doctor talking with patient

The USF Geriatric Workforce Development Program (GWEP) is a collaboration among the University of South Florida, Health (USFH), Byrd Alzheimer's Institute (BAI), Senior Connection Center (SCC) and Suncoast Community Health Center (SCHC) Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) to embed geriatric primary care and related services into the FQHC, facilitate older adults and their caregivers access to home and community-based support, and embed geriatric content into the training curricula of USF Health residents and students.

To address the issue of building a resilient, trained geriatric workforce, curricula in the colleges of medicine (undergraduate and internal medicine residents), nursing (BSN, ARNP and DNP students), pharmacy, school of physical therapy and team-based interprofessional education modules have been systematically mapped and evaluated in an effort to identify existing content that meets the geriatric competencies outlined for entry-level health care providers. Where gaps or deficiencies in the instruction of these competencies were found, evidence-based content and modules from sources such as POGO-e and PCOA has been identified (and in some cases developed) for inclusion in the curriculum of specific course offerings.

Transformation of an FQHC clinical practice transitioned to a new site in Spring 2017. Internal medicine residents and ARNP students were placed together at the GWEP Clinic sites in a geriatric clinical team led by USF IM faculty using a geriatric-specific IPE syllabus. Undergraduate BSN students also complete rotations at the GWEP Clinic sites, developing patient education materials. The GWEP Clinic operates 2.5 days/week seeing 8-10 elder patients/day. As with its predecessor, SCHC has identified baseline clinical and quality measures which are being monitored for improvement with PDSA projects in place for three priority areas: referrals, advanced directives and tobacco use. SCHC has provided access to patient records, exam space, and clinical workstations for the GWEP learners & personnel. SCHC staff are being provided with geriatric education and opportunities to participate in lectures and grand rounds.

The referral process implemented at the initial FQHC to increase access to needed home & community-based supports and services for older adult patients and their caregivers has been enhanced to obtain outcomes. To date, the process has resulted in 490 referrals and provision of information on long-term care, financial assistance and psychosocial services to 286 elders. Subsequent follow-up with 131 of these elders has shown that over a third (33.6%) of the patients received at least one needed service (e.g., transportation, long term care, financial assistance).

Development of geriatric specific content, including master class presentations and activities, is being undertaken with USF health professions educators. Lectures, grand rounds, and interprofessional training events on geriatric topics including transitions of care, multidimensional assessment, fall risk assessment, advance directives/DNRO guidelines have been attended by over 400 students, residents, faculty and primary care providers. An evaluation is underway to assess faculty and provider knowledge of geriatric concepts and student attitudes toward geriatrics in order to develop appropriate training materials for professional development. Satisfaction surveys have been developed to assess the training events. Information on clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s Disease, age-related hearing loss and other conditions is being disseminated to SCC, SCHC, BAI and other interested parties to share with elder patients.

Project Title: Applicant: The Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Project
Org. Name: Address: USF College of Nursing University of South Florida
12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., MDC22 Tampa, FL 33612
Principal Investigator:
Kathryn Hyer, Ph.D. MPP
Total Amount Requested: $2,439,852
Funding Preference: Yes - Section 805 of PHS Act (Medically Underserved)