Rebecca S. Boxer MD, MS

Medical Director of Clinical Trials, Senior Clinician Investigator

Rebecca S. Boxer MD, MS, is the Medical Director of Clinical Trials and a Senior Clinical Investigator in the Institute for Health Research. She joined the department in November of 2018.

Dr. Boxer earned her medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania and completed residency training in Primary Care Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Subsequently, she completed a fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at the University of Connecticut followed by a Fellowship in Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplantation at Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Boxer then obtained a Masters of Clinical Investigation at Case Western Reserve University.

Dr. Boxer is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the University of Colorado and the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine. Areas of research include heart failure disease management, social determinants of health, physical activity, sedentary behavior, and caregiving for older adults. Dr. Boxer has published in numerous journals and continues to provide research and career mentorship to many students and trainees. She continues to care for older adults within the Colorado Permanente Medical Group (CPMG).

Selected Research:

  • Aligning Medications with what Matters Most
  • People living with dementia (PLWD) use more medications and have more complex medication regimens than people without dementia. Medication regimen complexity is a major source of burden for family caregivers of PLWD and has been associated with numerous adverse outcomes. Therefore, the aim of this project is to optimize prescribing and reduce medication regimen complexity by focusing on what matters most to the patient and caregiver.

    • Funder: National Institute on Aging
    • Award End Date: 04/30/2021

  • Changing Outcomes for Caregivers and Persons Living with Dementia
  • Caregivers of a spouse living with dementia are known to delay seeking medical attention due to concerns of leaving their spouse alone. In addition, our data shows that the hospitalization of a caregiver significantly increases the risk of the person living with dementia being hospitalized within 90 days. This can result in the “breakup” of the dyad with downstream effects such as worsening of dementia and institutionalization. This project aims to guide a spousal caregiver to develop an emergency plan using a toolkit for managing their own unexpected health emergency. The Emergency Plan Toolkit, developed through stakeholder engagement, will guide a caregiver through the decisions they need to make to 1) develop an actionable plan for their spouse living with dementia in the case that the caregiver has an unexpected health emergency, 2) identify others to help fill their role while the caregiver is in the hospital or ill, and 3) to let others know about the care plan and what steps need to be taken. The developed Emergency Plan Toolkit will be tested in a small pilot trial in the second year of the project to better understand if the Toolkit helps reduce poor outcomes for caregivers and their spouses living with dementia.

    • Funder: Alzheimer’s Association
    • Award End Date: 09/30/2023