In 2019, the University of Southern Indiana’s College of Nursing and Health Professions received a $3.7 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to implement the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP).
The purpose of this project is to improve health outcomes for older adults in underserved communities of southwest Indiana by developing a workforce to maximize patient and family engagement and integrate geriatrics into primary care. To implement the five-year project, USI is collaborating with three Deaconess primary care clinics, the Deaconess Family Medicine Residency Program and two Area Agencies on Aging (SWIRCA & More and Generations).
The project is under the direction of Dr. Katie Ehlman, Professor of Gerontology and Director of the USI Center for Healthy Aging and Wellness.
The GWEP has allowed a unique model of care in which Area Agency on Aging case managers are embedded in three Deaconess primary care clinics, connecting primary care with social service sectors in order to improve health outcomes for elders. These care managers are in a position to offer education and resources for both patients and health care providers in the areas of dementia care, opioid misuse, advance care planning, diabetes management, fall risk assessment and more.