Mike Malone

Clinical Champion Spotlight

Connor Sullivan

This series highlights members of the GEDC community who are clinical champions for older adults in the emergency department. Dr. Michael Malone is the Medical Director of Senior Services and Director of Home Care for Advocate Health-Midwest.

Dr. Mike Malone is a Clinical Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He also served as the Director of the Geriatrics Fellowship Program at Advocate Health for the past 25 years. Dr. Malone received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas; he completed his internal medicine residency and geriatric fellowship training at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Milwaukee. His Advocate Health practice is to home-bound older persons in inner-city Milwaukee.

Dr. Michael Malone’s career as a geriatrician began 30 years ago when his mentors encouraged him to pursue a career in geriatric medicine.

“I found the care challenging, and I enjoyed being with older patients and their families,” Malone said. “And then I also saw the clinical challenges in regards to the aging of our country, and that seemed like a compelling career choice.”

Today, Malone serves as Medical Director of Senior Services and Director of Home Care for Advocate Health – Midwest, where he primarily serves older adults living in inner-city Milwaukee. Throughout his career, he has implemented numerous programs for geriatric care, such as a community-based falls prevention program in Milwaukee County, as well as programs to improve care for older adults living with Alzheimer’s disease in Wisconsin and Illinois. He also helped create Project Echo to prepare the next generation of workers for geriatric medicine.

“I’m proud to have served in a vulnerable community of the inner city in the northside of Milwaukee, among an older population that has been historically underserved,” Malone said. “I’m also proud of developing models of care for communities – not only for older adults who are vulnerable, but for communities that are vulnerable.”

As a GEDC Core Faculty Member, Malone is the resident geriatrician among a group primarily composed of emergency physicians and nurses, an experience he counts as a highlight of his career.

“I’ve had an interest in acute care of older adults for the last 23 years, but working with our colleagues in the emergency department has provided me with a boost of energy and interest at this point in my career,” Malone said. “And I find collaborating with emergency physicians and nurses to be wonderful and fulfilling.”

One of Malone’s most lasting contributions to the field of geriatric emergency medicine is the Journal of Geriatric Emergency Medicine (JGEM), which he started with fellow GEDC Core Faculty Member Dr. Teresita Hogan.

JGEM began at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Milwaukee as the Geriatric Emergency Department Newsletter, which included information about the hospital’s geriatric emergency department program. Malone and Hogan asked if they could integrate principles of geriatric medicine into the newsletter, and when the newsletter became popular with other medical schools, it grew to become an academic journal.

“Dr. Teresita Hogan and I began the Journal of Geriatric Emergency Medicine in order to provide a scholarly forum to provide best practice models, evidence of how to improve care for older adults who are acutely ill and injured, and to educate America’s workforce in care of older adults in the emergency department,” Malone said. “I’m pleased to have been involved in the development of that idea.”

Having served as the Director of the Geriatrics Fellowship Program at Advocate Health for the past 25 years, Malone is passionate about preparing future clinicians in the field of geriatric care, whether they work in the emergency department or other clinical settings. He emphasized the importance of preparing geriatricians who are able to collaborate with specialists in other areas of medicine and work in interdisciplinary teams.

“You can have the most skilled physicians, that will not be sufficient in providing excellent care for older persons because, in fact, the older adults in our emergency departments will need outstanding care from emergency responders, nursing staff and support staff, and their families receive care from social workers and case managers,” Malone said. “So I think that, where possible, an emphasis on the entire team is going to be important to highlight.”

Looking back on his career, Malone values the experiences that have enabled him to collaborate with others – whether through GEDC, the American Geriatrics Society or Advocate Health – to improve care for older adults in the United States.

“I’ve been very fortunate and lucky to have had the job with Advocate Health, mostly because by serving in our health system I’ve been able to better understand and perhaps contribute to improving healthcare in our country,” Malone said.

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