A Geriatric Home Visit Initiative to Foster Interprofessional Collaborative Behavioral Health Care for Vulnerable Older Adults

Dates: 10/1/2016 - 9/30/2018

National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education

Principal Investigator: Tobie Hittle Olsan, PhD, RN, CNL, FNAP

Older adults in the Rochester and surrounding Finger Lakes area report more “poor mental health” days than their peers across New York State, a fact compounded by a shortage of behavioral health providers in the region. The focus of this interprofessional collaborative program is to better address seniors’ complex health needs with an academic-community partnership between UR School of Nursing (SON), UR School of Medicine and Dentistry (SMD), SUNY Brockport, and Lifespan, a community agency serving older adults.

SON nurse practitioner (NP) students and SMD medical (MD) students are paired with Lifespan social workers to provide in-home behavioral screenings for older adults and findings from the integrated assessment are shared with older adult clients’ primary care providers.  The project broadens access to behavioral health assessments among vulnerable older adults while building a workforce of health professionals better able to identify and collaboratively manage the population’s health needs using new models of care delivery.

Components of the community-based learning experience and collaboration include: 1) didactic online team learning (re: geriatric behavioral health, home visiting, interprofessional teamwork); 2) home visit and behavioral health assessment by interprofessional teams; 3) team huddle and discussion post-visit, with  NP/MD student collaborating to writing-up a visit summary; 4) team members follow-up to assess effectiveness of recommendations and challenges; and 5) team/faculty educational debrief. 

The interprofessional project team members are: Tobie Olsan, PhD, RN, PI;  Craig Sellers, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, GNP-BC; Laura Cardella, MD; Thomas V. Caprio, MD, MPH, MSHPE; Ann Marie Cook, MPA Christine Peck, LMSW; Jason Dauenhauer, PhD, MSW; David Lambert, MD; Sarah Peyre, EdD; Madeline Schmitt, PhD, RN; Joseph Gomulak-Cavicchio, MSEd; Melissa Lord, BA.

Funding for this Accelerating Interprofessional Community-Based Education and Practice program was made possible by the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The John A. Hartford Foundation, the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

A complete list of grant recipients and additional information about the Accelerating program can be found on the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education website, www.nexusipe.org.