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Enhancing Long-Term Care for Older Adults: An Exploration of Interagency Collaboration within Geriatric Education Centers

Author: CHANNING R. FORD, JENNIFER HENDERSON, and DONNA MILAM HANDLEY
Published in JHHSA, Vol. 32 No. 4

This article examines how the study of geriatric education provides a collaborative environment in which nonprofits can work together and with government in order to effectively manage the challenges in caring for older adults in the coming decades. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) provides federal funding to implement and maintain Geriatric Education Centers (GECs) in health care facilities across the country. These GECs have recently been directed to focus on strengthening the availability and quality of comprehensive interdisciplinary training for health care professionals that work with older adults. The funding has come at a time when the nation is faced with both a shortage of health care professionals and a dramatic increase in the older adult population in future years. Due to the critical relevance of GEC offerings for health care and the baby boomer generation, this study provides an exploratory evaluation of programs offered by GECs and the degree of both interdisciplinary and interagency collaboration between GECs, community nonprofits, and government partners in the provision of geriatric health care training. Findings suggest the interdisciplinary and interagency partnerships do exist but are vulnerable to conflicts especially between GECs.

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