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$3.7 Million Federal Award Paves Path to Improve Geriatric Care

A $3.7 million federal award from the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program to Northeast Ohio Medical University and partner institutions will be used to improve the knowledge and skills of primary care workers who serve the geriatric population.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the five-year grant to NEOMED and collaborators across a range of academic, health care and social services institutions and agencies across the region.

Over the next five years, NEOMED and its partners will use online didactics, simulation and experiential training to improve knowledge of the primary care needs of older adults, including those with Alzheimer’s and related dementias.

Margaret Sanders, M.A., L.S.W., the project’s principal investigator and an assistant professor at NEOMED, says, “We’re enhancing the geriatrics knowledge of all communities ― primary care and community-based care providers; faculty, students, residents and fellows; as well as patients, their families and their caregivers.”

Addressing social determinants of health for an older population

“As social determinants of health have shown to be the primary drivers of outcomes in older adults, the grant will also focus on medication management, accessing resources, completing advance care planning, respite, and navigating issues regarding caregiving,” says Susan Hazelett, M.S., the project’s manager and a registered nurse at Summa Health.

Sanders, who serves as the associate director in NEOMED’s Department of Family and Community Medicine Office of Geriatrics, hopes that the outcomes of the project will lay the foundation for a Center of Excellence in Geriatrics at NEOMED.