Through the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP), USF Health and Suncoast Community Health Centers, Inc. (SCHC), a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), will embed geriatrics into a primary care clinic located in Dover, Florida. The GWEP model of a geriatric primary care FQHC will foster excellence in clinical care meeting the needs of vulnerable older adults and families. We will build the geriatric workforce capacity within SCHC by training clinicians to provide age friendly primary care services for underserved patients and provide evidence of a sustainable health care model to meet the needs of older adults. Additionally, through the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute, we will provide direct services to another 1,156 patients and offer training opportunities to more health professions students, and outreach services to the region and state.
There is an urgent need to build the geriatric workforce of the third most populous state with the highest percentage of elders (17.4% of Floridians over 65 years of age compared to 14% nationally). This grant will allow us to integrate geriatrics and gerontology into primary care teams across the state to help meet this growing demand for skilled providers to Florida’s aging population. Through this grant, USF will create the required, comprehensive and coordinated curriculum that will be used to train 2,096 medical, nursing, pharmacy and physical therapy students to instill and assess core geriatric knowledge as part of basic interprofessional primary care coursework. GWEP will engage internal medicine residents and nurse practitioner students to participate in geriatric clinical activities at SCHC’s Tom Lee CHC in Dover to develop interprofessional leadership, clinical, and systems change skills to ensure the preparedness of a competent geriatric workforce.