Education partnerships between GRECCs and other VA organizations, Non-VA governmental agencies, academic medical centers, and centers of excellence.

Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center, St. Louis VA Medical Center, Missouri 63125, USA.
Gerontology & geriatrics education 02/2011; 32(1):22-37. DOI: 10.1080/02701960.2011.550212
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Gerontology and geriatrics are interdisciplinary professions. The quality of the care and services provided by the members of these professions depends upon the strength and integrity of the partnerships between the professionals working together. This article summarizes the partnerships created by the Department of Veterans Affairs Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Centers. This myriad of partners has formed the basis of successful programming to improve clinical care, to expand research projects, and most specifically, to produce educational opportunities in geriatrics and gerontology that have the potential to improve the quality of life for older Veterans.

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    ABSTRACT: The scope of geriatrics-related educational offerings in large health care systems, in either the target audiences or topics covered, has not previously been analyzed or reported in the professional literature. The authors reviewed the geriatrics-related educational sessions that were provided between 1999 and 2009 by the Geriatrics Research, Education, and Clinical Centers (GRECCs) and the Employee Education System (EES) of the United States' largest integrated health care system, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Using records of attendance and content at local training events and regional and national conferences, the authors estimated the number of attendees in different health disciplines and the number and types of lectures. During the past 11 years, GRECCs and EES provided geriatric-related educational sessions to about one third of a million attendees, most of them nurses and physicians, in about 15,000 lectures. About three-fourths of the educational events occurred through local, rather than regional or national, events. Lectures covered a wide variety of topics, with a particular emphasis on dementia and other mental health topics. A comparison of the number of potential learners in VHA with the number of geriatric-related educational presentations over this time period yields an average of one offering per VHA provider every 3 years; most providers likely never received any. Since 1999 the GRECCs have been the dominant source for geriatrics-related education for VHA health professionals, but given that about one half of VHA patients are older than age 65, there is still a large unmet need to provide geriatric education to VHA providers. Examination of the GRECC resources that have been put to use in the past to develop and deliver the face-to-face education experiences described sheds light on the magnitude of resources that might be required to address remaining unmet need in the future, and supports the prediction that there will need to be increasing reliance on distance learning and other alternatives to face-to-face educational modalities.
    Gerontology & geriatrics education 02/2011; 32(1):38-53. DOI:10.1080/02701960.2011.550214
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    ABSTRACT: The Geriatric Scholar Program (GSP) is a Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) workforce development program to infuse geriatrics competencies in primary care. This multimodal educational program is targeted to primary care providers and ancillary staff who work in VA's rural clinics. GSP consists of didactic education and training in geriatrics and gerontology and in quality improvement (QI) and support to implement a local QI project; in addition, elective options include webinars, audio conferences, clinical practica, and mentoring. The program is effective in improving core competencies in geriatrics and in improving clinical care for older Veterans who receive health care in rural clinics.
    Gerontology & geriatrics education 04/2012; 33(2):133-51. DOI:10.1080/02701960.2012.661812
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    ABSTRACT: Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Centers (GRECCs) originated in 1975 in response to the rapidly aging veteran population. Since its inception, the GRECC program has made major contributions to the advancement of aging research, geriatric training, and clinical care within and outside the VA. GRECCs were created to conduct translational research to enhance the clinical care of future aging generations. GRECC training programs also provide leadership in educating healthcare providers about the special needs of older persons. GRECC programs are also instrumental in establishing robust clinical geriatric and aging research programs at their affiliated university schools of medicine. This report identifies how the GRECC program has successfully adapted to changes that have occurred in VA since 1994, when the program's influence on U.S. geriatrics was last reported, focusing on its effect on advancing clinical geriatrics in the last 10 years. This evidence supports the conclusion that, after more than 30 years, the GRECC program remains a vibrant "jewel in the crown of the VA" and is poised to make contributions to aging research and clinical geriatrics well into the future.
    Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 06/2012; 60(7):1347-56. DOI:10.1111/j.1532-5415.2012.04004.x · 4.22 Impact Factor