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Research Projects


Finger Lakes Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program

Dates: 7/1/2015 - 6/30/2019

Health Resources & Services Administration

Role: Kathi Heffner, PhD : Project Evaluator
Principal Investigator: Thomas Caprio

The University of Rochester proposes to establish the Finger Lakes Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (FLGWEP) with the goal of developing a competent health care workforce which maximizes patient and family engagement and improves health outcomes for older adults by integrating geriatrics with primary care. The FLGWEP concentrates its efforts in a well-defined 17 county area of the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York State and serves primarily rural communities and the greater metropolitan region of Rochester, New York. To accomplish the FLGWEP goals, formal collaborations are established with: (1) the Finger Lakes Performing Provider System, a comprehensive network of over 600 organizations and 3000 health care providers; (2) Lifespan, the largest regional aging services network provider and
community resource center for older adults and caregivers; (3) Ithaca College Gerontology Institute, with expertise in providing training to rural primary care providers and community stakeholders; (4) the Division of Geriatrics & Aging at the University of Rochester with expertise in geriatrics/gerontology, educational innovation, curricular design, quality improvement, and program evaluation. Additionally, the FLGWEP proposes to meet education and training needs related to Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementia (ADRD) for families, caregivers, direct care workers, health professions students, faculty, and providers. To accomplish this outreach related to ADRD, a formal collaboration is established with the Alzheimer's Association Rochester/Finger Lakes Chapter and the Finger Lakes Alzheimer’s Disease Assistance Center (FLADAC). The educational outreach to health care providers through the FLGWEP (particularly in rural regions) will be accomplished through faculty development programs, regional continuing education seminars, newsletters focusing on geriatric syndromes, online learning systems for distance education, and through the establishment of TeleECHO® Clinics that connects geriatric specialists with primary care practices using videoconferencing technology. The development of family/caregiver supports and services will be accomplished through engagement with community stakeholders to establish training programs, through compilation of community resources listings, and through the establishment of a unique “Caregiver Institute” that will serve as the single point of entry for  information, education, assistance, and referral for community esources. Finally, both process and outcome measures will be utilized to assess programmatic success and to assist in quality improvement for target areas. The evaluative plan of the FLGWEP is centered upon objectives from the Healthy People 2020 related to the care Older Adults, unmet needs of caregivers, and health outcomes for those with ADRD. Impact of training efforts will also be assessed based upon regional health status indicators (“report cards”) and an overarching regional health system goal to reduce the hospitalization and re-hospitalization of the highest risk older adults with functional impairment.

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