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Greg A. Sachs, MD

Greg A. Sachs, MD

  • Research Scientist, Indiana University Center for Aging Research at Regenstrief Institute
  • Division Chief, General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Indiana University
  • Professor of Health Services Research, Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine 
  • Professor of Medicine and Neurology, Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Co-Director, Research in Palliative and End-of-Life Communication and Training (RESPECT) Center, Indiana University 

Dr. Greg Sachs’s research and writing focus on ethical issues in dementia care, including palliative care for people with dementia. Dr. Sachs has been the recipient of grants from the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the leading foundations funding research in geriatrics, ethics, or palliative care. He has published more than 140 articles in peer- reviewed journals, with one of his most notable papers being “Dying from Dementia,” which appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Dr. Sachs has received the Outstanding Scientific Achievement for Clinical Investigation Award from the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) and was a medical honoree of the national Alzheimer’s Association. He has taken on leadership roles in several organizations, including serving on the national board of directors of AGS, the editorial board of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, and chairing both the Academic Task Force and Leadership and Workforce Strategic Coordinating Committee for the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

Board certified in internal medicine, geriatrics, and palliative care, Dr. Sachs also has been named regularly as a “Top Doctor” by Indianapolis Monthly having previously been named a “Top Doctor” in Chicago, and a U.S. “Top Doctor” for more than 20 consecutive years.

“People with dementia and their family caregivers remain one of the groups in greatest need of better health care; care that attends to the unique challenges that this illness causes for patients, families, and communities.”

Highlighted Publications

Brauner DJ, Muir JC, Sachs GA. Treating nondementia illnesses in patients with dementia. JAMA. 2000 Jun 28;283(24):3230-5. doi: 10.1001/jama.283.24.3230. PMID: 10866871.

Sachs GA. A piece of my mind: sometimes dying still stings. JAMA. 2000 Nov 15;284(19):2423. doi: 10.1001/jama.284.19.2423. PMID: 11074757.

Sachs GA, Shega JW, Cox-Hayley D. Barriers to excellent end-of-life care for patients with dementia. J Gen Intern Med. 2004 Oct;19(10):1057-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1497.2004.30329.x. PMID: 15482560; PMCID: PMC1492583.

Shega JW, Hougham GW, Stocking CB, Cox-Hayley D, Sachs GA. Pain in community-dwelling persons with dementia: frequency, intensity, and congruence between patient and caregiver report. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2004 Dec;28(6):585-92. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2004.04.012. PMID: 15589083.

Holmes HM, Hayley DC, Alexander GC, Sachs GA. Reconsidering medication appropriateness for patients late in life. Arch Intern Med. 2006 Mar 27;166(6):605-9. doi: 10.1001/archinte.166.6.605. PMID: 16567597.

Shega JW, Hougham GW, Stocking CB, Cox-Hayley D, Sachs GA. Patients dying with dementia: experience at the end of life and impact of hospice care. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2008 May;35(5):499-507. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2007.06.011. PubMed PMID: 18261878.

Sachs GA. Dying from dementia. N Engl J Med. 2009 Oct 15;361(16):1595-6. doi: 10.1056/NEJMe0905988. PubMed PMID: 19828537.

Sachs GA, Carter R, Holtz LR, Smith F, Stump TE, Tu W, Callahan CM. Cognitive impairment: an independent predictor of excess mortality: a cohort study. Ann Intern Med. 2011 Sep 6;155(5):300-8. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-155-5-201109060-00007. PubMed PMID: 21893623.

Torke AM, Schwartz PH, Holtz LR, Montz K, Sachs GA. Caregiver perspectives on cancer screening for persons with dementia: “why put them through it?” J Am Geriatr Soc. 2013 Aug;61(8):1309-14. doi: 10.1111/jgs.12359. PubMed PMID: 23865814; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3744085.

Unroe KT, Nazir A, Holtz LR, Maurer H, Miller E, Hickman SE, La Mantia MA, Bennett M, Arling G, Sachs GA. The Optimizing Patient Transfers, Impacting Medical Quality, and Improving Symptoms: Transforming Institutional Care approach:  preliminary data from the implementation of a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services nursing facility demonstration project. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2015 Jan;63(1):165-9. doi: 10.1111/jgs.13141. PubMed PMID: 25537789

Hickman SE, Unroe KT, Ersek M, Stump TE, Tu W, Ott M, Sachs GA. Systematic Advance Care Planning and Potentially Avoidable Hospitalizations of Nursing Facility Residents. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2019 Aug;67(8):1649-1655. doi: 10.1111/jgs.15927. PMID: 31012971

Kroenke K, Bair MJ, Sachs GA. Continuing Research During a Crisis. J Gen Intern Med. 2021 Apr;36(4):1086-1088. doi: 10.1007/s11606-021-06636-5. Epub 2021 Feb 8. PMID: 33559063

Current Research Projects:

Palliative Care for Persons with Late-stage Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias and their Caregivers: a Randomized Clinical Trial
(NIH-NIA, R01 AG065394-01A1, PI: Hanson) (2020-2025)
This is a RCT comparing a dementia-specific palliative care consult and transitional care assistance versus usual care for hospitalized patients with moderate to severe dementia. Role: Site PI and Co-investigator