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

Advice from UW pharmacists on senior use of marijuana

Marijuana use among older adults has soared in recent years despite little being known about the effectiveness and safety of the drug in people 65 and older. That’s resulted in more seniors asking health care providers about marijuana use: Is it safe? How much to use? Where to buy?

Now, a group of University of Washington professors has go... Read more...

CHOICE director Anirban Basu and collaborators receive NIH grant to study costs of dementia care

PORPP Dir & Prof Anirban Basu

Team seeks to improve the projections of the future burden of the disease.Anirban Basu, director of the CHOICE Institute at UWSOP, and professor in the schools of Pharmacy and Public Health at the University of Washington, received more than $230,000 from the National Institutes of Health to measure the current and future costs of care for people w... Read more...

Barthold uses economics methods to improve dementia diagnosis and treatment plans across race, ethnicity, and sex

“Economists have a knack for identification strategies—using data in innovative ways to isolate the role of one specific drug and separate it from other confounders that may affect the outcome of interest,” said Doug (pictured right, with CHOICE  PhD graduate student Erik Landaas). 

The newest researcher in The CHOICE Institute at UWSOP, Doug Barthold is taking a couple of approaches that use data and economic modeling to find potential treatments and trends in care of people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD).
At press time, there are no known drugs that can prevent or delay the onset or progression of ... 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