James S. Powers, M.D.



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Faculty Appointments
Professor of Medicine Adjunct Professor of Nursing
M.D., University of Rochester, Rochester, New YorkB.A., Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut
Office Address
7th Floor MCE
Nashville, TN 37232
Research Description
Clinical Expertise
Accidental Falls; Delirium; Dementia; Geriatric Consultation; Geriatric Syndromes; Hospital Care of Elderly; Interdisciplinary Patient Care Teams; Long Term Care; Patient Centered Medical Home

Educational and Service Contributions
Developed Acute Care for Elderly (VU), and Geriatric Evaluation and Management (VA) Units
and maintained these since 1987, serving as interdisciplinary training sites for trainees
Developed geriatrics program over 25 years impacting over 1400 trainees at VU
PI of Reynolds Geriatrics Education Program which supports medical school, residency, faculty, interdisciplinary, regional educational programs
Participant in medical school and Medicine Residency curriculum development with preceptorship, geriatrics, outpatient, home and community-based training programs
Developed Geriatric Fellowship Program 1999 with 16 fellows completed training,
Invited lecturer for hundreds of presentations, regionally, nationally, internationally
Developed Geriatrics and Extended Care Program for VISN 9 as AD/C Tennessee Valley GRECC, serving as a consultant for VA geriatric services development in TN, KY, WVa
Served on numerous Geriatric Quality Assurance Committees at VU/VA (Falls, Decubiti, Delirium, Dementia Care, Dysphagia, Restraint Reduction, Palliative Care, JCAHO, Root Cause Analysis for Patient on Patient Assaults, Peer Review Committee)
Reviewer, Studio Participant for new faculty projects related to geriatrics
Board membership local, state, national geriatrics societies (AGS, AMDA, GSA, TMA)
Board membership of regional non-profits facilitating Geriatric Care (Alzhiemer’s Association, Alive Hospice, Council on Aging, Tennessee Health Care Campaign)
Preceptor and Advisory Board Member VU Student Shade Tree Clinic since 2005
Chaired TennCare Pharmacy Advisory Committee 2003-2008, developing the first Medicaid formulary for Tennessee
Collaborator with the Vanderbilt-Meharry Alliance in developing the Geriatric Education Center

Tennessee Geriatric Society Clinician of the Year, 1991
American Geriatric Society Recognition Award, 1997-
Volunteer Award, Alzheimer’s Association of Middle Tennessee, 1997, 2002
Communication Services Award, Vanderbilt Dept. Speech Pathology, 1998
F. Tremaine Billings Teaching Award for Excellence in Teaching, VUMC, 2000
Mental Health Professional of the Year 2000, Mental Health Assn. Middle TN
American Red Cross - Seven gallon plus donor
Meharry Geriatric Education Center Support Award 2004
Area Agency on Aging and Disability, Excellence in Aging Award, 2007
Elizabeth Jacobs Distinguished Service Award, Nashville Council on Aging, 2008
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Award, Vanderbilt-Meharry Alliance, 2009
2009 Marsha Goodwin-Beck VA Interdisciplinary Award for Excellence in Geriatric
Clinical Care Delivery

