Jurivich is founding Gilbertson Distinguished Chair of Geriatrics

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School of Medicine & Health Sciences


GRAND FORKS, N.D.—Donald Jurivich, D.O., has been named the founding Eva L. Gilbertson, M.D., Distinguished Chair of Geriatrics at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He is a nationally known and respected clinician who has conducted extensive research on aging and age-related diseases and their treatment. Since 1997, Jurivich was the Vitoux Endowed Chair and Associate Professor of Geriatric Medicine as well as chief of the Division of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago. He also was chief of Geriatric Medicine at the Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Chicago.

At the UND SMHS, Jurivich will work collaboratively with the faculty and institutional leaders to found the Department of Geriatrics, and develop and provide oversight of the department's education, research, clinical care, training, and service programs. As chair, he will work with the SMHS's clinical partners to innovatively meet the need for education and training of current and future health professionals to effectively serve an aging population. Jurivich will begin work as chair at UND on April 1, 2015.

“Because North Dakota has above-average life expectancy, we are fortunate to have proportionately more senior citizens and elders than comparable states,” said Joshua Wynne, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H., UND vice president for health affairs and dean of the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences. “The recruitment of a national leader like Dr. Jurivich to lead the School’s geriatric program will help ensure that the care delivered in North Dakota will be the most advanced. He will play a critical role in shaping the future of health care delivery to the elderly in North Dakota.”

“I am honored and delighted to become the inaugural chair for the Eva L. Gilbertson, M.D., Distinguished Chair of Geriatrics at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences,” Jurivich said. “The recruitment process revealed exceptional leadership from Dean Joshua Wynne, extraordinary vision from Dr. Gilbertson and outstanding collaborative UND faculty. These elements are the keys to building a strong geriatrics program in aging research, education and clinical services.”

Jurivich earned his osteopathic medicine doctorate from the Midwestern University, Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. His residency training was completed in internal medicine at Rush Medical Center in Chicago and the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., where he also completed a fellowship in geriatric medicine. Jurivich is a Diplomate in Geriatric Medicine, which he earned from the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Jurivich’s research and scholarly interests are Alzheimer’s and other chronic diseases of the elderly. He receives research support from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Aging—the primary federal agency supporting and conducting Alzheimer's disease research—the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as medical research foundations. He has contributed to 47 publications on aging research and clinical care of the elderly. His award-winning research has received recognition from the NIA and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

While earning his bachelor’s degree in biology at Harvard University, Jurivich was the founder of the school’s women’s track and field team at a time when opportunities were scarce for women collegiate athletes. He has consistently supported university programs for mentoring women in their academic journey to become senior faculty members.

Jurivich is a member of the American Geriatrics Society, where he served on the board of directors, the American Medical Directors Association, the Illinois Geriatrics Society, the Gerontological Society of America, the Central Society for Clinical and Translational Research, American Medical Association, American Osteopathic Association, and the Institute of Medicine of Chicago.

“I am particularly excited about one of the ‘marching orders’ to strengthen geriatric health care for all our senior North Dakotans and Native American elders,” Jurivich said. “This mission starts with medical and health professional students who represent the next generation of health providers who will find ways to promote healthful longevity, prevent Alzheimer’s disease, and perhaps even halt some of the aging processes. In this vein, one of my favorite prescriptions to trainees is that if you want to live to be 100, you have to laugh a hundred times each day. I hope this sense of vitality, excitement and mission will create a remarkable and innovative department in geriatric medicine at UND.”

Donald and Clara Jurivich have been married for 35 years. Clara recently retired as business manager for St. Frances Xavier Parish in La Grange, Ill. They have three daughters: Theresa O’Brien is lead conflicts staff attorney for Sidley Austin LLP in Chicago; Stephanie Jurivich is vice president of European Equity Solutions for J.P. Morgan Bank in London; and Jennifer Jurivich is associate principal for the Advisory Board Company in Washington.

The Eva L. Gilbertson, M.D., Distinguished Chair in Geriatrics was established through a generous investment by the Dr. Eva L. Gilbertson Foundation to support education and research in the field of geriatrics. Eva Gilbertson earned her Bachelor of Science in Medicine from the UND School of Medicine in 1939. She obtained her medical degree from Temple University in 1941. Gilbertson grew up on a small farm near Maddock, N.D. She was the only woman in her medical class at UND, the first woman to complete the radiology residency program at Mayo Clinic, and upon her graduation—the first female radiologist in the state of Washington. She passed away in 2007.