Leadership

Raymond Yung, M.B., Ch.B

Jeffrey B. Halter M.D. Collegiate Professor of Geriatric Medicine
Director, Geriatrics Center and Institute of Gerontology
Chief, Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine
 

Dr. Yung specializes in the care of older adults with arthritis. His research focuses on understanding the relationship between age-related changes in the immune system and the development of chronic inflammatory diseases in the elderly. His research has been continuously funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) since 1992. Dr. Yung is the recipient of a number of national awards including the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Senior Rheumatology Scholar Award (1995) and the Paul Beeson Physician Faculty Scholars in Aging Research Award (1998). He has consistently been named among America’s “Top Doctors.” Dr. Yung is an active member of a number of national societies including the American College of Rheumatology (Committee on Education, Annual Meeting Planning Committee, the ACR-NIH Relations Subcommittee, Patient Education Task Force), the Association of Specialty Professors (T. Franklin Williams Scholars Program, Geriatrics Steering Committee). He has participated in numerous NIH and foundation study sections, including as Chair of the National Institute on Aging NIA-C Study Section. Dr. Yung served as the director of the Musculoskeletal Sequence Course for the University of Michigan Medical School from 2002 to 2007. He served as interim Chief of the Division of Rheumatology at Michigan Medicine in 2018-2020. Dr. Yung received his medical training at the University of Liverpool, England. After completing his Internal Medicine residency in Detroit, he received fellowship training in Rheumatology and Geriatric Medicine, both at the University of Michigan.

Regina Abney, M.S.W., L.M.S.W.

Associate Director for Social Work and Community Programs,
Geriatrics Center

Regina Abney received her M.S.W. degree and certificate in gerontological studies from Boston University School of Social Work and has been in geriatric health and community based eldercare programs for over 20 years. She is a certified social worker whose practice includes: new patient evaluations, psychology with individuals, couples and families, and group work. Ms. Abney is a native of Germany and is fluent in German and English. Her special interests include long-term care issues, aging issues, and caregiving, as well as international social work. She enjoys walking, swimming and music.

Neil B. Alexander, M.D., M.S.

Ivan Duff M.D. Collegiate Professor of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine
Professor, Internal Medicine
Research Professor, Institute of Gerontology
Director, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System GRECC
 

Dr. Alexander is also Director of the Mobility Research Center at the Geriatrics Center. He has extensive experience in studying mobility problems in older adults. The primary focus of Dr. Alexander's work is on assessments and interventions to enhance mobility and physical activity in both able and disabled older adults, with studies of mechanisms underlying aerobic, strength, and balance function. He has been a Core leader and project PI on collaborative projects (and a long-running NIA Program Project) with the Biomechanics Research Laboratory at U-M, focusing on gait, postural control, and aspects of cognition. He has been funded by a series of pilot and randomized intervention development studies through the U-M Pepper Center since the Center's inception, related to improving the ability to rise from a chair and to improving dynamic balance and rapid stepping ability in at-risk older adults. He received a Fulbright Award to develop a community-based fall risk reduction program, piloted in Jerusalem, Israel.

Stephanie Gatica

Associate Director, Administration and Program Development

Robert Hogikyan, M.D., M.P.H.

Clinical Professor, Geriatric and Palliative Medicine
Clinician Scientist, GRECC, Ann Arbor Veterans Administration
Medical Director, Community Living Center, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System
 

During fellowship in geriatric medicine at U-M, Dr. Hogikyan learned investigative techniques in the Mark Supiano / Jeff Halter laboratory performing many physiological studies related to blood flow in older adults, particularly those with diabetes mellitus. Upon joining the Division of Geriatric Medicine as a junior faculty member in 1991, he took on the position of Medical Director of the then Nursing Home Care Unit at the Ann Arbor VA Medical Center. While participating in studies of blood flow, Dr. Hogikyan also did other health services work, but also continued to grow his participation in education of both geriatric medicine fellows and internal medicine house officers rotating through geriatric medicine. In 2002 Dr. Hogikyan became Clinical Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, and became Director of the Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program. He directed the program until 2012.

Grace Jenq, M.D.

Associate Clinical Professor, Geriatric and Palliative Medicine

Dr. Grace Jenq, recently joined the University of Michigan Geriatrics faculty as Clinical Associate Professor. She is thrilled to join the IMPACT team and help hospitals and physician organizations across Michigan work on collaborative strategies to help elderly patients transition home and develop community networks to keep persons as independent as possible in the community. I-MPACT is a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan supported Collaborative Quality Improvement Initiative (CQI) that was developed to bring Michigan hospitals, provider organizations (POs), and patients together to assess gaps in patient care coordination and to identify ways to bridge those gaps for improved patient care transitions. I-MPACT is the first to integrate patient and caregiver participation along with coordinated teams of hospitals and POs to discuss and address the issues related to transitions of care.

Kenneth M. Langa, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Internal Medicine
and Institute for Social Research
Associate Director for Population Studies,
Geriatrics Center and Institute of Gerontology

Dr. Langa is a Co-Investigator for the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a National Institute on Aging funded longitudinal study of 20,000 adults in the United States (http://hrsonline.isr.umich.edu(link is external)). He is also a Lead Investigator for the Aging, Demographics, and Memory Study (ADAMS), a supplemental study to the HRS regarding the risk factors, epidemiology, and outcomes of dementia. Dr. Langa’s research focuses on the epidemiology and costs of chronic disease in older adults, with an emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. He is currently focusing on the relationship of cardiovascular risk factors to cognitive decline and dementia in middle-age and older adults. In 2007, Dr. Langa was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Institute of Public Health at the University of Cambridge where he established collaborations with an interdisciplinary research team performing cross-national comparisons of the epidemiology and outcomes of dementia in the United States and England.

