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UTHealth Houston Selected for Nationwide Collaborative to Accelerate System-Wide Spread of Age-Friendly Care for Older Adults

Photo of Holly Holmes, MD; Cristina Murdock, MD; Maureen Beck, MSN, DNP; Min Ji Kwak, MD; and Eze Onyema, MD.
From left to right, Holly Holmes, MD; Cristina Murdock, MD; Maureen Beck, MSN, DNP; Min Ji Kwak, MD; and Eze Onyema, MD.

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) selected UTHealth Houston to participate in the Age-Friendly System-Wide Spread Collaborative.

This first-of-its-kind collaborative, led by the IHI, includes 30 U.S. health systems that will accelerate and spread adoption of evidence-based, high-quality care for older adults across all of their sites and care settings. The collaborative is the latest endeavor of the Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative, which promotes four evidence-based elements of high-quality care known as the 4Ms: What Matters, Medication, Mentation, and Mobility.

UTHealth Houston also earned the initiative’s Committed to Care Excellence designation after demonstrating reliable practice of the 4Ms. Now, during the 18-month collaborative, UTHealth Houston will build on its progress and test changes to ensure that the 4Ms are provided equitably as a standard practice for older adults receiving care across its entire system. All participating teams in the collaborative will learn from each other and expert faculty, and be among the first health systems to achieve an ambitious new IHI recognition for system-wide spread of age-friendly care. 

“We are expanding our commitment to providing evidence-based care for our patients,” said Holly Holmes, MD, the Joan and Stanford Alexander Chair in Gerontology and the director of the Joan and Stanford Alexander Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston. “We want to build on what we have established and continue to reach beyond geriatrics. The Age-Friendly Systems-Wide Spread Collaborative will give us the tools we need to provide the highest standard of care to every older adult at every care interaction.”

Holmes is one of the leaders at the Institute on Aging at UTHealth Houston. Other leaders who are part of this initiative at UTHealth Houston include Cristina Murdock, MD; Maureen Beck, MSN, DNP; Min Ji Kwak, MD; Eze Onyema, MD; Lokesh Shahani, MD, PhD, MPH; and Rafael Samper-Ternent, MD, PhD.

“We are honored to have UTHealth Houston participating in this collaborative and applaud their dedication to equitably delivering age-friendly care as older adults and their family caregivers receive care across their practices, hospitals, and nursing homes,” said Leslie Pelton, MPA, vice president at IHI. “This is an exciting and ambitious endeavor and a testament to the increasing importance of the Age-Friendly Health Systems movement as we prepare our health systems and workforce to provide excellent care to the growing older adult population.”

Since 2018, the movement has recognized 3,907 care settings as Age-Friendly, benefiting 3.29 million older adults who have received age-friendly care centered around what matters to them and their families. Age-Friendly Health Systems is an initiative of The John A. Hartford Foundation and IHI, in partnership with the American Hospital Association and the Catholic Health Association of the United States.

About UTHealth Houston 

Established in 1972 by The University of Texas System Board of Regents, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth Houston) is Texas’ resource for health care education, innovation, scientific discovery, and excellence in patient care. The most comprehensive academic health center in the UT System and the U.S. Gulf Coast region, UTHealth Houston is home to Jane and Robert Cizik School of Nursing, John P. and Kathrine G. McGovern Medical School, D. Bradley McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics, and schools of biomedical sciences, dentistry, public health, and behavioral health sciences. UTHealth Houston includes the John S. Dunn Behavioral Sciences Center and UTHealth Houston Harris County Psychiatric Center, as well as the growing clinical practices UT Physicians, UT Dentists, and UT Health Services. The university’s primary teaching hospitals are Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, and Harris Health Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital. For more information, visit

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