Efforts to improve health care for older adults in Rochester and the Finger Lakes region will be bolstered by a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
The funds, awarded to the Division of Geriatrics and Aging at the University of Rochester Medical Center, will support the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program in establishing an education center to enhance care and improve health outcomes for older adults.
The grant awards were announced July 13 at the White House Conference on Aging, which focuses on the national strategy for implementing programs and services to improve the care and quality of life of older adults.
URMC is one of only 44 organizations in the U.S. to be awarded funding for these projects that help schools design curricula that respond to the needs of aging adults, leading to better care, according to HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “These investments will promote access to quality health care for older adults by supporting their self-management, their families’ engagement in their care, and the dedicated caregivers who work with them.”
The three-year grant will create one of the Rochester region’s largest geriatric educational initiatives to date. It will serve a 17-county area of the Finger Lakes, meeting the needs of both urban and rural communities. The program will focus on integrating geriatrics with primary care and creating links with community-based supports and services.
“This is an unprecedented opportunity for our region to support the development of a health care workforce with the unique skills needed to care for an aging population,” said Thomas Caprio, MD, MPH, MSHPE, associate professor of Medicine at URMC and project director for the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program. “The recent White House Conference on aging underscored the importance of considering the aging population as well as enhancing supports to family caregivers. Our region is now positioned to be a national leader in disseminating the best practices in caring for older adults.”
Partners with URMC in this effort include the Finger Lakes Performing Provider System, Lifespan, Ithaca College, and the Rochester/Finger Lakes Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.