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Geriatric Fellowship

The mission of the clinical geriatric program is to provide supervised, interdisciplinary opportunities for fellows to develop the clinical and interpersonal skills, knowledge, and professional attitudes required of a physician competent in the care of the aged.

Welcome to the Geriatric Medicine Fellowship, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of General and Geriatric Medicine. We are proud of our long and rich tradition that has made us one of the leading Geriatric Medicine fellowships programs in this country.

The Landon Center on Aging trains geriatricians through our fully accredited Fellowship in Geriatric Medicine. After completing the fellowship, our physicians pursue geriatric medicine careers in either community or academic settings.

The fellowship provides the proficiency needed to pass the special competence examination in geriatric medicine. Such certification gives physicians recognition among their medical peers as expert primary care physicians and consultants in geriatric medicine.

The Landon Center on Aging seeks board-eligible or board-certified internists or family physicians for this one-year fellowship.

During this one-year fellowship the fellow gains experience with the full continuum of geriatric care and a broad variety of patients. The Landon Center on Aging utilizes a longitudinal fellowship curriculum to optimize the value of each type of experience for particular circumstances. Longitudinal experiences throughout the year include a primary care outpatient clinic and supervised patient care at a variety of care settings. Through these experiences, the fellow also learns the nuances of transitions of care as well as care in any one setting. Multidisciplinary teams operate in each setting including nursing, social work, pharmacy and others and the fellow becomes comfortable operating in these settings. Continuity of care and optimizing functional capacity are emphasized throughout the program.

It is organized to provide a well-supervised longitudinal experience at a sufficient level for the fellow to acquire the competence of a geriatrician in regard to patient care, medical knowledge, professionalism, communication and interpersonal skills, system-based practice and practice-based learning and improvement.

 Meet our Program Director and Faculty

Deon Hayley, DO

 Deon Cox Hayley, DO
Associate Professor, Division of General and Geriatric Medicine,
Department of Internal Medicine

Dr. Hayley describes, "Being a Geriatrician means teaching is essential: ensuring physicians understand the nuances of caring for the older adults and embracing the need teach their patients and caregivers is our greatest opportunity to provide excellent care for our aging population. My fervent, heartfelt desire is to groom physicians so that they can also reach the older adults in need of specialized care and teach that care to others. "

Dr. Hayley went to Medical School at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (previously UHS-COM), completed Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Kansas in Wichita and Fellowships in Geriatric Medicine and Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago. She stayed on as faculty at the University of Chicago for 17 years before coming back home to Kansas City in 2010. Since completing her training, she has been intimately involved with training fellows in clinical settings and scholarship and, as of 2016, serves as the Geriatrics Fellowship Director at KU.

Dr. Hayley's clinical interests are in dementia, palliative care and home care. She is Section Leader of Geriatrics in the Division of General and Geriatric Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine. Her research interests overlap with her teaching and clinical care. 



Shelley Bhattacharya, DO, MPH
Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine

Dr. Bhattacharya's interests include Driving in the Older Adult and Interprofessional Education. She cares for primary care patients and leads the Geriatric Interprofessional Teaching Clinic (GITC) at the Landon Center on Aging.


James T. Birch, Jr. MD
Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine
Landon Center on Aging

Dr. Birch's interests are in Geriatrics Education and Home Care. He leads the Geriatrics Clerkship for third year medical students, the Geriatrics Assessment clinic for Geriatrics fellows and Family Medicine residents and sees primary care patients at the Landon Center on Aging Clinic as well as Delaware Highlands Assisted LivingCrystal Burkhardt, PharmD, MBA, PCPS
Clinical Associate Professor, School of Pharmacy, University of Kansas


Crystal Burkhardt, PharmD, MBA, PCPS
Clinical Associate Professor, School of Pharmacy, University of Kansas

Dr. Burkhardt joined the Landon Center on Aging's Interprofessional Team in July 2014. She earned her Doctor of Pharmacy and Masters of Business Administration at Drake University and completed an ASHP accredited geriatric specialty residency at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She is a board certified pharmacotherapy specialist. Her primary research interest include interprofessional geriatric education and practice advancement.Candice Coffey, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of General and Geriatric Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine


Candice Coffey, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of General and Geriatric Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine

Dr. Coffey is a Board Certified Physician in Family Medicine. Her practice focuses on care of the older adult in post-acute, rehabilitation, assisted living and long-term care settings. She is involved in teaching students in the Geriatric Medicine Clerkship as well as Internal Medicine Residents and Geriatric Medicine Fellows.


Courtney Huhn, MD
Community Living Center Medical Director, Clinical Assistant Professor

Dr. Huhn completed Medical School, Family Medicine Residency and a Geriatric Medicine Fellowship all at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City Campus. Dr. Huhn is now serving as the Medical Director of the Community Living Centers (long-term and skilled nursing care facilities) of the Topeka Campus at VA Eastern Kansas and a Clinical Assistant Professor for the University of Kansas Department of Family Medicine, Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Care. Dr. Huhn is board certified in Family Medicine with a Certificate of Added Qualification in Geriatric Medicine and she is a Certified Medical Director through the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. She enjoys educating members of the interdisciplinary team, geriatric fellows, resident physicians and medical students.


