December 17, 2013

Allman to lead VA geriatric services

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Richard M. Allman, M.D., director of the Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging at UAB since 1992, has been appointed chief consultant for Geriatrics and Extended Care Services for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington D.C., effective Jan. 12, 2014. 

richard allman sRichard Marchase, Ph.D., senior vice president for research and Selwyn M. Vickers, M.D., dean and senior vice president for Medicine, are facilitating a search process for the recruitment of the next director of the Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging. 

“UAB and the Birmingham VA have provided the support needed to establish outstanding, interdisciplinary research, education and patient care programs in geriatrics and palliative care over the last two decades,” Allman said. “It has been a privilege for me to work with an excellent team of faculty and staff who are prepared to lead these programs to greater levels of impact and accomplishment.  I'm looking forward to applying what I have learned here to ensure eligible veterans throughout the nation receive the best long-term care services and support regardless of age." 

“The V.A.’s choice of Dr. Allman for this national position acknowledges the significance of his contributions as a physician and a scientist to the field of geriatric medicine,” said Selwyn M. Vickers, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine and senior vice president for Medicine at UAB. “Dr. Allman’s contributions to UAB have been equally significant. Everyone at UAB congratulates him and wishes him the best on this next chapter of his career.”

Allman, who will officially retire from UAB Dec. 31, 2013, joined the faculty at UAB in 1986. From 1990 until 2013 he was director of the Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology and Palliative Care, growing the faculty from nine to more than 50. He became founding director of the VA-funded Birmingham/Atlanta Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center in 2000, which ranked second among all 19 centers in total research funding in 2012. The Geriatric Medicine fellowship at UAB is ranked 12th in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. 

The CCHA hosted an external advisory committee composed of experts in gerontology and geriatrics during its 21st Annual Scientific Symposium October 17-18, 2013. The EAC summarized its findings by stating, “It is a tribute to UAB, its leaders and the State of Alabama that they had the foresight to build and support what is now one of the nation’s leading centers of aging research. The CCHA is an extraordinary example of well-functioning, multi-disciplinary, multi-departmental Center of unique breadth within the United States. CCHA is a national treasure and a justifiable source of pride for UAB and the State of Alabama.” 

In his new role with the VA, Allman will have overall responsibility for policy for geriatric, palliative care, and long-term care and support services throughout the VA health care system, which includes 152 medical centers and more than 800 community-based outpatient clinics, making it the largest health system in the United States, according to the VA. Nearly 9 million veterans receive care from the VA; almost half are older than 65. 

“The programs in aging at the Birmingham VA and UAB have achieved an outstanding national reputation under Dr. Allman’s leadership,” says Louis Dell'Italia, M.D., associate chief of staff for Research at the Birmingham VA and professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases at UAB.

Allman has been listed in Best Doctors in America since 1991. He was inducted as a permanent member of the Alabama Senior Citizens Hall of Fame and received the Robert G. Sherrill Quality Champion Award from the Alabama Quality Assurance Foundation in 2009 in recognition of his efforts to improve the health and well-being of older adults and their family members in the state. Allman received the Gerontological Society of America 2013 Kent Award in recognition of his outstanding professional leadership in gerontology through teaching and service.  In addition, he was also the recipient of the 2013 GSA Health Sciences Section Joseph T. Freeman Award, a lectureship in geriatrics awarded to a prominent physician for both practice and research in the field of aging.