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Geriatric Faculty Scholars

What is a Geriatric Faculty Scholar?

This prestigious challenge grant is awarded to current junior URMC faculty with a specific interest in inter-professional geriatric education and practice. Throughout the calendar year, these faculty members will work with a mentor in the Division of Geriatrics & Aging to create and implement a geriatric education program within their own Division or Department. Each project is designed to promote an Age Friendly Health System and integrate the 4Ms and geriatric principles into other specialties. This program is designed to:

  • Develop faculty with an interest in gerontology and geriatrics who create innovative programs that improve the care of older adults by increasing the geriatric knowledge and skill of physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals at various levels of training and professional development, from students to senior faculty.
  • Promote inter-specialty and inter-professional training and collaboration to improve the quality and safety of older adult care throughout UR Medicine.


Geriatric Faculty Scholars, 2021-2022

Joseph Tasker Gundy, MD

Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine (SMD)

As a URMC Acute Pain Service (APS) faculty member with a commitment to geriatrics, Dr. Gundy is keenly interested in optimizing postoperative outcomes for older adults.  As APS currently implements collaborative, interdisciplinary enhanced recovery protocols with diverse surgical subspecialties, it is in a unique position to accelerate existing URMC efforts to create an Age-Friendly Health System (AFHS). As a Geriatric Faculty Scholar (GFS), Dr. Gundy will integrate the 4M’s paradigm into the workflow of APS floor rounds and incorporate the 4M’s into our documentation (embedded checklist in consult/progress note template) for encounters with older adult patients.

Gabriela Poles, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, Colorectal Surgery (SMD)

Dr. Poles' goals for the Geriatric Faculty Scholars Program is to improve the quality of geriatric surgical care at URMC, improve her knowledge of issues specific to the care of geriatric patients, and network with individuals who are interested in improving care for older adults. With her involvement in the Geriatric Surgery Verification Program (GSV) at the University of Rochester (URMC), a program built on the Age Friendly Health Systems (AFHS) principles of the 4Ms, this program has helped her understand the issues around providing high quality geriatric surgical care. Serving this vulnerable population well is becoming increasingly important as older adults disproportionately utilize health care including surgical procedures and it is expected to double between 2010 and 2050. As a result, improving surgical care for older adults has a large potential impact, which has motivated Dr. Poles to want to align the URMC Surgery Departments’ care with AFHS best practices. This GFS project will allow me to develop a component of the GSV within the division of Colorectal Surgery with plans for dissemination throughout the Department of Surgery in order to promote AFHS practices within surgery.

Blanca Y. Valdovinos, MD

Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, Movement Disorders (SMD)

In Rochester, NY, even though 15% of the population identifies as Latino, less than five percent of medical providers identify with this community. To help meet this need, Dr. Valdovinos proposed, designed and implemented a Spanish Language Neurology Clinic to help improve access to neurologic care for the Latino community and this clinic opened its doors, under her leadership in July 2020.  As a Geriatric Faculty Scholar, Dr. Valdovinos will help equip her team with the essential tools and knowledge to optimize care for geriatric Latino patients. Her goal is to create educational programs that increase geriatric knowledge as it pertains to the Latino community focusing on neurology resident education by serving as a mentor to residents and students, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds.


All Geriatric Faculty Scholars: Geriatric Faculty Scholars


For more information about the Geriatric Faculty Scholar program, contact Annette Medina Walpole via email or at 585-760-6354.