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UTHealth Houston selects renowned geriatrician to lead key initiatives and promote research

Photo of Dr. Aanand Naik, MD.
Aanand Naik, MD, will serve as chair director of UTHealth Houston Consortium on Aging, chair of Management, Policy and Community Health, and associate dean for Learning Health Systems at UTHealth School of Public Health. (Photo by UTHealth Houston)

Renowned geriatrician Aanand Naik, MD, has been named the Nancy P. and Vincent F. Guinee, MD Distinguished Chair and executive director of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth Houston) Consortium on Aging.

Naik was also appointed chair of the Department of Management, Policy and Community Health, and associate dean for Learning Health Systems at UTHealth School of Public Health.

Established in 2010, the Consortium on Aging is a university-wide collaborative which leverages the strengths and expertise of all UTHealth Houston schools with a focus on issues related to aging. Its goal is to foster interdisciplinary collaboration in the areas of clinical care, education, research, and community outreach on behalf of older adults, caregivers, and patients. The executive director role was previously held by Naik’s longtime colleague and mentor, the late Carmel Dyer, MD.

“Dr. Dyer left a lasting impression on me and on the Consortium. It is an honor to step into this role and continue her legacy,” said Naik.

The Consortium on Aging has been led most recently by Amy Franklin, PhD, associate professor and associate dean for student, faculty, and community affairs with UTHealth Houston School of Biomedical Informatics. Franklin has been a respected steward of the Consortium, and will continue to play an active role in the Consortium moving forward.

Naik joins UTHealth Houston after serving as professor, the Robert J. Luchi, MD Chair in Geriatric Medicine, and chief of the Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine division at Baylor College of Medicine. An important aspect of Naik’s career has been his clinical, training, and scholarship work at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in the Texas Medical Center. He directed advanced fellowship programs in health services research and big data science. He was also director of the coordinating center for the National VA Quality Scholars Program from 2014 through 2019. Naik will maintain his affiliation with the DeBakey VA Medical Center.

“We are very excited to have Dr. Naik join the team. He brings unique experience and expertise that will contribute to advancements in the care of aging individuals in our community. UTHealth Houston is committed to these efforts and we look forward to working with Dr. Naik,” said Michael Blackburn, PhD, executive vice president and chief academic officer at UTHealth Houston.

Having spent his career researching health care delivery, quality improvement, and outcomes for geriatric populations, Naik’s expertise will align well with his leadership roles at the Consortium on Aging and UTHealth School of Public Health.

As head of the Department of Management, Policy and Community Health at the School of Public Health, Naik will develop and grow faculty across key programs, promote research initiatives conducted throughout the department, and continue his federally funded research program. His research focuses on the development and testing of decision-making interventions to improve the outcomes of older adults with multiple morbid conditions.

“I’m looking forward to building the depth of scientific expertise within the department and working directly with my colleagues,” Naik said. “These are the people that will make scientific contributions that impact care in the real world.”

“Dr. Naik’s focused expertise coupled with his proven ability to lead, mentor, and collaborate are in keeping with the culture at UTHealth School of Public Health,” said Eric Boerwinkle, PhD, dean of UTHealth School of Public Health. “I look forward to seeing his future accomplishments as a leader and educator, and the continued development of health services research and a functional learning health system across UTHealth Houston and our clinical partners.”

Naik received his medical degree and clinical training in internal medicine and geriatrics at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas. He also completed postdoctoral research fellowship training at the RWJF Clinical Scholars Program at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

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