Celebration 2006: The A.R.T. of Healthy Living

The Driving Force

Aging well means remaining vital, active, and mentally sharp. For older adults who are mentally and physically healthy, becoming a senior can mean the beginning of a new, rewarding phase of life.

Dr. <a href=Kirk Calhoun, MD" title="Dr. Kirk Calhoun, MD" class="leftborder" />UT Health Northeast President Dr. Kirk A. Calhoun is eager to explain the "driving force" behind the creation of the Center for Healthy Aging.

"Aging is an important issue in our country, in Texas, and in our region. The Health Science Center is the principal research operation in East Texas. It is important that our academic medical center be involved in this issue," Dr. Calhoun says.

"The Ornelas Center for Healthy Aging is specifically focused on the needs of our aging population. It’s a think tank designed to focus on the issues of an aging population, especially in rural areas. And UT Health Northeast has the resources to provide these services," Dr. Calhoun said.

Dr. <a href=Kirk Calhoun, MD - Sot 2" title="Dr. Kirk Calhoun, MD - Sot 2" class="right" />The latest initiative of the Center for Healthy Aging is the Aging Research and Treatment unit (ART), a unique inpatient setting that will offer specialized care to elderly East Texans. Proceeds from UT Health Northeast’s "Celebration 2006" fundraiser will go toward making the ART unit a reality.

The unit will use advanced techniques in geriatric care that promote and maintain healthy aging during an acute illness. It will employ a multi-disciplinary team of geriatricians, geriatric-trained nurse practitioners, social workers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and pharmacists. The team will work to maintain patients’ abilities to perform daily tasks by minimizing the adverse effects of procedures, tests, and medications, while striving to reduce patients’ length of stay.

Dr. <a href=Kirk Calhoun, MD - Sot 1" title="Dr. Kirk Calhoun, MD - Sot 1" class="left" />"The ART unit will enable us to participate in aging research, in clinical, hands-on research. We will be able to take discoveries in the lab and translate them into better treatment. That’s the bottom line," Dr. Calhoun says.

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