The term geriatrics was coined in the early 1900s, and is derived from geras (old age) and iatrikos (relating to the physician). While family physicians, general internists and others provide care for many older adults — and do it very well — geriatricians focus on the relationship between managing diseases and maintaining function and quality of life.

Physician and patient

Creating a vision for care of the older adult has been part of the Boonshoft School of Medicine’s mission since its inception. This vision was focused more sharply in 2006 with the creation of the Department of Geriatrics, which was the result of a community collaboration that included Premier Health Partners, the Dayton VA Medical Center and the Oscar Boonshoft family. Now, the department works collaboratively with the school’s other departments, affiliated hospitals and many area agencies and organizations to promote comprehensive geriatric care across all settings. Department faculty also work with faculty from other departments to incorporate the principles of geriatric medicine into the Biennium I and Biennium II curricula for medical students and participate in the education of family medicine and internal medicine residents at Boonshoft School of Medicine.

Current research activities include interdisciplinary work on falls, delirium, dementia, long term care of frail older adults and caregiver advocacy. A major research goal for the department is the study of interventions and models of care that will allow older adults in the Miami Valley to remain safely in their homes for as long as possible.

Our physicians serve patients throughout the Dayton community.

Our Physicians:

Larry W. Lawhorne, M.D.*
Chair and Professor, Department of Geriatrics

Steven K. Swedlund, M.D.*
Assistant Professor of Geriatrics and Family Medicine, and Fellowship Director

Karen Kirkham, M.D.*
Associate Professor of Internal Medicine

Laura Bedrossian, M.D.
Geriatrician for Skilled Nursing Facility

Kristy Zechiel, M.D.
Geriatrician for Miami Valley Hospital inpatient

Kelsey Drasga, NP *
Board Certified Gerontological Nurse Practitioner

*These physicians are accepting new patients and referrals

Clinical Office:
Wright State Physicians Department of Geriatrics
2350 Miami Valley Dr., Suite 210
Centerville, OH 45459

Phone: (937) 401-1111
[Directions | Google Map]

Suite 210 is through the main entrance. Take the elevators to the right up to the the second floor; the suite is right across from the elevators.

Academic Office:
Miami Valley Hospital
128 E. Apple St., Suite 1820
Dayton, OH 45409

Phone: (937) 208-6359
Fax: (937) 208-3096