The University of Texas Medical Branch has been awarded a $4.9 million grant for the state’s first federally funded center to study how best to care for and promote the health and well-being of elderly patients.

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research in the Elderly center will be led by Dr. James S. Goodwin, director of UTMB’s Sealy Center on Aging.  The center will include investigators from UTMB’s four schools and will also draw resources from numerous departments and specialties at UTMB.

“The overall goal is to promote patient-centered care, by determining the range of different outcomes most important to patients with different diseases, and how well currently available treatments help achieve those outcomes,” said Goodwin. 

“It is important to add that our investigators will work closely with UTMB Health System leadership to assess models for patient-centered care and shared decision making throughout the clinical enterprise and to fully integrate the principles of patient-centered care into training programs across our four schools,” said Dr. Danny O. Jacobs, executive vice president and provost and dean of the School of Medicine. 

The program supports three research projects and includes educational, dissemination and infrastructure cores. The principal investigators for the projects are Dr. Howard Brody, director of the Institute for the Medical Humanities and professor in the department of family medicine, Timothy Reistetter, associate professor in the department of occupational therapy, and Kristin Sheffield, assistant professor in the department of surgery. 

UTMB researchers will collaborate with their counterparts at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Oregon Health and Science University. 

The grant was provided by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.