Jessica Kalender-Rich, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Division of General and Geriatric Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine

Dr. Kalender-Rich is board certified in Palliative Care as well as Geriatrics and she has an interest in Transitions and Post-Acute Care. She is Medical Director of the Health System's post-acute network and provides patient care at KCTCC. She is also threadhead of Geriatrics in the ACE Medical School Curriculum and leads the Internal Medicine Residency education in the Geriatrics rotation


Denise Zwahlen, MD
Assistant Professor

Dr Denise Zwahlen is a board certified family physician with added qualifications in geriatrics. Her experience includes private practice geriatrics as well as academia at KUMC and the University of New Mexico. Dr Zwahlen enjoys teaching and curricular development with a focus on interprofessional care. She is excited to continue her academic career at the University of Kansas where she teaches geriatrics in the nursing facility as well as outpatient clinic at the Landon Center on Aging.


The Geriatric Fellowship at the University of Kansas Medical Center provides longitudinal experience in assessment, primary care, long-term care, house calls and medical administration/QI.  Monthly block rotations include urology/urogynecology, palliative care, neurology/memory care, geropsychiatry, rehabilitation and other experiences based on individual interest.

Inpatient setting

  • Geriatric Psychiatry
  • Palliative Care

Ambulatory Care setting

  • Primary Care
  • Rehabilitation
  • Assessment Clinic
  • Neurology
  • Memory Disorders Clinic
  • Urology
  • Wound Care Clinic
  • Dermatology
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Long-term Care setting

  • Specialty nursing care facility
  • Primary long-term care facility
  • Hospice
  • Home Health


Core Conference - the primary aim of this conference is to ensure that the required educational content for an accredited geriatric fellowship program is covered in a cogent, concise and structured manner. The core curriculum conference uses the current Geriatric Review Syllabus as the textbook for the course. This is a fellow-driven interactive course.

Journal Club - this conference is to provide the fellows with an in-depth discussion of study design, research methods, and data analysis, emphasizing research methods and statistical analysis as well as a critique of the author's conclusions. Pub Med

GeriPal Ethics- this is a joint ethics seminar for the Geriatric Medicine and Palliative Care fellowships started in July, 2012. Led by Dr. Jessica Kalender-Rich and Dr Lindy Landzaat, With the support of medical ethicists from the Department of History and Philosophy of Medicine, this seminar explores the ethical dimensions of recent clinical cases through a case-based approach led by the fellows. In addition to its focus on bioethics, this seminar will expand to include discussion of health law, professional guidelines, and the role of multiple professions in addressing ethical challenges. Learners from all four health profession schools and the Schools of Social Welfare and Law will be asked to participate in this monthly seminar. A case file spanning the breadth of ethical challenges in interprofessional care of older adults will be developed as part of this seminar series.

Geriatric Morbidity and Mortality - The goal is to provide fellows an opportunity to review challenging cases encountered in the in-patient geriatrics unit, outpatient clinic, the consult service or long-term care facility.

Geriatric Board Review - It is the expectation of the University of Kansas Medical Center Geriatric Fellowship Program that each fellow will take and pass the Geriatric Certifying Exam within one year of completion of the program. These monthly sessions are designed to assist the fellow in preparing for the exam


Landon CoA

The Theo and Alfred M. Landon Center on Aging 
Geriatrics at the Landon Center on Aging encompasses three major areas: clinical care, teaching and research.

The Landon Center's clinical emphasis is housed in the Geriatrics Clinic where older adults receive high quality patient-centered health care and health related services through the provision of primary care or interdisciplinary consultative care regarding issues related to aging. 

The Landon Center on Aging has a strong emphasis on education with the goal of serving the needs of Kansas as well as the region. The Center generously supports the Geriatrics Fellowship as well as education of health care professionals including every single Medical Student and residents in Internal Medicine and Family Medicine.

In addition, the importance of creating new knowledge related to aging through research is an important priority of the Landon Center with nationally and internationally recognized research programs.

Univ of Kansas Health System

The University of Kansas Health System is the region's premier academic medical center, providing a full range of care. The hospital is affiliated with the University of Kansas Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Health Professions, and their various leading-edge research projects. The constantly growing facility contains 768 staffed beds and serves more than 37,500 inpatients annually. Geriatrics, #18 in the nation in 2017, is one of eleven medical and surgical specialties ranked by the U.S. News & World Report "Best Hospital" lists. For more information, visit The University of Kansas Hospital receives no state appropriations and is financed through operating revenue, bonding authority and philanthropy.

Colmery-O'Neill Veterans Affair Administration Medical Center Since 1946, the staff of the Colmery-O'Neil VA Medical Center, located in Topeka, Kansas, has been serving veterans. The VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System serves as the primary health care provider for veterans in eastern Kansas and northwestern Missouri. The Topeka VA is located 1 hour and 15 minutes from the KU Med Center


Brookdale - Rosehill
Brookdale Rosehill is classified as a 5-Star Continuing Care Retirement Community, as evaluated by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and is considered a preferred provider of KU Medical Center amongst other local hospitals. Brookdale Rosehill is located in the heart of Shawnee, KS.

Levels of care include Skilled Nursing (66 beds), Long Term Care (24 bed) and Assisted Living (44 apartments).

Kansas City Transitional Care Center

Kansas City Transitional Care Center
Located adjacent to KUMC, KCTCC has 96 beds and specializes in subacute or skilled care after acute hospitalization. Currently one floor provides long-term residential care.

Lakeview Village

Lakeview Village
Lakeview Village is a 5-star Continuing Care Retirement Community near old town Lenexa, KS. They are a not-for-profit facility serving the community for over 50 years. Levels of care include independent patio homes, independent apartments, assisted living apartments, skilled nursing and long-term care. They also offer home health services.

Overland Park Nursing and Rehab Center

Overland Park Nursing and Rehab
A KU preferred provider with 94 beds of skilled nursing and long-term care. Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance plans are accepted. Private and semi-private rooms are available. This is a non-profit facility and part of the Adventist Health System.

Last modified: Feb 14, 2019