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From publications to grants and recent honors, here’s a look at news from our Faculty and former Fellows.


The Division of Geriatric Medicine’s Claire Larson, MD, Jan Busby-Whitehead, MD, and co-authors’ recent JAPha publication proposes a new model of collaborative pharmacist-based care to reduce falls risk in older adults related to opioids and benzodiazepines.

Ben Blomberg, MDIn a recent publication, “Enhancing Advance Care Planning Communication: An Interactive Workshop with Role-Play for Students and Primary Care Clinicians,” the Division of Geriatric Medicine’s Ben Blomberg, MD, and coauthors make the tough topic of advance care planning accessible for trainees and providers through role-playing and interactive workshops.

Kudos to Gregg Warshaw, MD, and Meredith Gilliam, MD, MPH, for leading continuing medical education talks throughout the summer and fall of 2020 for MAHEC’s Project ECHO on cognitive impairment and osteoporosis.

Lindsay Wilson, MD, MPHLindsay Wilson, MD, MPH, received a “Foundation Phase Teaching Excellence Award” for significantly influencing courses in the Foundation Phase. Wilson is the John W. Foust Medical Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor, and was recently promoted to associate professor in the division of geriatric medicine.

“During these challenging times, I am especially grateful for the opportunity to work with our fantastic medical students,” said Wilson. “Teaching the next generation of physicians, particularly in how to best care for our older patients, brings me tremendous joy. I love watching my learners grow and develop into doctors – their dedication, passion, and determination inspire me.”

On September 24 the Division of Geriatric Medicine’s Joshua Niznik, PharmD, PhD, led a webinar on deprescribing in older adults using administrative healthcare data as part of the Joshua Niznik, PharmD, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Division of Geriatric MedicineDivision of General Internal Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh’s Health Services Research Seminar series.

Thrilled for new Faculty Members – and former Fellows – Drs Junève Toche and Rosanne Tiller to join our Division this fall. Both are proud new moms! Congratulations to all!

Dr. Maureen Dale and Redia Baxter of Western Carolina Alzheimer's AssociationMaureen Dale, MD, spoke with Redia Baxter of Western Carolina Alzheimer’s Association about dementia and caregiving. See the full interview and Dr. Dale’s advice on navigating telehealth, dementia, and challenges of caregiving at this time.

UNC School of Medicine’s Care of the Older Patient Scholarly Concentration Program attracts a dedicated group of students annually. Congratulations to Lindsay Wilson, MD, MPH and co-authors for documenting the national availability of geriatrics specialty concentration programs in JAGS Scholarly Concentration Program Surveya recent Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS) publication.

Margaret Drickamer, MD, is featured in a series on advance care planning for the American Association of Directors of Nursing Services. The first of the five-part series is here.

Joshua Niznik, PharmD, PhD was awarded pilot funding from the US Deprescribing Research Network (USDeN) for his proposal on “Deprescribing Bisphosphonates in Nursing Home Residents with Dementia”. US Deprescribing NetworkThe 1-year award will develop operational definitions for identifying deprescribing of bisphosphonates using Medicare administrative data and evaluate patterns and factors associated with bisphosphonates deprescribing in older nursing home residents with dementia. The study team will also engage with a stakeholder group of nursing home providers and residents/caregivers to disseminate findings.

Thrilled for new Faculty Members – and former Fellows – Drs Junève Toche and Rosanne Tiller to join our Division this fall. Both are proud new moms! Congratulations to all!

Josh Niznik, PharmD, PhDJoshua Niznik, PharmD, PhD, has been named as an inaugural member of the US Deprescribing Research Network’s Junior Investigator Intensive Awardees. Dr. Niznik and fellow awardees will expand support for deprescribing research. 

2019 MSTAR Student Kayla Darris2019 UNC Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) student Kayla Darris, University of Arizona College of Medicine at Tucson and Brian Diekman, Assistant Professor in the UNC-NCSU Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering and member of the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center, have been awarded the American Geriatrics Society’s 2020 Best Abstract Award for their research on cellular senescence!

Lindsay Wilson, MD, MPHCongratulations to Lindsay Wilson, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Division of Geriatric Medicine & John W. Foust Medical Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor, on receiving a 2019-2020 Academy of Educators Foundation Phase Teaching Excellence Award!

UNC Geriatrics clinic social worker Bryan Godfrey

UNC Geriatrics clinic social worker Bryan Godfrey, LCSW, presented key resources on supporting family caregivers of older adults in times of stress and isolation in a spring 2020 webinar on “Supporting Family Caregivers Through Times of Stress and Isolation,” sponsored by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office (MMCO).


Margaret Drickamer, MD, Director of UNC Hospice, interviewed on WBURNPR’s Here and Now interviews Margaret Drickamer, MD, UNC Hospice Medical Director, on hospice and end-of-life care during Covid19.  “It has changed everything.”

Kevin Biese, Chair of ACEP's GEDA Accreditation BoardKevin Biese, MD, MAT, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Geriatric Medicine, and Chair of ACEP’s GEDA Accreditation Board, and co-authors, has published key information on the role of the ED in diagnosis and acute management of COVID-19 in older adults.The article, published in the Journal of Geriatric Emergency Medicine, includes two case scenarios to show the role of the ED in diagnosis and acute management and looks at coordination of care in the community. You can find the article here.


Joshua Niznik, PharmD, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Division of Geriatric Medicine

A recent study from Assistant Professor Joshua Niznik, PhD, PharmD, Division of Geriatric Medicine, in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society suggests de-prescribing Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors (AChEls) as a reasonable approach to lowering polypharmacy and risk of serious falls or fractures without increasing risk for all-cause negative events in nursing home residents with severe dementia.


WRAL interviews Meredith Gilliam, MD, MPH, on falls prevention

Meredith Gilliam, MD, MPH, was interviewed by WRAL’s Ken Smith on the importance of lowering falls risk for older adults.



Modern Healthcare featured our dementia friendly training in a recent Care Delivery / Transformation Hub story.


Maureen Dale with Aaron Keck at WCHL to promote Dementia Friendly Hospitals

Dr. Maureen Dale was interviewed on WCHL about dementia friendly training at UNC Hospitals Hillsborough Campus. NC’s Governor Roy Cooper declared September 26, 2019, as ‘Dementia Friendly Hospitals Day.’

Dr. Jan Busby-Whitehead presents UNC Hospitals Hillsborough Campus Vice President Jeff Strickler with a plaque in recognition of Hillsborough's hospital-wide dementia friendly training.

Our 2019 meeting of the Dementia Friendly Hospitals Initiative advisory board preceded an afternoon event to recognize achievements of UNC Hospitals Hillsborough Campus in training nearly 400 staff from 24 departments in dementia-friendly communication and care.

Senior Mentor Will Plattner with mentees, Spring 2019Research Associate Professor of Geriatric Medicine Dr. Ellen Roberts and Senior Mentor Will Plattner describe the experiences of first-year medical students partnering with seniors to learn about age-friendly health care and issues of concern to older adults on UNC’s Your Health Radio.

The Atlantic's 10K Steps Story Dr. Lindsay Wilson was quoted in this piece from The Atlantic on a study about mortality rates and daily steps.


Juneve Toche, MDCongratulations to Dr. Juneve Toche, 2018-2019 Geriatrics Medicine Fellow, on her recent appointment as Outpatient Chief Resident!


Maureen DaleThe Division of Geriatric Medicine was well represented at AGS19, the American Geriatrics Society’s 2019 annual scientific meeting. Among the faculty, fellows, students, residents, and UNC MSTAR researchers attending, two Geriatrics faculty members were distinguished by special honors.