Congratulations to Margaret Sanders, M.A., LSW, associate director of the Office of Geriatrics, director of the Office of Palliative Care, and an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, and to her colleagues at NEOMED! A $3.7 million federal award from the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program has been awarded to NEOMED and a group of partner institutions to improve the knowledge and skills of primary care workers who serve the geriatric population.
Sanders is the principal investigator on the project.
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.
Sanders 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.
NEOMED and its partners will implement an experiential training program that includes clinical, community- based experiences and technology – i.e., Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes)— that uses didactics, simulation and experiential training and mentoring through videoconferencing to train primary care providers, faculty, students and patients, families and caregivers, who will earn a Geriatric Resource Certificate (GRC).
Ongoing access to expertise
"Those who complete the GRC will have access to an established integrated Care Management Interprofessional Team (CMIT) for continued access to geriatric mentoring for complex cases and access to providers experienced in addressing social determinants of health," according to the project's co-director, Jennifer Drost, D.O., of Summa Health and assistant professor of family and community medicine and internal medicine at NEOMED.
The partners also plan to develop, implement and expand a program to promote dementia-friendly communities across the state of Ohio through the state's Area Agencies on Aging, the Alzheimer's Association and the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging.
Sanders says she hopes that the outcomes of the project will lay the foundation for a Center of Excellence in Geriatrics at NEOMED.