The Benjamin Leon Center for Geriatric Research and Education at Florida International University supports and promotes geriatric medicine and gerontology education and training programs. Geriatrics is the branch of medicine that focuses on the health care of older people. Gerontology is the scientific study of old age, the process of aging, and the particular problems of old people, including social issues. The Center’s educational programs aim to: (a) help prepare the next generation of physician scientists in geriatric medicine that will be critical to lead and implement discoveries relevant for prevention and clinical care in older populations; and (b) enhance the competence of health professionals currently involved with healthcare delivery to older adults.

On-going initiatives led by the Center include the following:

Continued Medical Education

(CME) programs focused on the offering of geriatric medicine updates for physicians involved the primary care of older adults. The Benjamin Leon Center for Geriatric Research and Education has worked with strategic partners and in close collaboration with the accredited Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine Continuous Medical Education Office for the planning and directing of interprofessional, geriatrics-oriented programs offering American Medical Association Physician’s Recognition Award (AMA PRA) Category 1 CreditsTM for interested physicians.

CME programs led by the Center and conducted in partnership with Leon Medical Centers in 2016 included:

  • Certificate Program on Geriatrics and Gerontology Awareness (9 credits)
  • Clinical management of older adults with depression in the primary care setting (3 credits)

Geriatrics Research

Geriatrics research program for Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (HWCOM) students. This initiative offers an opportunity for HWCOM medical students interested in Geriatrics/Gerontology topics to gain clinical epidemiology research experience. The Benjamin Leon Center for Geriatric Research and Education facilitates access to relevant databases for secondary data analyses studies, opportunities for participation in primary data collection in the clinical and/or community settings, as well as provides expertise in the design, statistical analysis, data interpretation, and abstract and paper preparation and presentation. This initiative is led by the Benjamin Leon Center for Geriatric Research and Education, and involves close collaboration with the Department of Medical and Health Sciences Research, and the Department of Humanities, Health, and Society in the HWCOM.

Distinguished Lectureship

Distinguished Lectureship on Aging and Health. Organized and sponsored by the Benjamin Leon Center for Geriatric Research and Education at Florida International University, this Lectureship Series is designed to be the premier lecture event on Geriatrics and Gerontology of the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. The broad goal of the Series is to stimulate discussion about major health issues of utmost relevance for aging individuals and societies. It engages internationally renowned, leading experts in the discussion of state-of-art research and findings pertaining to Geriatrics and Gerontology. Lectureships are held at the main campus of Florida International University. Audience includes faculty and graduate students from a wide range of Colleges and Departments of the Florida international University and other local academic institutions, health professionals, and leaders from non-academic settings. To date the Center has hosted the following lectures:

  • Increasing Health Span in Obese Older Adults, presented by Stephen Kritchevsky, Ph.D. Director, Sticht Center on Aging, Associate Dean for Research Development Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC.
  • Are Hispanics Living Longer? Presented by Elizabeth Arias, Ph.D. from National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

International Research Collaborative Training

The Center welcomes institutions and individuals interested in exploring the conjoint development of aging research training initiatives, including workshops and methodological courses, as well as visiting professorships and post-doc slots for international learners.

  • On February 5-7,2015 we hosted the Bi-Annual Conference of the Association of Anthropology, Gerontology and the Life Course (AAGE) on "Health Disparities in Aging."