Duke awarded $2.5 million grant for geriatric workforce enhancement

Friday, July 17, 2015
Holding an aged hand

Mitchell Heflin, MD, associate professor of medicine (Geriatrics) and Eleanor McConnell, RN, PhD, associate professor of nursing, have received a 2015 Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program grant from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

The grants were announced by President Obama at the 2015 White House Conference on Aging earlier this week. More than $35 million in awards will go to 44 organizations in 29 states to support quality care for older Americans through the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program

The Duke award, for $2.5 million over 3 years, will support the Duke Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program: Communities Caring for Seniors, a program to improve community based care for older adults.

"Communities Caring for Seniors aims to strengthen capacity to provide patient-centered coordinated healthcare for seniors locally, regionally, and nationally," said Dr. Heflin.

The program will bring together geriatrics training programs, primary care practices, community agencies and healthcare organizations to implement a new model of workforce development that strives to improve outcomes for older adults.

Triangle J Area Agency on Aging, Senior PharmAssist, and Duke Connected Care will partner with Heflin and McConnell.

Objectives of the program are:

  • Collaborate with community agencies to create a best practices compendium for the care of older adults residing in the community, and create a coordinated and sustainable model for linking primary care practices to geriatric assessment through community-based interagency care teams.
  • Expand expertise in geriatrics through advanced training in geriatric medicine and psychiatry and advanced practice nursing.
  • Develop and implement innovative models for training clinical teams in community-based settings on best practices for care of older adults and their caregivers.
  • Engage and empower seniors and caregivers in teaching and learning about geriatric care resources, communication, and advocacy.

"This is an exciting grant, and I look forward to the many dividends this program will bring to the field of geriatrics," said Mary Klotman, MD, chair of the Department of Medicine.

In conjunction with the White House Conference on Aging, the administration launched Aging.gov to provide information on resources and topics to help older adults live independent and fulfilling lives.