was at the forefront of initiating clinical geriatrics programs for all levels of trainees. Residency education for all internal medicine residents was initiated along with the Geriatrics inpatient unit. A rotation in geriatrics for Einstein students became a requirement in 1995.
Dr. Laurie Jacobs was appointed Division Head in 1995. During the next decade, the division underwent a period of significant growth and expansion of faculty, clinical program development, educational and training activities and clinical research. Dr. Jacobs was awarded a John A. Hartford Foundation Leadership Award in 2001.
Einstein's Division of Education and Dean’s Office has maintained a historically strong commitment to education and training in geriatrics. In 2001-2003, an AAMC/Hartford Grant enabled a significant expansion of geriatrics education and training. Since that time, student participation in the Einstein Student Chapter of the American Geriatrics Society and in aging and geriatrics-related research in the summer programs, fourth-year electives, and in AFAR-sponsored programs, has increased significantly.
The award of the D.W. Reynolds Foundation Grant for education and training in geriatrics in 2006 resulted in a significant expansion of clinical geriatrics training for medical students at Einstein. In 2007, six junior faculty within the Division were awarded Geriatric Academic Career Awards by the Bureau of Health Professions.
Dr. Joe Verghese was appointed Division Chief of Geriatrics in 2012. Dr. Verghese is a Neurologist by training and is also the Director of the Division of Cognitive & Motor Aging of the Department of Neurology at Einstein, Professor of Neurology at Einstein, and the Murray D. Gross Memorial Faculty Scholar in Gerontology.
Dr. Verghese completed postgraduate training in Internal Medicine and Neurology followed by a Neurology residency at Albert Einstein in 1998. He completed fellowship training in Neurophysiology as well as Aging & Dementia in 1999 and received a Master of Science degree in Clinical Research Methods with Distinction from Einstein in 2001.
Dr. Verghese is a recipient of the Beeson award from the National Institute on Aging, and of the Outstanding Scientific Achievement for Clinical Investigation Award from the American Geriatrics Society.
Dr. Verghese has been highly productive scientifically. He has been, and remains, well funded by the NIH and other extramural funding agencies. His research interest comprises the effects of disease and aging on mobility and cognition in older adults.
Amongst his most prominent articles are:
- "Leisure activities and the risk of dementia in the elderly", NEJM 2003;
- "Abnormality of gait as a predictor of non-Alzheimer dementia", NEJM 2002;
- "Validity of divided attention tasks in predicting falls in older individuals: a preliminary study", J Am Geriatr Soc 2002;
- " Leisure activities and the risk of amnestic mild cognitive impairment in the elderly", Neurology 2006;
Under Dr. Verghese’s leadership the Division of Geriatrics has expanded to include multiple new innovative educational, clinical and research programs which include: The Center for the Aging Brain (CAB), The Geriatrics-Orthopedic Hip Fracture Co-Management Service the New York State Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease of Hudson Valley and the HRSA funded Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP).