Erin Atkinson Cook was born and raised in Mountain View, California BEFORE Google moved to town. She attended Stanford University where she received a degree in Chemistry and minors in German Studies and Biology. She attended Medical School at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Dr. Cook did her Internal Medicine Residency at UCLA and was Chief Resident. It was during residency she found her passion for Geriatrics. She is a proud alumnus of the UCLA-VA Geriatrics fellowship program and honored to be the Program Director of this established fellowship program. When she isn't having goals of care discussions with her patients, you can find Dr. Cook toasting to the end of elementary school distance-learning or road-tripping with her family.
Nancy Weintraub was born and raised on the island on Manhattan in the great City of New York. She attended college at Brown University and Medical School at New York University. She was a resident in Internal Medicine at Jacobi/Einstein in the Bronx and then completed her Geriatrics Fellowship at NYU. After Fellowship, Dr. Weintraub remained on the faculty at NYU in Medicine and Geriatrics until relocating to Los Angeles in 1992. She has been on the faculty of UCLA Geffen School of Medicine since that time, spending her first 10 years clinically affiliated with UCLA, and the remainder clinically affiliated with the Greater Los Angeles VA, gratefully serving our nations aging veterans. She served as the Program Director of the UCLA Geriatric Medicine Fellowship and the VA Advanced Fellowship in Geriatrics for 13 years. Her main professional interests are clinical education, interprofessional education, and problems of aging in the American Indian/Native Alaskan population.
Dr. Reuben is Director, Multicampus Program in Geriatrics Medicine and Gerontology and Chief, Division of Geriatrics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Center for Health Sciences. He is the Archstone Foundation Chair and Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Director of the UCLA Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center and the UCLA Alzheimer's and Dementia Care program. He sustains professional interests in clinical care, education, research and administrative aspects of geriatrics, maintaining a clinical primary care practice of frail older persons and attending on inpatient and geriatric psychiatry units at UCLA. His bibliography includes more than 190 peer-reviewed publications in medical journals, 33 books and numerous chapters. He is lead author of the widely distributed book, Geriatrics at Your Fingertips. Dr. Reuben is a past President of the American Geriatrics Society and the Association of Directors of Geriatric Academic Programs. He served for 11 years on the Geriatrics Test Writing Committee for the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and for 8 years on the ABIM's Board of Directors, including as Chair from 2010-2011.
After graduating from the University of California Berkeley as a Psychology Major, Dr. Brandon Koretz attended UCSF for Medical School. Thereafter, he had the pleasure of returning to his home for Internal Medicine and Geriatric Medicine training and, eventually, an MBA at the Anderson School of Management at UCLA. After joining the faculty in 2000, he has enjoyed a number of teaching and administrative responsibilities and currently serves as the Division Co-Chief. Dr. Koretz and his wife live in LA with their two daughters and dog Winnie. As a native of LA, Dr. Koretz enjoys every aspect of the city. One of his biggest challenges is trying to figure out how to avoid getting a fifth tie rack to accommodate his increasing collection of bow ties.
Dr. Alessi is the Director of the VA Greater Los Angeles (GLA) Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC). She is a Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, where she is also Associate Director of the Multicampus Program in Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology. A native of Illinois, Dr. Alessi obtained her undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois in Urbana/Champaign, and her medical degree at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago. She completed Internal Medicine residency at Michael Reese Hospital Medical Center in Chicago, and Geriatric Medicine clinical and research fellowships at the University of Chicago.
Dr. Alessi's research focuses on descriptive and interventional research to improve sleep problems in older adults. Dr. Alessi is a Past Chair of the Health Sciences Section of the Gerontological Society of America, a Past President and a Past Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Geriatrics Society, and a Past Chair of the Research/Scientific Review Committee of the Sleep Research Society.
Director of Journal Clubs & Clinical Supervisor
Arun Karlamangla, PhD, MD, received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California and his MD from the University of Michigan Medical School. He is a geriatrician and clinical epidemiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. In addition to residency and fellowship training in internal medicine and geriatrics, he brings doctoral training and years of teaching and experience in statistical signal processing, as well as expertise and experience in biostatistics to aging epidemiology research. Dr. Karlamangla pioneered the assessment of bone strength relative to load, which has proven to be immensely valuable in explaining paradoxical differences between fracture risk as predicted by bone density and observed fracture risk in different population sub-groups. He was one of the first to show that contrary to earlier trends, disability rates in older Americans were actually on the rise, and he introduced the notion of cortisol diurnal dynamic range as a marker of adversity-related dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. He has also contributed extensively to the literature on changes in bone health and body composition during the menopause transition, and to the literature on biological pathways by which psychosocial factors affect health over the life course, including one of the first demonstrations of the effect of the 2008 Great Recession on blood pressure in a national sample. He has taught graduate-level courses on statistics, both to engineering students (at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign) and to clinical research students (at UCLA). Dr. Karlamangla has served as director of the analysis and cost-effectiveness core of the UCLA Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center (OAIC), and as co-director of the statistics core of the national Midlife in the United States Study (MIDUS). He is currently one of the multi-principal investigators of the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN), and chair of the CoVPN (COVID-19 Prevention Network) Older Adults and Veterans Expert Review Panel, that is providing recommendations relevant to older adults and veterans for 5 COVID-19 vaccine trials and 2 antibody treatment trials.
