Dr. Leykum to head new VA center of excellence

Luci Leykum, M.D.
Luci K. Leykum, M.D.

Luci K. Leykum, M.D., professor of medicine and chief of the Division of General and Hospital Medicine, has been named to head a first of its kind center of excellence to improve services to veterans and their caregivers.

The new center will be managed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Health Services Research & Development. It will be named for former Sen. Elizabeth Dole in recognition of her national leadership and advocacy on behalf of the nation’s 5.5 million military and veteran caregivers.

Dr. Leykum said that she and the entire team that will be working on the project are “honored to do this work in service of, and in partnership with, our nation’s veterans and their caregivers. The fact that the center is named for Elizabeth Dole, a leader and role model in advocacy for veterans and caregivers, makes it even more meaningful.”

She added that the center “will conduct a series of pilot projects to test novel approaches to support veterans and caregivers, assess which types of home care services are most effective for different Veterans groups, and promote implementation of successful care models across the VA.”

Dr. Leykum said that Sandra Sanchez-Reilly. M.D., professor/clinical in the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology, will oversee an interprofessional fellowship training program that includes both clinical, educational, and research components.

Additional faculty involved in the work include Drs. Roxana Delgado, Erin Finley, Kimberly Peacock, Lauren Penney and Jackie Pugh in the Division of General and Hospital Medicine in the Department of Medicine, Dr. Polly Noel in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, and Dr. Carolyn Pickering in the School of Nursing.

The work of the center will be conducted across four VA medical centers, in San Antonio, Palo Alto, California, Salt Lake City, and Miami.

Dr. Leykum came to San Antonio after completing medical school and residency at the College of Physicians & Surgeons at Columbia University in New York City, where she also served on the faculty. She also holds an M.B.A. from Columbia.

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