Center for Surgery in Older Adults »  About Us »  Goals and Values »  Message from the Director

Message from the Director

Welcome to the UCSF Center for Surgery in Older Adults. We are an interdisciplinary team of researchers, educators, and care providers at UCSF dedicated to improving surgical care for older adults. As the baby-boomers age, an increasing number of older adults will develop surgical diseases. Our goal is to discover and implement patient-centered best practices in geriatric surgery that will help older patients achieve their treatment goals and maintain independence and vitality.

Our dedicated care team provides individualized care for older patients undergoing surgery. At the UCSF Surgery Wellness Clinic, our team of dieticians, physical and occupational therapists design individual programs to help patients get fit for surgery. Our geriatrician and palliative care specialists assist patients and their families with advanced directives and helping older patients articulate their treatment goals. In the hospital, our care pathways are designed to enhance recovery and prevent debilitating events such as delirium, falls, and pressure ulcers that can result pain and disability after surgery. We pay special attention to facilitating a safe transition to home after surgery so that older adults can continue their recovery and maintain independence.

The UCSF Center for Surgery in Older Adults Research Collaborative includes investigators from a broad range of disciplines – surgery, anesthesia, rehabilitation services, geriatrics, palliative care, nursing, education, and health policy—who have expertise in quantitative research, qualitative research, and implementation science. Our overarching goal is to discover best practices in geriatric surgery through patient-centered outcomes assessment, comparative effectiveness analyses, and interventional trials. In addition, we identify and explore barriers to delivery of optimal care with the aim to improve implementation of interdisciplinary patient-centered surgical care for older adults.

Our center is dedicated to training the next generation of care providers. We are developing innovative interdisciplinary education curricula that emphasize team-based, patient-centered care for older surgical patients. We understand that it ‘takes a village’ of care providers across disciplines and care settings to coordinate and deliver individualized surgical care for older adults. Students from the UCSF Schools of Medicine and Nursing train together in Surgery Wellness Clinic and gain experience in patient-provider communication, interdisciplinary care management, and health coaching. They are encouraged to use their fresh perspectives to think outside the box of usual care and develop and implement quality improvement projects for our program.

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