Collaborating to Promote Healthy Aging

The Plein Center for Geriatrics was established in 2016 with the generous support of Joy and Elmer Plein. The Center will allow us to build on our 30-year history of comprehensive and state-of the art training in geriatrics through the Plein Certificate in Geriatric Pharmacy and expand our role as leader in outreach and research to promote healthy aging.

The 5-year strategic plan for the Plein Center can be found here.

This video highlights some of Joy and Elmer’s achievements and the plans for the new Plein Center.

Latest News

Marcum first pharmacist to receive prestigious Beeson Award

Zachary Marcum, PhD, PharmD was recently awarded the Paul B. Beeson Emerging Leaders Career Development Award (K76) from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and The John A. Hartford Foundation.

Notably, Zach is the first pharmacist to receive the grant, which is typically awarded to physician-investigators. This initiative is focused on clinic... Read more...

A Tradition of Reinventing Pharmacy

Never doubt the profound impact that our faculty and alumni have had on health care nationwide through decades of advocacy for increased access to patient care.
“Pharmacists are the medication experts on the health care team and in the community. Thanks to our work, in addition to improved care at hospitals and clinics, busy people can just pop ... Read more...

Gray receives AGS Editor’s Choice Award for dementia research

Congratulations to Plein Center for Geriatric Pharmacy Director Shelly Gray who received the The American Geriatrics Society Editor's Choice Award for her paper that showed Protein Pump Inhibitors (PPI) are not linked to higher dementia risk.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are medicines commonly prescribed to treat acid-related digestive problems... Read more...

Pioneers in geriatric research and education

Joy Plein is widely credited for creating the momentum for senior-care pharmacy in this state at a time when there were few pharmacists who were geriatricians and few resources to advocate for older patients. She and her late husband, Elmer, developed a visionary nursing home course in 1973, which led to more courses and the establishment of the Plein Certificate and the Elmer M. Plein Endowment Research Fund.

In 2015, Joy was awarded UW School of Pharmacy’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding achievements in pharmacy.


The primary research goal for the Plein Center for Geriatrics is to generate and transmit new knowledge to improve disease management and appropriate medication use in older adults.

The program faculty possess a variety of research interests including medication management and safety, drug-induced problems, psychiatric medication use, polypharmacy, diabetes, frailty, underserved populations, and methodology for enhancing pharmacists’ impact on improvement of care for older adults.


The Plein Center for Geriatrics offers training in the form of:

  • Plein Certificate in Geriatric Pharmacy (earned concurrently with PharmD degree)
  • Elective coursework for pharmacy and other health sciences students
  • Seminars, presentations, and continuing education programs offered by School of Pharmacy faculty or by visiting speakers


Faculty in the Plein Center for Geriatrics practice in a variety of care settings and offer extensive national and local service on projects related to geriatrics.

Support the Plein Center for Geriatrics

You can directly affect the future of geriatric pharmacy, by supporting the Plein Center for Geriatrics, which will promote the discovery and optimal use of medications in older adults.
Ways to Give