Maria Mendoza De La Garza, M.D., is a geriatrician and internist with interest and experience in caring for high-risk, frail older adults with medically complex conditions. She has a particular interest in caring for those who are homebound or reside in a skilled nursing facility.
Her primary areas of research are focused on geriatric education, inclusion of older adults in research, and translational geroscience. She develops and uses cohorts for clinical research. Her interest in translational geroscience led her to serve as a co-investigator on two clinical trials studying pharmacologically targeted immunosenescence.
- Inclusion of older adults in research by developing cohorts. During her training, Dr. Mendoza De La Garza planned, implemented and published the results of a cohort of 1,009 adult Mexican workers. At Mayo clinic, she co-developed the Rochester-area Older Adults Registry (ROAR), with the primary goal of collecting and analyzing data prospectively on a large cohort of older adults. The resulting database will be used to organize information, including demographics, clinical data, and physical functioning and laboratory results.
- Consultation to investigators regarding study recruitment strategies for older adults. Dr. Mendoza De La Garza serves as a co-investigator in the Center for Clinical and Translational Science's Integrating Special Populations Program. In this role, she provides consultation to investigators about recruitment strategies for older adults, including ROAR, other venues, and logistics to overcome barriers to participation of this special population.
- Expanding geriatrics education to nongeriatricians. Dr. Mendoza De La Garza's long-term goal is to improve the overall health care for community-dwelling older adults. She intends to do this by creating new strategies aimed at bridging the current gap between training needs and geriatrician shortages, providing geriatrics education to nongeriatricians, and better preparing caregivers to provide care for aging patients.
Significance to patient care
Aging adults have special health care needs. In the face of an alarming deficit in geriatricians, few trained faculty members are available to provide lectures, and precept medical students and residents on the topic of geriatric medicine.
New strategies aimed at bridging this gap between training needs and geriatrician shortages are a national priority to which she is committed.