Geriatric Medicine



Our research targets issues of disease management in older adults to enhance their independence and quality of life, as well as preserve dignity. As care for older adults is becoming increasingly more complex, we conduct research across a variety of disciplines. We encourage and foster interdisciplinary research collaborations in order to improve medical care of older adults in the community, long term care, and in the hospital setting. We have ongoing projects at multiple local skilled nursing facilities and rehabilitation centers.

We are expanding our collaborative project with the Department of Biology and the Center for Developmental Neurosciences and Developmental Disabilities at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island. As a joint effort with the Medical Women's Health Division, we currently conduct studies on cervical cancer screening methods. Specific research interests include utilization of computer technology and gaming systems in preservation of functional independence of older adults, sexuality in aging identification of fall risk factors and development of fall prevention programs.

Our study on association of vitamin D levels and acute heart failure in elderly hospitalized patients was awarded first prize to our 2010 fellowship graduate at the regional competition for original research by the Academy of Medicine of Richmond.

Fellowship Program Director
Donna Seminara, MD, FACP - Division Director 

Key Clinical Faculty
Abir Abdo, MD
Larisa Malisova, DO, FACP
Anita Szerszen, DO, FACP - Director of Geriatric Research

  • Grants:
    • Empire Clinical Research Investigator Program 
      New York State Department of Health 
      "Abnormal Pap Smear Management" 
      PI: M. Castellanos, MD 
      Co-Investigator: Anita Szerszen, DO 
      Award: $150,000

    • Empire Clinical Research Investigator Program 
      2008- 2009 
      New York State Department of Health    
      "Effects of pre-admission glucose control reflected by HgA1C levels on the morbidity and mortality of patients admitted to the ICU"
      PI: M. Castellanos, MD
      Co-Investigator: Anita Szerszen, DO 
      Award: $75,000

  • Invited Presentations:
    • Maese J. Communication in the 21st Century- Using Email in Practice; Kicking the Tires: How to select an EHR; - lecture presentations, American College of Physicians, Annual Meeting, 4/2010 where

    • Maese J. Health Care Reform Implications - lecture presentation, Staten Island Economic Development Corporation SI Health & Environmental Conference 2010, September 2010

    • Szerszen A, Abi Fadel F, Ross J, Vassell K, Ahern K, Shtaynberg N, Edwards A, Rothman J, Maniatis T, Bagon E, Castellanos M.R. Hemoglobin A1C level less than 6.5% is associated with severe hypoglycemia in critically ill patients treated with insulin. - Poster presentation 2010 American Thoracic Society's International Conference, 5/16/10, New Orleans, LA.

    • Abdo A, AbiRafeh N, Hak V, Seminara D, Szerszen A. Vitamin D Deficiency is associated with Increased Mortality in the Elderly Heart Failure Patients. - Research presentation, 1st place winner at Academy of Medicine of Richmond Research Competition, Staten Island, NY, May 2010

    • Szerszen A, Morgan C, Sleiman N, Glaser J, Hojeily C, Weiserbs K, Pablo M, Jarrett M, Seminara D. Interferon-Gamma (IFN╬│) Based Assay, T-SPOT.TB may be more Effective in Screening for Latent Tuberculosis in Elderly Residents of Nursing Homes than Tuberculin Skin Testing. - Research presentation, 1st place winner at Academy of Medicine of Richmond Research Competition, Staten Island, NY, May 2009

  • Publications: