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New UF program in The Villages will do medical research affecting seniors

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Researcher Carla VandeWeerd will head up a new program in The Villages for the UF College of Medicine doing research focused on senior health issues.

The research program is part of UF’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

Carla VandeWeerd. Photo: UF

It kicks off by taking part in a national study tied to Operation Warp Speed — testing the use of blood thinners to reduce bad outcomes in COVID-19 patients.

VandeWeerd has done health research in The Villages for years. As a University of South Florida researcher, she experimented with sensors in the home that monitor the well-being of seniors.

In this program — a partnership with The Villages — VandeWeerd says she will start out with focus groups, talking with seniors about their health concerns.

“And then my goal,” she said, “is to actually be responsive to those needs and to make sure I’m connecting, you know, the brightest academic minds with the community’s needs.”

The researchers will do industry studies, as well. For example, they’re looking at a study using a toilet seat to monitor health indicators for older adults.

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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.