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January 14, 1983

Clinical Gerontology Program

Author Affiliations

Phoenix Geriatric Institute.

JAMA. 1983;249(2):192. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330260016009

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To the Editor.—  We have read the article entitled "Functional Disabilities in the Hospitalized Elderly" (1982;248:847) and the editorial comment (1982;248:874) in JAMA. We share the concern that hospitalization may have a negative impact on functional recovery.St Luke's Hospital, Phoenix, is a short-term care, private, nonteaching hospital of 280 beds. A pilot project, the Clinical Gerontology Program was begun in January 1982, with a ten-bed unit for an intensive multidisciplinary team approach for the care of geriatric patients with multiple underlying problems that required short-term-care admission to the hospital. Staff was drawn from personnel within the hospital system who had expressed a special interest in geriatric medicine. A clinical nurse specialist was instrumental in the initiation, development, and supervision of the program.Patients are admitted to the unit and treated by their own personal physician. Each patient is seen by all members of a multidisciplinary team for examination and