Selected Publications (of 90)
1. Powers JS, Folk C, Collins JC, Burger MC, Wilson P, Stocking B. The Influence of Vitamin Supplements on Micronutrient Levels in Healthy Elderly Subjects. J. Am. Coll. Nutr. 8:171-2; 1989
2. Powers JS, Collins JC, Lichtenstein MJ, Greene HL, Krantz SB, Buchholz T. Human Erythropoietin in Healthy Elderly. J. Am. Geriatric Soc. 37:388-9; 1989
3. Powers JS, Folk C, Collins JC, Burger MC, Wilson P, Stocking B. Nutritional Status in Non-Institutionalized Elderly. S. Med. J. 82:990-94; 1989
4. Powers JS, Krantz SB, Collins JC, Meurer K, Falilinger A, Buchholz T, Black M, Spivak JL, Hochberg M, Baer AN, Cotes PM, Goldwasser E. Erythropoietin Response to Anemia as a Function of Age. J Am Geriatr Soc, 39:30-32; 1991
5. Hauser B, Laubacher M, Robinson J, Powers JS. Evaluation of an Intermediate Care and Geriatric Unit in a VA Hospital. Southern Med J 84:597-602; 1991
6. Powers JS, Zimmer J, Collins JC, Meurer K, Greene HL. Direct Assay of Vitamins B-1, B-2 and B-6 in Hospitalized Patients: Relationship to Level of Intake JPEN 17:315-16, 1993
7. White S, Powers JS, Effectiven
Research Keywords
Geriatric clinical care, education, and clinical demonstration projects. Geriatrics Fellowship Director and Associate Clinical Director, GRECC. Research Interests Accidental Falls; Frail Elderly; Geriatrics Education; Long Term Care; Malnutrition
Clinical Research Keywords
Geriatric Models of Care, Dementia and Delirium, Nutrition and Aging, Medication Safety, Informatics in Geriatrics Medical Education and Quality Improvement
Moss JM, Bryan WE, Wilkerson LM, Jackson GL, Owenby RK, Van Houtven C, Stevens MB, Powers JS, Vaughan CP, Hung WW, Hwang U, Markland AD, McGwin G, Hastings SN. Impact of Clinical Pharmacy Specialists on the Design and Implementation of a Quality Improvement Initiative to Decrease Inappropriate Medications in a Veterans Affairs Emergency Department. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2016 Jan; 22(1): 74-80. PMID: 27015054, DOI: 10.18553/jmcp.2016.22.1.74, ISSN: 2376-1032.

Denny JC, Spickard A, Speltz PJ, Porier R, Rosenstiel DE, Powers JS. Using natural language processing to provide personalized learning opportunities from trainee clinical notes. J Biomed Inform [print-electronic]. 2015 Aug; 56: 292-9. PMID: 26070431, PII: S1532-0464(15)00114-8, DOI: 10.1016/j.jbi.2015.06.004, ISSN: 1532-0480.

Powers JS, Preshong M, Smith P. A Model of Regulatory Alignment to Enhance the Long-Term Care Survey Process in a Veterans Health Care Network. Am J Med Qual [print-electronic]. 2015 Jun 6/10/2015; PMID: 26063681, PII: 1062860615591053, DOI: 10.1177/1062860615591053, ISSN: 1555-824X.

Stevens MB, Hastings SN, Powers J, Vandenberg AE, Echt KV, Bryan WE, Peggs K, Markland AD, Hwang U, Hung WW, Schmidt AJ, McGwin G, Ikpe-Ekpo E, Clevenger C, Johnson TM, Vaughan CP. Enhancing the Quality of Prescribing Practices for Older Veterans Discharged from the Emergency Department (EQUiPPED): Preliminary Results from Enhancing Quality of Prescribing Practices for Older Veterans Discharged from the Emergency Department, a Novel Multicomponent Interdisciplinary Quality Improvement Initiative. J Am Geriatr Soc [print-electronic]. 2015 May; 63(5): 1025-9. PMID: 25945692, DOI: 10.1111/jgs.13404, ISSN: 1532-5415.

Smith CK, Emery L, Williams A, Powers JS. Development of a level 1 geriatric outpatient social work screen in a veterans primary care clinic. J Gerontol Soc Work [print-electronic]. 2015; 58(4): 437-44. PMID: 25751113, DOI: 10.1080/01634372.2015.1008167, ISSN: 1540-4048.

Mixon AS, Neal E, Bell S, Powers JS, Kripalani S. Care transitions: a leverage point for safe and effective medication use in older adults--a mini-review. Gerontology [print-electronic]. 2015; 61(1): 32-40. PMID: 25277280, PMCID: PMC4479140, PII: 000363765, DOI: 10.1159/000363765, ISSN: 1423-0003.

