INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana University Center for Aging Research and Regenstrief Institute investigators Michael LaMantia, M.D., MPH, and Kathleen Unroe, M.D., MHA, will be honored by the American Geriatrics Society at its annual scientific meeting May 15 to 17.
Dr. LaMantia will receive an AGS New Investigator Award, one of only five to be presented by the national organization this year. This award honors individuals whose original research reflects new insights in geriatrics and a commitment to academics in aging. He was previously honored by the AGS with a 2010 Annual Scientific Meeting Presidential Poster Award.
Dr. LaMantia focuses on the coordination of care for older, vulnerable patients as they transition across sites of health care delivery. He has a particular interest in the care of seniors in hospital emergency departments and especially the care provided there to seniors with dementia and delirium.
Delirium affects approximately 10 percent of older adults who seek care in the emergency department, yet it is unrecognized in the majority of cases. In 2014 Dr. LaMantia received a K23 award from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health to support "DEEDS: Delirium Evaluation in the Emergency Department for Seniors." Also in 2014 he published an analysis of the problem in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.
Dr. Unroe will be named an AGS fellow, a status bestowed on AGS members who have demonstrated a professional commitment to geriatrics, contributed to the progress of geriatrics care, and are active participants in the society's activities. AGS fellows are health care providers who are dedicated to geriatrics education, clinical care and research, as well as to their own continuing professional development.
She has previously been honored by the AGS with the organization's 2003 Edward Henderson Student Award and a 2011 Annual Scientific Meeting Presidential Poster Award. Dr. Unroe currently serves as vice chair of the AGS Public Policy Committee.
Dr. Unroe is focused on health policy relevant research in the long-term nursing home care of millions of individuals, including the use of palliative care and hospice in this setting, transitions of care, and the quality of medical care in nursing homes.
She is the co-principal investigator of a long-term nursing home resident care model called OPTIMISTIC, an acronym for "Optimizing Patient Transfers, Impacting Medical Quality and Improving Symptoms: Transforming Institutional Care. OPTIMISTIC is supported by a 4-year, 2012 award of $13.4 million from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Dr. Unroe and colleagues recently received an award from the John A. Hartford Foundation to prepare for the expansion of OPTIMISTIC. She is a co-author of several peer reviewed papers on OPTIMISTIC and of a recent editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association that issued a call to action for end-of-life care of older adults in nursing homes.
The American Geriatrics Society is a not-for-profit organization of over 6,000 health professionals devoted to improving health, independence and quality of life of all older people. In addition to their IU Center for Aging Research and Regenstrief Institute appointments, both honorees are assistant professors of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine.