The Impacts of the West Health-UCSD Geriatrics Quality Improvement Science Fellowship

2 min
July 02, 2020

While geriatric medicine strives to focus on the support needed to accommodate aging patients, it can falter when the resources to improve quality of care are not provided to healthcare professionals. The mission of the West Health-UCSD Geriatrics Quality Improvement Science Fellowship is to educate and create innovative leaders in the field of geriatric health, utilizing UCSD resources to advance healthcare strategies and initiatives.

Fellows within the program are given the opportunity to train with a mentorship team in a learning environment that promotes leadership, quality improvement, and implementation science, while promoting network expansion by offering the chance to meet national healthcare experts through virtual forums and conferences.

One geriatrician found that combating the opportunities lacking for geriatric quality improvement had a profound impact on her life path.  Although it was Dr. Lindsey Yourman’s prior work for a PACE program that originally brought her to UCSD, she soon realized the urgency in addressing the gaps in older adult care and sought sustainable change. Upon hearing from UCSD Division Chief of Geriatrics Alison Moore about the resources provided by West Health and reaching out to the organization, Dr. Yourman was able to work with Dr. Jon Zifferblatt and Dr. Zia Agha to develop the nation’s first fellowship in Geriatrics Quality Improvement Science. While training as a fellow, she found her experience in geriatrics proved itself invaluable when offering perspectives on healthcare reform. Dr. Yourman describes her experience with the fellowship as one that transformed her from “a timid geriatrician with a big heart (but little strategy) into a confident leader with practical ideas.”

Upon conclusion of the program, Dr. Yourman was appointed as the inaugural Geriatrics Quality Improvement Medical Director at UCSD, an entirely new position created as a result of her successful fellowship training. “It wouldn’t have happened without this opportunity,” says Dr. Yourman, and calls such progress “a culture change that our Geriatrics Division never thought would be possible.”

She credits the work of Gary and Mary West as a gateway to her “dream career in Geriatrics Quality Improvement,” and cites their support as the reason she can greatly influence the lives of older adults. The UCSD Geriatrics Quality Improvement Science Fellowship is among their many efforts to guarantee cost-effective healthcare and, in Dr. Yourman’s words, offers a chance “to allow us all to have the dignity and support we deserve as we age.”

Learn more about the West Health-UCSD Geriatrics Quality Improvement Science Fellowship opportunity and how to apply here.