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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation initiated its Aging and Quality of Life Program in 1996 with the goal to improve the quality of life for America’s elderly by preparing physicians to provide better care for frail older people (Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, 2010). The first university to receive this funding is closely affiliated with the Little Rock GRECC. Foundation grants funded the construction of the Donald W. Reynolds Center on Aging and provided operating and endowment support for the newly established Donald W. Reynolds Department of Geriatrics. In 2000, the Foundation undertook a 16-year initiative that funded 40 academic health centers to strengthen their training in geriatrics of medical students, residents, and practicing physicians.
In 2009, VA supported a successful Hartford Social Work program renewal grant application to the Gerontological Society of America for the Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholars Program. The VA contribution will support 6 of 27 additional social worker scholars over 5 years (John A. Hartford Foundation, 2010). Just recently, eight GRECCs have started working with a Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholars Program associated with the Greater LA GRECC to provide intensive geriatrics training for social workers in rural community-based outpatient clinics nationwide.
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- Clinical care
- Department of Veterans Affairs