Geriatric Hospitalist, Greater Los Angeles VA, Clinical Instructor, UCLA
Cal Burton is a Geriatric Hospitalist at the VA where he leads the acute geriatrics unit. He completed his undergraduate at the University of Maryland studying biology and Spanish, and he completed medical school at Northwestern University. His residency training in internal medicine took him to UCLA, where he also completed his geriatric fellowship. Dr. Burton has clinical interests in care for the older members of the LGBTQ community, in addition to experience with global health in Latin America.
GRECC Clinical Director & Site Director, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
Dr. Castle is Clinical Professor of Geriatric Medicine at UCLA, Clinical Director of Geriatrics at the VA Greater Los Angeles and was a Governor appointee to the California Commission on Aging from 2013-18. He is also the first physician certified as a FallPROOF!TM Instructor from Cal State Fullerton. His degrees are from Miami University and Ohio State School of Medicine. He did his residency in Internal Medicine at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio and a Geriatric Medicine Fellowship at UCLA.
He has received over $2.8 million in grant funding, including from the National Institute on Aging for studies on immune function with aging, from NIA and National Science Foundation for developing protective headwear to reduce brain injury in older adults; as well as mobility and balance awareness programs in affordable retirement communities. He has over 60 publications and has over 400 invited presentations nationally and internationally. His focus now is on adapting fitness routines to address chronic health issues in older adults and the role of prehab in helping older, at-risk adults have better outcomes with elective surgeries.
Dr. Castle has received many awards and honors, including the Clinician of the Year from the American Geriatrics Society and six teaching awards at UCLA. He was a finalist at the 2015 GE/Stanford Healthcare Hackfest and was awarded as a Patient Safety Champion in 2017, for contributions for advancing a Culture of Safety for Veterans by the VA National Center for Patient Safety.
Staff Attending Physician, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
Heather D’Adamo, MD is a member of the Fellowship Education Committee and a staff attending at the Community Living Center, the VA Nursing home in West Los Angeles. She has a long standing interest in Medical education design, having served as Representative to her medical school Curriculum Committee and to FEC while in Fellowship. She is also currently the Chair of the California Association of Long Term Care Medicine Education committee and leads that committee in creating a 2-3 day Spring conference and a 1 day Fall Conference. She currently sits on the committee to update UCLA Geriatrics Medical School workshop as well as the Fellowship Recruitment committee. Medicine is a second career, as she previously worked in Film and New Media Production and Process Design and Change Management for Internet companies. In addition to her MD, she holds a Masters in Fine Arts in Film Directing and likes to think that gives her a different perspective on Medical education. In her spare time, she volunteers and likes hiking, baking and yoga.
Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor, UCLA Medical Center
SNF Director, Geriatric Fellowship Program
Susan D. Leonard is a board- certified physician and clinician-educator in Geriatrics at UCLA. She graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and completed her internal medicine residency at UC Davis. A native of Los Angeles, she returned and completed her geriatrics fellowship at UCLA and joined the Geriatrics division thereafter. Her clinical practice is a hybrid model- balancing outpatient and inpatient work, with the majority of her practice now focusing on post-acute and nursing home care. She enjoys teaching and serves as the skilled nursing facility (SNF) director for the fellowship program, site director for the post-acute care rotation, and the education lead for the skilled nursing faculty group. She is also the medical director at Berkley East Healthcare Center, one of the premiere nursing facilities in Santa Monica. Her responsibilities are multi-faceted including quality assurance and performance improvement, administrative decision-making, patient-centered care, and supporting safer care transitions into the community. She is core faculty on the Fellowship Education, Clinical Competency, and the Fellowship Program Evaluation Committees. Furthermore, she serves as course chair for the Geriatrics Clinical Skills curriculum, teaching geriatric assessments to second year medical students. Her life is quite busy these days as a mother of 3. She looks forward to her ongoing clinical contributions, professional and educational development in Geriatrics at UCLA.
Chief, Division of General Internal Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
Site Director, Harbor UCLA
Katie Ward is the Chief of General Internal Medicine and the Director of Geriatrics at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She attended college at UCSD and completed medical school at St. Louis University. She also trained at OHSU for Internal Medicine and UCLA for Geriatric Fellowship. Prior to coming to Harbor-UCLA she practiced at UCLA in the Division of Geriatric Medicine. Teaching (*medicine and geriatrics) is her passion. Her other interests include palliative care, skilled nursing facility care, care transitions, safe opioid prescribing, elder mistreatment and neglect, ethno geriatrics, geriatric assessment, and communication skills, medical-legal partnerships.
Clinical Instructor, Geriatric Extensivist
Valerie Wong was born and raised in the bay area before attending college at Brown University earning a degree in Neuroscience. After completing a few years of translational science research in Central Nervous System Lymphoma at UCSF, she went on to attend Stony Brook University for medical school. She then completed her internal medicine residency at UC Davis in Sacramento and worked briefly as a hospitalist at the VA in Sacramento before completing her Geriatrics fellowship at UCLA. She will be continuing her interest as a clinician-educator at UCLA as the first Geri-Extensivist. Her professional interests include intensive outpatient management, transitions of care, post-acute care, advanced care planning, palliative care, polypharmacy, quality improvement, and medical education. She is excited to remain involved in the fellowship as the Hospitalist Track director. In her free time, you will find Dr. Wong hiking, baking for her colleagues, playing tennis, spending time with her husband and dog, or enjoying Disneyland!