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RESEARCH AND GRANTS

Faculty members in the Department of Family Medicine and the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at UC Irvine School of Medicine are nationally known for their research activities in several fields. 

Research areas include:

Transforming OC's Community Clinic System: Funded by UniHealth Foundation »

Transforming Orange County's Community Clinic System:  Creating True Community Health and Wellness.

This comprehensive initiative intends to redefine a healthcare delivery system for the underserved in Orange County.  It will support the transformation of Orange County’s clinics from a disease-focused approach to a health delivery model that focuses on prevention and health creation.  This will be achieved by integrating evidence-based integrative health modalities and proven prevention interventions that focus on health creation into the current health care delivery system.  Integrative health philosophically focuses on prevention, enhancing quality of life and fostering patient empowerment by teaching self-management skills and by using both conventional and evidence-based integrative methods to facilitate the body’s innate healing response.  It minimizes excess pharmaceutical and invasive treatments, and the attendant costs, whenever possible. Specifically, this project supports a

three-year process for up to eight Orange County clinics that have demonstrated the readiness and capacity to engage in such a transformation. This project is based on a successful existing initiative at the UCI Family Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) located in Santa Ana, as well as other promising models at FQHCs across the country.

Integrative Medicine at UCI Family Health Center: Funded by the Samueli Foundation »

Integrative Medicine at UCI Family Health Center.

The vision for the new Integrative Medicine Program at the UCI Family Health Centeris to transform how primary care is practiced on behalf of underserved
communities and how medicine is taught to students and residents. Our collaboration with Samueli Center and Foundation has enabled the program to take a number of important steps towards the creation of a healing environment and redesigning the medical curriculum to follow the paradigm and philosophy of Integrative Medicine.

Transitions of Care: Funded by Song Brown »
Reducing Readmissions with Transisitions of Care Program.

Preventing hospital readmissions is a mandated performance measure indicating quality of care.  Patients admitted to the family medicine service come from very challenging socioeconomic and psychosocial circumstances that make them even more susceptible to hospital readmissions. Most of the patients are Spanish speaking only and have limited health literacy and limited access to transportation, clinic visits, medications, and additional services that would decrease length of stays, readmissions, and ED visits, and increase patient wellness and education as well as patient satisfaction. The transitions of care program would ensure the patient has appropriate placement and education through post-discharge telephone calls, home or hospital follow-up visits within seven days of discharge with direct in-home monitoring of discharged patients who are at risk for re-admissions. The goal is to decrease hospital readmissions.

Improving Immunization Rates in Seniors: Funded by American Academy of Family Physicians »

Improving Immunization Rates for Senior Patients at UCI Family Medicine Residency Practice.

UC Irvine Family Medicine residents will learn to communicate with patents at the appropriate cultural and literacy level both orally and by printed materials.  They will learn to effectively discuss with patients about the benefits of vaccinations as well as adress any possible concerns or misconceptions that the patients might have.  Through this process, patients will expand their knowlede about infulenza and pneumococcal disease and impact of immunizations in geriatric populations.  The residents will learn how to utilize EMR health maintenance reminders for immunizations to enhance patient care.   

Division of Geriatrics Research & Grants »

Faculty members in the Department of Family Medicine and the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at UC Irvine School of Medicine are nationally known for their research in the field of elder abuse and neglect. Working with the university's Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect, they aspire to stimulate new ideas, identify needed areas of inquiry and to collaborate with investigators throughout California and beyond. Geriatrics Program researchers also seek to ensure that academic findings result in improved services for victims of elder abuse and neglect.

This Program is a collaboration between the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, the UC Irvine Family Health, the Samueli Foundation, the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine (SSCIM), the Health Funders Partnership of Orange County (HFPOC) and the Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers (Coalition).   This comprehensive initiative intends to re-define a healthcare delivery system for the underserved in Orange County and will support the transformation of Orange County’s clinics from a disease-focused approach to a health delivery model that focuses on prevention and health creation.  This will be achieved by integrating evidence-based integrative health modalities and proven prevention interventions that focus on health creation into the current health care delivery system.  Specifically, this project supports a three-year process of up to eight Orange County clinics that have demonstrated the readiness and capacity to engage in such a transformation. 

This project is supported by a grant from UniHealth Foundation, a non-profit philanthropic organization whose mission it is to support and facilitate activities that significantly improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities within its service area.

Cultivating a Culture of Caring for Older Adults (C3OA)

The Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program, Cultivating a Culture of Caring for Older Adults, is a collaboration between the Division of Geriatric Medicine and the Program in Nursing Science at UC Irvine.

This program seeks to develop a more responsive workforce educated in individual and population-based care. The program incorporates inter-professional geriatric training into our primary care residency and nursing programs. The goal is to prepare the Orange County workforce for the future of older adult care. Integrated teams practice the full scope of their license: Transitions of Care, Chronic Disease Management, Preventive Services and an Alzheimer’s Care Model.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under 1 U1QHP28724-01-00, Cultivating a Culture of Caring for Older Adults, for $2.5 million. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

Comprehensive Agile Response Team for Dementia Care

This project seeks to develop a healthcare delivery model with the flexibility to respond to the unique needs of persons with dementia. By combining community and healthcare resources, we aim to improve the quality of care, increase patient and caregiver satisfaction, and decrease costs associated with caring for people with dementia.

This activity is supported by a grant from UniHealth Foundation, a non-profit philanthropic organization whose mission it is to support and facilitate activities that significantly improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities within its service area.

Geriatric Bruising

A study funded by the National Institute of Justice concluded that nearly 90 percent of accidental bruises in older adults occur on the extremities. Researchers also found that the yellow coloration commonly associated with an older mark can show up within 24 hours of bruising. In addition, older adults on medication known to impact coagulation pathways and those with compromised function were more likely to have multiple accidental bruises.

Phase II of the study concluded that bruises from physical abuse are significantly larger and tend to be on the face, the lateral and anterior sides of the arm as well as the upper and lower back. Most of the older adults also knew the cause of their bruising.

Caring for Dementia Patients

The Program in Geratrics collaborated with the Institute for Brain Aging and Dementia (IMIND) to assess the care given to older adults with dementia. Results of the study, which was funded by the California Department of Health Services, show that mistreatment of people with dementia is prevalent and that it can be associated with certain characteristics in a caregiver and a person with dementia. These findings may help  prevent abuse and neglect of people with dementia.

Elder Abuse Data Systems

A two-part study funded by the Archstone Foundation is under way to improve the quality of data collected on elder abuse in California. Currently the best information on the incidence of elder mistreatment is reported to adult protective services agencies, yet there is evidence that these data do not reflect the true incidence of abuse.

Standardizing Elder Mistreatment Criteria

The National Institute on Aging has funded a project to develop and test a self-reported, survey-based measure that could be used to generate population estimates of elder abuse. With a reliable standard for detecting elder mistreatment, researchers can begin to provide more accurate data and enable policymakers to address this significant and distressing public health issue.

More information about our research projects and publications.>>

The Department of Family Medicine is grateful for the funders who entrust us to use their money to perform research, teaching, and service.