UofL calls for nominations for Gold Standard Award for Optimal Aging


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine at the University of Louisville is calling for nominations for the third annual Gold Standard Award for Optimal Aging.

    The deadline to submit nominations is 5 p.m., July 15, and nominations can be made online. The award will be presented Sept. 24 at the Gold Standard Award for Optimal Aging Luncheon at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 830 Phillips Lane.

    The Gold Standard Award for Optimal Aging is presented to someonewho is an outstanding role model of optimal aging and who is 85 years old or older as of Oct. 1, 2013.

    “We are seeking people 85-plus who exemplify optimal aging – people who are making the most of their later years, who are continuing to love life, and who are, despite constraints, continuing to engage with the world around them,” said Christian Davis Furman, M.D., vice chair for geriatric medicine.

    The nomination process includes providing brief descriptions of five areas of the nominee’s life: physical activities, civic engagement, social life, spiritual life and creativity. Nominators also can include additional information about the nominee in a sixth category, “other.”

    Winners of the 2012 awards were Benn Davis, 97, of Louisville and Betty and Irvin Thomas Sr., 88 and 89 respectively, of New Albany, Ind.

    Davis was orphaned at the age of 7, and with limited education, established Seng Jewelers in 1938. Living by the mantra, “change or die,” Davis is described by his daughters as “loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather who continues to inspire, advise and amaze us with his zest for life, generosity of spirit, and remarkable business acumen. He stays informed by reading the newspaper, watching the news and engaging in dialog with others.He has always believed that remaining flexible is crucial for longevity. He continues to live life to its fullest.”

    At the time they received the Gold Standard Award in October 2012, Betty and Irvin Thomas had been married for 67 years. They were honored for being active in the American Legion and helping the troops and orphans of the military. Before her death in December 2012, Betty was a volunteer at the Rex Robley VA Medical Center. Irvin continues to be active making flag cases to hold the flags draped over military coffins. The Thomases raised eight children, and their extended family now includes 25 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and nine great-great-grandchildren.

    Geriatric patient care is provided by UofL Physicians-Geriatrics in the Health Care Outpatient Center, 401 E. Chestnut St. in Louisville. UofL Physicians-Geriatrics is the only clinical care provider in Kentucky and Southern Indiana specializing in geriatric medicine through the Geriatric Evaluation and Treatment Program, known as “GET” and considered the highest standard of care nationally for geriatric patients.

    With the GET program, an interdisciplinary approach is used to develop patients’ treatment plans. They receive a review of their medications by a doctor of pharmacy trained in geriatrics pharmacotherapy; a medical evaluation by a geriatrician; a cognitive evaluation by a psychologist; and a psycho-social assessment by a social worker to evaluate their caregiving and support needs. After these four evaluations are conducted, the entire team of UofL geriatrics providers comes together to develop a personalized and comprehensive care plan for the patient.

    More information about geriatrics care at UofL and the Gold Standard Award can be obtained at (502) 588-4260 or UofLGeriatrics@louisville.edu.

    Jill Scoggins is Director of Communications at UofL's Louis D. Brandeis School of Law. She has been at UofL since 2010.