HRSA Grant to Further Iowa’s Geriatric Outreach
Associate Professor Marianne Smith, PhD, RN, FAAN, was recently informed that Iowa’s Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) grant has been funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
Through this funding, Dr. Smith will be leading a highly collaborative project that focuses on training and practice change to advance use of geriatric best practices using advocacy-driven social change approaches. To achieve this, the GWEP team will be utilizing the ‘4Ms’ of an Age-Friendly Health System (AFHS), an initiative of the John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. The 4Ms framework of an AFHS are centered on What Matters, Mobility, Mentation, and Medication.
“Our activities will embrace the 4Ms to best assure that what matters to older adults is the focus in care, and that bundled best practice interventions are used to improve health and function,” explained Dr. Smith. “Our focus on Mentation flows logically to advance Dementia Friendly Community principles that support older people to live, age, and thrive at home and in their own societies.”
GWEP’s reciprocal working relationship with the Csomay Center for Gerontological Excellence, and the program’s interdisciplinary partnerships with UI Colleges of Medicine, Liberal Arts & Sciences, Nursing, and Pharmacy, as well as external agencies, including Des Moines University, Area Agencies on Aging, Telligen, the Eastern Kansas VA, and Western Home Communities, are essential to the team’s statewide and regional impact on changing practices to assure older Iowans receive the best care possible.
Through this five-year, $3.7 million HRSA grant, the team will address GWEP initiatives that are intended to improve health outcomes for older adults by developing a health care workforce that maximizes patient and family engagement, and by integrating geriatrics and primary care.
Specific objectives include: Building partnerships to educate and train workforces in academia, primary care sites/systems, and community-based organizations; training current and future providers to assess and address the primary care needs of older adults; and transforming clinical training environments to become an Age-Friendly Health System.
“We are very excited to work with this highly committed group of geriatric care leaders, and to engage with older adults and their families as essential members of the care team,” said Dr. Smith. “This collaboration offers new opportunities for expansion and will strongly position our engagement in statewide aging initiatives.”
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