Hooper L, Abdelhamid A, Attreed NJ, Campbell WW, Channell AM, Chassagne P, Culp KR, Fletcher SJ, Fortes MB, Fuller N, Gaspar PM, Gilbert DJ, Heathcote AC, Kafri MW, Kajii F, Lindner G, Mack GW, Mentes JC, Merlani P, Needham RA, Olde Rikkert MG, Perren A, Powers J, Ranson SC, Ritz P, Rowat AM, Sjöstrand F, Smith AC, Stookey JJ, Stotts NA, Thomas DR, Vivanti A, Wakefield BJ, Waldréus N, Walsh NP, Ward S, Potter JF, Hunter P. Clinical symptoms, signs and tests for identification of impending and current water-loss dehydration in older people. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015; 4: CD009647. PMID: 25924806, DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009647.pub2, ISSN: 1469-493X.

Healthcare Changes and the Affordable Care Act :A Physician Call to Action. Powers JS, ed. Switzerland: Springer; 2015.

Han JH, Vasilevskis EE, Shintani A, Graves AJ, Schnelle JF, Dittus RS, Powers JS, Wilson A, Storrow AB, Ely EW. Impaired arousal at initial presentation predicts 6-month mortality: an analysis of 1084 acutely ill older patients. J Hosp Med [print-electronic]. 2014 Dec; 9(12): 772-8. PMID: 25352356, PMCID: PMC4326096, DOI: 10.1002/jhm.2276, ISSN: 1553-5606.

Powers JS, Cox Z, Young J, Howell M, DiSalvo T. Critical pathways: implementation of the Coleman Care Transitions Program in individuals hospitalized with congestive heart failure [letter]. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2014 Dec; 62(12): 2442-4. PMID: 25516044, DOI: 10.1111/jgs.13174, ISSN: 1532-5415.

Powers JS. Common presentations of elder abuse in health care settings. Clin. Geriatr. Med [print-electronic]. 2014 Nov; 30(4): 729-41. PMID: 25439638, PII: S0749-0690(14)00074-3, DOI: 10.1016/j.cger.2014.08.004, ISSN: 1879-8853.

Peterson JF, Kripalani S, Danciu I, Harrell D, Marvanova M, Mixon AS, Rodriguez C, Powers JS. Electronic surveillance and pharmacist intervention for vulnerable older inpatients on high-risk medication regimens. J Am Geriatr Soc [print-electronic]. 2014 Nov; 62(11): 2148-52. PMID: 25366414, PMCID: PMC4337022, DOI: 10.1111/jgs.13057, ISSN: 1532-5415.

Powers JS, Smith CK, Carey A. Development of a Level 1 geriatric outpatient Social Work Screen [letter]. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2014 May; 62(5): 988-9. PMID: 24828934, DOI: 10.1111/jgs.12812, ISSN: 1532-5415.

Han JH, Wilson A, Graves AJ, Shintani A, Schnelle JF, Dittus RS, Powers JS, Vernon J, Storrow AB, Ely EW. Validation of the Confusion Assessment Method for the Intensive Care Unit in older emergency department patients. Acad Emerg Med. 2014 Feb; 21(2): 180-7. PMID: 24673674, PMCID: PMC4034173, DOI: 10.1111/acem.12309, ISSN: 1553-2712.

Han JH, Wilson A, Graves AJ, Shintani A, Schnelle JF, Dittus RS, Powers JS, Vernon J, Storrow AB, Ely EW. Validation of the confusion assessment method for the intensive care unit in older emergency department patients. 2014.

Powers JS, Gwirtsman H, Erwin S.. Psychiatric illness and resident assaults among veterans in long term care facilities. 2014.

Chen Y, Wrenn J, Xu H, Spickard A, Habermann R, Powers J, Denny JC. Automated Assessment of Medical Students¿¿¿ Clinical Exposures according to AAMC Geriatric Competencies. 2014.

Jin H. Han, MD, MSc1,2*, Eduard E. Vasilevskis, MD, MPH1,3,4,5, Ayumi Shintani, PhD, MPH6 , Amy J. Graves, SM, MPH7 , John F. Schnelle, PhD1,3,5, Robert S. Dittus, MD, MPH3,4,5, James S. Powers, MD1,3,5, Amanda Wilson, MD8 , Alan B. Storrow, MD2 , E. Wesley Ely, MD, MPH4,5,9.. Impaired Arousal at Initial Presentation Predicts 6-Month Mortality: An Analysis of 1084 Acutely Ill Older Patients. 2014.

