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Ethan Cumbler, MD, FHM, FACP

ACE Director

Cumbler, Ethan.jpg
Ethan Cumbler, MD
​The ACE service specializes in caring for the unique needs of older patients when they are admitted to the hospital in a patient and family-centered approach with exquisite focus on preserving autonomy and dignity, optimizing independence, and providing exceptional medical care for commonly seen geriatric medical conditions.  In addition, The ACE service provides a dynamic educational environment for the next generation of clinicians to gain expertise in the interdisciplinary care of complex geriatric syndromes and to identify ways in which hospital 
systems can be improved to benefit older patients.

The service is comprised of two inpatient teams on the 12th floor of the University of Colorado Hospital which is a dedicated ACE unit and whose staff is specifically trained in caring for older hospitalized patients. Each team consists of a physician attending faculty member, Internal Medicine resident and Internal Medicine intern and medical student/s.  At the heart of the ACE services lies the interdisciplinary team model which includes daily face to face meetings of the entire medical team to coordinate and discuss the plan of care.  This includes the physicians, nurses, therapists, pharmacist, nutritionist, social worker, case manager, and patient liaison.  These meetings allow for individualization of care based on an understanding of the unique physiology, pharmacodynamics, and psychosocial issues of patients over age 70.  Learners on the ACE service are taught how to recognize and treat patients at the intersection of physiologic vulnerability and an acute illness.  An overriding goal is emphasize the fundamental concept of balance in the medical care of the older patient with a focus on quality of life and on care tailored to the patient’s goals and priorities

The ACE mission is to continually revolutionize care for hospitalized older patients by providing exceptional evidenced based clinical care, academic innovation that improves the way our health care system cares for older patients, and educating the next generation of clinicians with specific emphasis in the interdisciplinary care of complex geriatric syndromes.
The vision of ACE is:

1. To embody a high-functioning interdisciplinary care service integrating patients and caregivers into care decisions

2. Develop models of care for older hospitalized patients emulated by other medical centers.

3. Perform research on how to improve care of this population of patients to advance the field of hospital medicine. 

UCH seeks to represent a center of excellence for hospital care for geriatric patients.

Examples of recent projects on the ACE Unit include:

Improving communication between physicians and patients – A multifaceted QI project.
Enhancing communication between hospital physicians and primary care physicians.
Improving efficiency and patient/family experience with transition to Skilled Nursing Facilities after hospitalization. 
Reducing unnecessary antibiotic exposure for patients with asymptomatic bacteria in the urine.
Improving safety of prescribing and follow-up for patients on anticoagulants.
For more information about the ACE Service, please contact​. ​