Program Director, Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship
Dr. Moak is a past president of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry where he worked to promote public policies conducive to greater access to mental health services for older adults and growth of the geriatric psychiatry workforce to meet their needs. Before coming to Dartmouth-Hitchcock, he developed several types of geriatric mental health services in various sectors of the Massachusetts healthcare system. As the faculty at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, he provided clinical education and training in geriatric psychiatry to medical students, psychiatry residents, and geriatric medicine fellows. He is interested in frailty among older adults with severe and persistent mental disorders and ways geriatric psychiatrists can work to improve the care older adults receive in the general healthcare system.
Core Faculty and their Research Interests:
In addition to these geriatric psychiatrists, our fellowship faculty includes colleagues in geriatric medicine and neurology. The pool of talent across all areas of expertise at DHMC and its clinical affiliates and the Geisel Medical School is always at our fingertips to meet the clinical, teaching, and research interests of our fellows.
I am the Geriatric Psychiatrist at the VA Medical Center in White River Junction, VT. I am also a graduate of Dartmouth Hitchcock’s Adult Psychiatry Residency and Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship. In addition to several administrative roles, I work in the outpatient setting, providing consultations for our medical services and longitudinal care for complex geriatric patients. I also provide consultations for veterans residing in nursing homes in local facilities and more remotely in Bennington, VT and Togus, ME via tele-health. I was drawn to Geriatric Psychiatry after growing up in a multi-generational household and developing a strong respect for the experiences of our elders. I consider it a great honor to serve our older veterans, many who have been marginalized by the country that they protected in their younger years. My academic interests include suicidal risk assessment in the elderly, particularly in the nursing home setting.
As an inpatient geriatric psychiatrist, I treat severe mental illness in patients that are often also suffering from cognitive decline and multiple chronic medical conditions. I feel deep compassion for those most profoundly afflicted and I am endlessly fascinated by the process of untangling their overlapping pathologies. I find an interdisciplinary team-based approach that utilizes the biopsychosocial model to be the most effective strategy for restoring these patients to their highest level of functioning. My primary research interest at this time is working to create a comprehensive bloodwork panel that provides useful information about frailty and susceptibility to cognitive impairment.
I have been a geriatric psychiatrist at West Central Behavioral Health, a local community mental health agency, for 20 years providing outpatient services on the older adult team and nursing home consultation. Through Dartmouth Hitchcock, I am psychiatrist and medical director of Glencliff Home, a state nursing home for mentally ill patients that serves as a rich learning opportunity for residents and fellows. I am particularly interested in using a multidisciplinary approach to improve physical and mental health in nursing homes.