Staff at the Foundation of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey conducted a study of health needs of elderly residents in central New Jersey and then created the Central New Jersey Gerontological Institute, which is a "virtual" institute in terms of patient care.
The study, conducted from 1995 to 1996, consisted of a health needs assessment of elderly people in five central New Jersey counties.
Based on the health needs assessment, staff designed the institute to support research and community education in geriatrics and to provide comprehensive state-of-the-art geriatric care to elderly patients in the area.
The project staff envisioned the institute as the hub of a regional network of service sites and an expert referral center, as well as a practice center of its own, providing clinical care, training opportunities for medical students and residents and research opportunities in gerontology.
In February 1998, staff created the Central New Jersey Gerontological Institute within the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and hired a full-time administrator in June 2000. It was, and has remained, a "virtual" institute in terms of clinical care. Activities undertaken include:
- Organization of a community-based lecture series at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
- Development of a monthly seminar series for faculty and health professionals.
- Establishment of electives in geriatrics for medical students and residents of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
- Establishment of electives in geriatrics for students of the University of Medicine and Dentistry School of Nursing and the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers.
- Publication of multiple research articles and book chapters on aging. See the Bibliography for a sample of these.
- Implementation of a small grants fund to support projects undertaken by faculty and students within the medical school community.
- Creation of an institute website in October 2002.