James (Jim) S. Powers, M.D.

Director, Vanderbilt-Reynolds Geriatrics Education Center

Assoc. Director, VA Geriatric Research, Education & Clinical Center (GRECC)

Professor of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine

Adjunct Professor of Nursing

Vanderbilt Primary Care Village at Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt Center for Quality Aging


Geriatric Medicine


James S. Powers, M.D. received a B.A .cum laude from Wesleyan University (CT.) in 1973 and M.D. with Distinction in Research from the University of Rochester (N.Y.) in 1977 followed by residency in Internal Medicine at Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University Hospitals 1977-80. He served in the USPHS National Health Service Corps 1980-83 following which he was recruited to Vanderbilt to develop a Geriatric Medicine Program within the Division of General Internal Medicine.

Dr. Powers is author of over 75 papers, books, and book chapters he has devoted his academic career to Geriatric Nutrition, Education, and Healthcare Quality and Safety. He has mentored over 1200 trainees while at Vanderbilt and holds Fellowship in the American College of Physicians, American College of Nutrition, American Geriatrics Society, Gerontologic Society of America, and the Royal Society of Medicine. He serves as the Associate Clinical Director for the V.A. Tennessee Valley Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center.

Dr. Powers’ research interests include educational outcome evaluation, aging body composition, and models of geriatric care. He is P.I. of the Vanderbilt-Reynolds Geriatric Education Program, Co.-P.I. of the Meharry Geriatric Education Center, and leads numerous clinical demonstration projects for the T.V.H.S. G.R.E.C.C. concerned with falls prevention, caregiver support, and treatment of agitated dementia, and health systems improvement.


Educational and Service Contributions

  • Developed Acute Care for Elderly (V.U.M.C.), and Geriatric Evaluation and Management (V.A.) Units and maintained these since 1987, serving as interdisciplinary training sites for trainees
  • Developed geriatrics program over 25 years impacting over 1400 trainees at V.U.
  • P.I. 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 Vanderbilt Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program in 1999
  • Invited lecturer for hundreds of presentations, regionally, nationally, internationally
  • Developed Geriatrics and Extended Care Program for V.I.S.N. 9 as AD/C Tennessee Valley G.R.E.C.C., serving as a consultant for V.A. geriatric services development in TN., KY., W. VA.
  • 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™s Association, Alive Hospice, Council on Aging, Tennessee Health Care Campaign)
  • Preceptor and Advisory Board Member V.U. 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

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 


Vanderbilt Primary Care Village at Vanderbilt
1500 21st Avenue South, Suite 3000
Nashville, TN. 37232
(615) 936-3636
Fax: (615) 936-3635
8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday


Vanderbilt Center for Quality Aging
2525 West End Avenue, Suite 350
Nashville, TN., 37203-1425

For questions about research or current projects:
Call: (615) 936-1499
Fax: (615) 322-1754



M.D., University of Rochester, Rochester, New York
B.A., Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut