GWEP + AAAs = Winning Partnership for Age-Friendly Care

Our DC office has been quieter than usual, with many of our staff out visiting…you! In the past two weeks, we've had staff presenting to AAA audiences in Arizona, Texas, Indiana, Virginia, Florida and Maryland. And when we weren't talking to AAAs, we were talking about them! 

At the American Geriatrics Society conference, Nora Super, our Chief, Programs and Services, was invited to discuss AAA collaborations with Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Programs (GWEPs).

In 2015, the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) established GWEP to educate the primary care workforce on how to care for older adults. HRSA awarded more than $35 million to 44 organizations in 29 states. Of these, 26 have partnered directly with AAAs, so Nora profiled several of these success stories and how they've benefited seniors, families, caregivers and health care professionals in San Francisco, Iowa and Texas, to name a few.

The positive outcomes from this meeting of the minds are tangible. For example, the NW GWEP significantly increased primary care referrals to the programs and services offered by their partner AAAs. The University of Arizona GWEP and n4a member Pima Council on Aging now co-facilitate a 12-week workshop to help community members struggling with hoarding, an underreported mental health condition that is a financial burden on city and state agencies.

Across the country, GWEPs and AAAs have joined forces to develop key geriatric educational training for interdisciplinary teams including social workers, case managers, physicians and nurses. This educational training enhances seniors' experience with health care professionals and has been shown to close the gap between community-based care and clinical care. n4a's members are motivated by the progress brought by these partnerships and we hope to continue facilitating the exchange of expertise through new partnerships.

There will be a workshop and invitation-only session for AAAs collaborating with GWEPs at n4a's 42nd Annual Conference and Tradeshow in Savannah, GA on July 31. If you have not registered for the conference yet, do so today