Richard A. Miller, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Pathology
Associate Director for Research, Geriatrics Center

Dr. Miller is widely recognized for his research into the genetic and immunobiological aspects of aging using mice models. His laboratory works on topics ranging from biochemistry of signal transduction in T cells from aged mice, studies of gene expression in long-lived mutant dwarf mice, mapping of genes for longevity and resistance to late-life diseases, to the development of new mouse models for alterations in the rate of aging. Dr. Miller has served in a variety of editorial and advisory positions on behalf of the Gerontology Society of America, the American Federation for Aging Research, and the National Institute on Aging. He is the recipient of the Nathan Shock Award, the AlliedSignal Award, the Kleemeier Award for aging research and the Irving S. Wright Award of Distinction from the American Federation for Aging Research.

Lona Mody, M.D., M.Sc.

Amanda Sanford Hickey Professor of Internal Medicine
Associate Division Chief, Geriatric & Palliative Care Medicine
Director, UM Pepper Center Pilot & Exploratory Studies Core
Associate Director, Clinical and Translational Research, Geriatrics Center
 

Dr. Mody is an Associate Professor with tenure, and the Associate Director for Clinical Programs at the VA Ann Arbor GRECC. She is also the Director of the Pilot and Exploratory Studies Core (PESC) for the University of Michigan Pepper Center. She has an active translational research laboratory focusing on antimicrobial resistant pathogens. Her research interests also include infection prevention, pneumonia in older adults, and quality of care in nursing homes. Her work has led to a thriving consortium of long-term care facilities in SE Michigan interested in enhancing infection prevention in a traditionally resource-poor setting. She has served as mentor to numerous junior faculty, fellows, and other learners, and is nationally active at several career development and research dissemination activities for the American Geriatrics Society, Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the Joint Commission. Dr. Mody received her medical training at Smt NHL Medical College in India, then completed an internal medicine residency at University of Medicine & Dentistry in NJ, and a fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at the University of Michigan in 1999.

Marcos Montagnini, M.D., F.A.C.P.

Clinical Professor, Geriatric and Palliative Medicine
Director, HPM Fellowship Program, Geriatric and Palliative Medicine
Co-Director, Educational Palliative Care Program, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System
 

Dr. Montagnini is the director of the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System Palliative Care Program. He also developed and directs the University of Michigan Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship program which was accredited in 2009. Dr. Montagnini oversees palliative care program development for the VA Integrated Service Network (VISN)11, which includes eight hospitals in Michigan, Illinois and Indiana. He belongs to several professional organizations, and leads regional and national geriatrics and palliative care committees. He has authored several publications in palliative care and has presented his work nationally and internationally. His academic interests include hospice and palliative medicine education, rehabilitation in palliative care, palliative care program development and palliative care applied to geriatric populations.

Theodore Suh, M.D., Ph.D., M.H.S., A.G.S.F.

Clinical Professor, Geriatric and Palliative Medicine,
Medical Director, East Ann Arbor Geriatrics Clinic

 

Dr. Suh received his M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and his Master of Health Science degree from Duke University. He completed his internal medicine residency at Cleveland Clinic and fellowship training in geriatric medicine at Duke University and Durham VA Medical Center. Dr. Suh has been board-certified in internal medicine and geriatric medicine. His clinical and research interests include geriatric and functional assessment, falls, osteoporosis, cancer and medication use in older adults, use of electronic medical records in improving patient care, and sleep disorders in elderly patients. Dr. Suh is a faculty member at both the University of Michigan and the VA Ann Arbor GRECC. In addition, he serves as Medical Director of the Huron Valley PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly), in Ypsilanti, MI.

Caroline Vitale, M.D.

Clinical Professor, Geriatric and Palliative Medicine
Director, Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program
 

Dr. Vitale joined the Division in 2009. Now serving as Director of the University of Michigan Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program, she is involved in geriatric curriculum development, teaching and mentoring. She enjoys caring for geriatric patients and is also board certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Her teaching and academic areas of interest include ethical decision-making, geriatric palliative care, and efforts to understand physician and health provider roles in care decisions affecting older adults, especially those with dementia. Dr. Vitale is Vice-Chair of the American Geriatrics Society’s Ethics Committee, and has been committed to improving care of older adults through her work on several national workgroups. She has authored publications covering ethical issues and palliative care concepts. Her clinical and academic efforts are focused on enhancing geriatric palliative care practices and in training the next generation of geriatric physicians.

Jocelyn Wiggins, M.A., B.M., B.Ch., M.R.C.P.

Clinical Professor, Internal Medicine
Associate Division Chief, Geriatric and Palliative Medicine,
Medical Director, Geriatric Inpatient and Consult Team
 

Dr. Wiggins joined the U-M geriatrics department in 1995. She is the Medical Director for the Geriatric Inpatient Consult Team and the former Medical Director for the Geriatrics Center Clinics from 2005-2019. She oversaw the relocation of the clinic from the main medical campus to its current location in the East Ann Arbor Health and Geriatrics Center. She previously co-chaired the geriatric advisory group for the American Society of Nephrology and oversaw the development of a geriatric nephrology curriculum to improve the care of older patients with kidney disease. She served on the external advisory committee for the association of subspecialty professors/ T. Franklin Williams Scholars Program, to promote improved care for the elderly across the medical subspecialties. She is the current President for the Internal Medicine Clinical Excellence Society(CES), and former Chair of the CES Women’s Sub-Committee.  Dr. Wiggins’ research and publications focus on aging in the kidney, and she reviews for several scientific journals.