Minority Elders: Nutrition and Dietary Interventions: in Handbook of Minority Aging. New York (United States): Springer; 2014.

Powers JS, Doering T, Gordon S, Eden SK, Shintani A, Schnelle J. Exploring the utility of ultra-brief delirium assessments in a nonintensive care geriatric population: the GEM study. Gerontologist [print-electronic]. 2013 Dec; 53(6): 1051-5. PMID: 23231946, PMCID: PMC3826161, PII: gns161, DOI: 10.1093/geront/gns161, ISSN: 1758-5341.

Powers JS, Edwards L, Carey A. Development of a Level 1 Geriatric Outpatient Pharmacy Screen. 2013.

Powers JS, Doering T, Gordon, Eden SK, Shintani A, Schnelle J. Exploring the Utility of Ultra-Brief Delirium Assessments in a Nonintensive Care GeriatricPopulation: The GEM Study. 2013.

Powers, JS, Spickard A, DeRiemer S, Denny J.. Analysis of Pre-Clinical Student Narratives- Progress in Assessment of ACGME Competencies. 2013.

Powers JS, Cahall M, Epelbaum M, Habermann R, Rosenstiel D, Giuse N. Incorporating evidence into clinical teaching: enhanced geriatrics specialty case-based residency presentations. J Grad Med Educ. 2012 Mar; 4(1): 83-6. PMID: 23451313, PMCID: PMC3312540, PII: JGME-D-11-00056, DOI: 10.4300/JGME-D-11-00056.1, ISSN: 1949-8349.

Powers JS, Buchowski M, Wang L, Otoo-Boameh A. Total body water in elderly adults--assessing hydration status by bioelectrical impedance analysis vs urine osmolality [letter]. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2012 Feb; 60(2): 388-90. PMID: 22332693, PMCID: PMC3523743, DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03814.x, ISSN: 1532-5415.

Powers JS, Spickard A, DeRiemer S, Denny J.. Analysis of Pre-Clinical Student Narratives- Progress in Assessment of ACGME Competencies. 2012.

Powers JS, Heim D, Grant B, Rollins J. Music therapy to promote movement from isolation to community in homeless veterans. Tenn Med. 2012 Jan; 105(1): 38-9. PMID: 22359994, ISSN: 1088-6222.

Powers JS, Wang Li, Otoo-Boameh A, Buchowski M.. Total body water in elderly patients – assessing hydration status by bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) vs. urine osmolality. J of the Am Geriatr Soc. 2012; 60: 388-90.

Solberg L, Porier P, Powers J. Geriatric Consults Offer Help, and Maybe Education. J Am Geriatr Society. 2012; 60((60)).

Powers JS. Revitalizing primary care resident education with outpatient team-based care. Tenn Med. 2011 Sep; 104(8): 27-8. PMID: 21957846, ISSN: 1088-6222.

Carlo ME, Powers JS. Ambulatory care sensitive emergency department use among low-cost medical home patients. Tenn Med. 2010 Jan; 103(1): 31-3. PMID: 20108865, ISSN: 1088-6222.

Powers JS, Choi L, Bitting R, Gupta N, Buchowski M. Rapid measurement of total body water to facilitate clinical decision making in hospitalized elderly patients. J. Gerontol. A Biol. Sci. Med. Sci [print-electronic]. 2009 Jun; 64(6): 664-9. PMID: 19228780, PMCID: PMC2800804, PII: glp018, DOI: 10.1093/gerona/glp018, ISSN: 1758-535X.

Powers JS, Roberts LJ, Tarvin E, Hongu N, Choi L, Buchowski M. Oxidative stress and multi-organ failure in hospitalized elderly people [letter]. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2008 Jun; 56(6): 1150-2. PMID: 18554367, PMCID: PMC3072579, PII: JGS1695, DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2008.01695.x, ISSN: 1532-5415.

Powers JS, Gordon S, Elgin, J.. Non Pharmacologic Management of Disruptive Behaviors in Dementia. Federal Practitioner. 2008; 25: 28.

