Developing The Workforce The Country Needs Through Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Programs

Developing a health care workforce prepared for the complex needs of older adults—who have the highest use of health care services and increasingly live with chronic conditions and disabilities—requires engaging community-based providers and caregivers who attend to social and environmental health determinants. Yet, the primary care workforce is ill-equipped to meet the demands of a growing geriatric population. In 2015, the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) provided $35.7 million to 44 academic medical centers in the US with a goal of transforming geriatric education and training. We explore how the University of North Texas Health Science Center’s (UNTHSC’s) GWEP expanded partnerships with the local Area Agency on Aging, the county hospital, and a private university to promote collaborative approaches to geriatrics care and training of the primary care workforce for older adults.

Improving Primary Care For Older Adults With Serious Illnesses
Current US health policy targeted at older adults prioritizes integrated systems of care across health and social services, health promotion and disease prevention services over institutionalized care, and caregiver support programs, thereby creating a need for broader concepts of the health care team.

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