CELEBRATING A LEADER: From left, Harry and Rita Patten; Valerie Rowe and Jack Rowe, MD; Minaker and his wife, Colleen; Katrina Armstrong, MD, chief of the Department of Medicine; and Slavin
Kenneth L. Minaker, MD, chief of the Geriatric Medicine Unit, was honored Oct. 9 as the inaugural incumbent of the MGH Endowed Chair in Geriatric Medicine. The chair was made possible through gifts from more than 100 grateful patients and two matching grants – contributed by Harry and Rita Patten and the Patten Family Foundation, and Jack Rowe, MD, and Valerie Rowe.
For more than 40 years, Minaker has pioneered new approaches in care for older adults. In 1995, he helped to establish and became chief of the Geriatric Medicine Unit in the Department of Medicine, one of a handful of such programs in the nation at that time. Since founding the MGH Senior Health Practice, Minaker has expanded clinical services, increased staff and extended community outreach, which has reinforced the MGH Senior Health Practice’s position at the forefront of geriatric care. In 2009, Minaker launched the Geriatric Fellowship Program offering advanced specialty training to attract physicians to the field of geriatric medicine.
Together with his longtime colleague, Jack Rowe, Minaker ran a National Institute on Aging/National Institutes of Health study from 1977 to 2011, examining the physiology of aging. Internationally renowned, Minaker has received numerous awards, published more than 130 articles and contributed to 15 books.
Colleagues, friends and family honored Minaker and celebrated the MGH’s first chair in primary care medicine during a ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel.
“Ken has created a world-class geriatric program at the MGH,” said Peter L. Slavin, MD, MGH president. “He and his colleagues deliver high quality and efficient care to their patients and they serve as a model for others. Congratulations, Ken, on being selected as the inaugural incumbent of the MGH Chair in Geriatric Medicine. It is a well-deserved honor.”
When Minaker retires, the chair will be renamed the Kenneth Lloyd Minaker, MD, Chair in Geriatric Medicine, helping future generations of physicians keep pace with the growing needs of the country’s aging population.
“I am delighted and humbled to know that together we have established the very first chair in primary care medicine at the MGH,” said Minaker. “It is heartening to know that this chair will bear my name and benefit the great work in geriatric medicine. It is difficult to put into words how grateful I am to all of you who have stepped forward to honor me and make this chair a reality.”
Read more articles from the 11/01/13 Hotline issue.