According to a news release from Sentara Healthcare, they are "donating $10 million to Eastern Virginia Medical School to support two initiatives that will build on EVMS’ strength in medical simulation and the treatment and safety of older patients.

"The donation represents the largest endowed gift in the school’s history," the news release says.

The gift will create two $5 million endowments to support operations in the newly renamed Sentara Center for Simulation and Immersive Learning at Eastern Virginia Medical School and in the EVMS Glennan Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology.

Sentara will use the center to train physicians and clinical staff in team-based care and advancing patient safety and medical care.

"The EVMS Glennan Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology focuses on prevention, intervention and research involving age-related diseases. Glennan Center physicians also are extensively involved in education, helping the next generation of health care professionals understand how to care for older adults. Virginia Glennan Ferguson made the founding gift to establish the center in 1996."

-- posted by Karen Morgan, Features Editor

The Sentara endowment will provide for the creation of a program in geriatric patient safety. This collaborative effort focuses on improving treatment and safety for the elderly and helping them transition from the hospital to home or another care facility. The endowment also supports the potential establishment of a safety-oriented Sentara Fellowship.

Robert M. Palmer, MD, director of the EVMS Glennan Center, is a nationally known authority in geriatric patient safety. He was the principal investigator on a landmark study of an intervention, the Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Unit, which was shown to enhance the health outcomes of hospitalized older patients. ACE has been widely adopted in the U.S., Canada and Europe.