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Kenneth Boockvar

Kenneth (Ken) Boockvar, M.D., M.S., will serve as our next Director of the Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics and Palliative Care and Director, Integrative Center for Aging Research, effective December 1, 2022, pending Provost approval. Dr. Boockvar will also serve the Birmingham/Atlanta Geriatrics Research, Education, and Clinical Center as Core Investigator and leadership team member.

Dr. Boockvar is a physician and teacher who has pioneered work to improve care for frail older people. In 2006, he published a ground-breaking paper in JAMA, “Palliative Care for Frail Older Adults,” that developed what has become the gold-standard to enhance the quality of life for patients and families: diagnose frailty, discuss goals of care, treat symptoms, meet patients' needs for support, and coordinate care. His research has led to discoveries about how to improve transitions of care and the use of medicines in frail older people in hospitals and nursing homes. For example, his group recently reported that deintensification of antihypertensive treatment prevented falls among nursing home residents who experienced possibly overaggressive treatment of hypertension.

Dr. Boockvar is the Anna A. Greenwall Professor of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and The New Jewish Home and the Acting Director of the Geriatrics Research, Education, and Clinical Center at the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center, where he has served as Associate Director of Research since 2007. He received his undergraduate education at Harvard and medical education at Duke, where he was a Pickrell Scholar and member of AOA.

Dr. Boockvar trained in internal medicine and served as Chief Resident at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center before undertaking a research fellowship in general internal medicine at New York Hospital, Cornell University Medical Center and a clinical fellowship in Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at UCLA-VA Multicampus Program. Dr. Boockvar has also earned an M.S. in Health Services Research and Clinical Epidemiology from Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences at Cornell University. Since joining the faculty of Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, he has served on the staffs of Mt. Sinai Hospital, the New Jewish Home, and the James J. Peters VAMC.

The Department of Medicine would like to thank Rodney Tucker, M.D., MMM, for his leadership as Interim Division Director since April 2021. Dr. Tucker will continue as the Christine S. Ritchie Endowed Chair in Palliative Care Leadership, Professor of Medicine, and Director of the UAB Center for Palliative and Supportive Care.

We would also like to thank the members of the search committee for their work: Lisa Willett and Fernando Ovalle, co-chairs; Marie Bakitas, Michael Barnett, Tom Buford, Andrea Cherrington, Raegan Durant, Kellie Flood, Carolina Harada, Sylvia Huang, Richard Kennedy, Alayne Markland, Nancy Masucci, Ashley Nichols, Erik Roberson, Frank Sortino, and Grant Williams.

Dr. Boockvar’s wife, Tovah Klein, Ph.D., is an expert on early childhood development and Director of the Barnard Center for Child Development, where she is known as the “Toddler Whisperer.” They have both enjoyed getting to know a bit of our Birmingham community during recruitment and look forward to joining us.