The Northwestern Pepper Center has been established because we recognize that:
- The US population is aging rapidly (the 65+ age group is growing 3x faster than -65).
- With age, many Americans develop multiple chronic conditions (MCC).
- Many people with MCC are unable to adequately manage their conditions, leading to poor health outcomes and burdensome costs. Having MCC usually means worse clinical outcomes, poorer physical function and mental health, higher healthcare utilization, worse quality of life, and increased mortality risk.
- There are not enough trained geriatricians to care for the growing number of older adults and address their complex health needs.
To fill the need for increased geriatric care and knowledge of MCC management, we support infusing core geriatrics principles, focusing on MCC, throughout primary care and medical subspecialties. This Northwestern Pepper Center aims to:
- Formalize a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, aging research program dedicated to improving healthcare, functional independence, and quality of life for older adults with MCC.
- Expand Northwestern training and mentoring activities to develop future leaders in geriatrics and aging research who will transform healthcare to meet the needs of older adults with MCC
- Stimulate applied research on the innovative design of primary care models that align with the priorities of older adults with MCC through aging-specific research resources and expertise
The Challenges of Multiple Chronic Conditions
Listed below are some of the ways in which having MCC complicates or adversely affects a person and their health care provider. These are the types of issues we keep in mind as we design research and collect resources.