Powers JS, Roberts LJ, Tarvin E, Hongu N, Choi L, Buchowski M.. Oxidative Stress and Multi-organ Failure in Hospitalized Elderly. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2008; 56: 1150-2.

Powers JS, German D, Billings FT. Introduction to the patient: a course for first-year medical students. Tenn Med. 2005 Dec; 98(12): 585-7, 591. PMID: 16401053, ISSN: 1088-6222.

Powers JS. Facilitated feeding in disabled elderly. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2002 May; 5(3): 315-9. PMID: 11953658, ISSN: 1363-1950.

Powers JS, White S, Varnell L, Turvy C, Kidd K, Harrell D, Knight B, Floyd K, Zupko K. An autonomy supportive model of geriatric team function. Tenn Med. 2000 Aug; 93(8): 295-7. PMID: 10943147, ISSN: 1088-6222.

Powers JS. New program development in academic medical centers: the story of geriatrics in Tennessee. Tenn Med. 2000 Aug; 93(8): 293-4. PMID: 10943146, ISSN: 1088-6222.

Powers JS, White SJ. Integrating an acute geriatric teaching service with a general medicine program in a university hospital. J Tenn Med Assoc. 1995 Oct; 88(10): 383-5. PMID: 7475010, ISSN: 0040-3318.

White SJ, Powers JS, Knight JR, Harrell D, Varnell L, Vaughn C, Brawner D, Burger MC. Effectiveness of an inpatient geriatric service in a university hospital. J Tenn Med Assoc. 1994 Oct; 87(10): 425-8. PMID: 7990452, ISSN: 0040-3318.

McEllistrum MC, Collins JC, Powers JS. Admission serum albumin level as a predictor of outcome among geriatric patients. South. Med. J. 1993 Dec; 86(12): 1360-1. PMID: 8093126, ISSN: 0038-4348.

Welsh DA, Powers JS. Elevated parathyroid hormone-related protein and hypercalcemia in a patient with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma complicating hidradenitis suppurativa. South. Med. J. 1993 Dec; 86(12): 1403-4. PMID: 8272921, ISSN: 0038-4348.

Powers JS, Zimmer J, Meurer K, Manske E, Collins JC, Greene HL. Direct assay of vitamins B1, B2, and B6 in hospitalized patients: relationship to level of intake. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 1993 Jul; 17(4): 315-6. PMID: 8271354, ISSN: 0148-6071.

Archbald CD, Powers JS, Burger MC, Dixon R, Hall A. An analysis of patient characteristics for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonization and infection in a hospital population. J Tenn Med Assoc. 1993 Mar; 86(3): 102-4. PMID: 8445905, ISSN: 0040-3318.

Powers JS, Folk MC. Nutritional concerns in the elderly. South. Med. J. 1992 Nov; 85(11): 1107-12. PMID: 1439949, ISSN: 0038-4348.

Powers JS, Krantz SB, Collins JC, Meurer K, Failinger A, Buchholz T, Blank M, Spivak JL, Hochberg M, Baer A. Erythropoietin response to anemia as a function of age. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1991 Jan; 39(1): 30-2. PMID: 1987254, ISSN: 0002-8614.

Powers JS, Folk MC, Burger C, Wilson P, Stocking BJ, Collins J. Assessment of nutritional status in noninstitutionalized elderly. South. Med. J. 1989 Aug; 82(8): 990-4. PMID: 2762906, ISSN: 0038-4348.

Powers JS. Helping family and patients decide between home care and nursing home care. South. Med. J. 1989 Jun; 82(6): 723-6. PMID: 2734635, ISSN: 0038-4348.

Powers JS, Billings FT, Behrendt D, Burger MC. Antecedent factors in urinary tract infections among nursing home patients. South. Med. J. 1988 Jun; 81(6): 734-5. PMID: 3375879, ISSN: 0038-4348.

The Second Mid-Life Crisis. Relating to Aging Parents. New York (United States): Vantage; 1988.

Powers JS, Burger C, Manian FA, Kuhn K, Lichtenstein MJ, Billings FT. A teaching nursing home: the Vanderbilt experience. South. Med. J. 1986 Mar; 79(3): 267-71. PMID: 3952534, ISSN: 0038-4348.