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Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion

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Lena K. Makaroun, MD, MS

Picture of Lena K. Makaroun

CHERP Core Investigator

  • Staff Physician, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS)
  • Affiliate Investigator, Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC), VAPHS
  • Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine, University of Pittsburgh


Lena K. Makaroun, MD, MS is CHERP Core Investigator, GRECC Affiliate Investigator, VA Staff Physician at VAPHS, and Assistant Professor of Geriatrics at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Makaroun's research addresses health-related social risk factors for older adults, with a specific focus on elder abuse. Specifically, her current VA HSR-funded work aims to broaden our understanding of multi-faceted contributors to elder abuse risk and susceptibility and enhance healthcare system capacity for effective, interdisciplinary elder abuse response. Her goal is to develop evidence-based approaches to elder abuse detection and response in VA to improve health, safety, and well-being for older Veterans.

Dr. Makaroun works closely with the National Office of Care Management and Social Work and serves on the National Social Work Elder Justice Clinical Implementation Team to ensure her research translates into meaningful and equitable practice change in VA. To address the complex problem of elder mistreatment, she also fosters close collaborations with interdisciplinary colleagues from social services, rehabilitation, law, protective services, and data informatics.

Dr. Makaroun completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania, MD at Weill Cornell Medical College, and MS in Health Services at the University of Washington School of Public Health. Following her residency and fellowship at the University of California San Francisco, she completed a VA Advanced Postdoctoral Fellowship in Health Services Research at the VA Puget Sound and VAPHS. She joined the VA medical staff at VAPHS and the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2019.

Research Areas
Health-Related Social Risk Factors for Older Adults
Elder Mistreatment Risk Detection
Development and Implementation of Elder Mistreatment Intervention and Prevention Programs