Cathleen Colón-Emeric to serve as next Chief of Division of Geriatrics

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Cathleen Colon-Emeric, MDKathleen Cooney, MD, chair of the Department of Medicine, shared the following message with faculty, trainees and staff in the Department of Medicine:

I am pleased to announce that Cathleen Colón-Emeric, MD, MHS, FACP, AGSF, will assume the role of Chief of the Division of Geriatrics, effective January 1, 2019.
Cathleen is a tenured Professor of Medicine and Senior Fellow in the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development. She serves as Associate Director for Clinical Programs at the Durham VA Geriatrics Research Education and Clinical Center. She also is Associate Dean for Research Mentoring for the School of Medicine, for which she leads the K-Club and the Path to Independence programs. 

About Dr. Colón-Emeric

For many years, Cathleen served as chair of the Department's Program for Women in Internal Medicine. She also completed training in the Chancellor’s Clinical Leadership in Academic Medicine Program (C-CHAMP) and the Academic Leadership, Innovation, and Collaborative Engagement Program (ALICE). In 2017, she received the School's Research Mentoring Award for excellence in clinical science research mentoring, and she previously received the Greenfield Research Mentoring Award.
While leading the development of innovative, cost-effective models of care for elderly patients, Cathleen has always committed to educating young faculty and trainees. She has created a positive and engaging vision for academic geriatrics that will build on the strengths of the Division. She will continue to emphasize the role of geriatrics faculty members as partners in the health system's efforts to redesign care for our most complex, vulnerable, and aging patients.
Cathleen earned her bachelor's of arts at Cornell University and her M.D. at Johns Hopkins University. She then came to Duke, where she completed her internal medicine residency and fellowship in geriatrics. She served as chief medical resident (1998-1999) and joined the faculty in 2000.
Major areas of research for Cathleen include studies of fall and fracture prevention in older adults, especially after hip fracture and in nursing facilities. Her projects include a group randomized trial of osteoporosis screening in men, a research collaborative to predict and promote physical resilience in older adults, and several clinical demonstration projects. In recognition of her research progress and promise, Cathleen received the Duke Health Scholars award in 2017.
Cathleen will take the leadership baton from Ken Schmader, who has served as chief of Geriatrics since 2006. Under his leadership, the Division is in a very strong and healthy state, with visionary faculty, an excellent training program, and strong research and clinical programs that are addressing the growing need for care of geriatric patients.
I want to extend special thanks to Bill St.Clair, and the other members of the search committee, for their time, effort, and commitment in this very important process.

Learn more

Read a Q&A with Cathleen about mentorship and furthering the need for research in geriatrics.
Listen to the 2012 conversation between Cathleen and Ken Lyles, MD, professor of medicine (Geriatrics). They talked about the day they first met, and what's transpired since – how they came to collaborate on research into hip fractures, the benefits of mentorship and learning from colleagues and, of course, the story behind that famous Lyles pound cake.