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Keywords:

  • translational research;
  • geriatric care;
  • education and training

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Centers (GRECCs) originated in 1975 in response to the rapidly aging veteran population. Since its inception, the GRECC program has made major contributions to the advancement of aging research, geriatric training, and clinical care within and outside the VA. GRECCs were created to conduct translational research to enhance the clinical care of future aging generations. GRECC training programs also provide leadership in educating healthcare providers about the special needs of older persons. GRECC programs are also instrumental in establishing robust clinical geriatric and aging research programs at their affiliated university schools of medicine. This report identifies how the GRECC program has successfully adapted to changes that have occurred in VA since 1994, when the program's influence on U.S. geriatrics was last reported, focusing on its effect on advancing clinical geriatrics in the last 10 years. This evidence supports the conclusion that, after more than 30 years, the GRECC program remains a vibrant “jewel in the crown of the VA” and is poised to make contributions to aging research and clinical geriatrics well into the future.