What is the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program?
The GWEP’s purpose is to improve health outcomes for older adults by developing a healthcare workforce that maximizes patient and family engagement, and by integrating geriatrics and primary care. The goals of this program are to: 1) educate and train the primary care and geriatrics workforce to care for older adults in integrated geriatrics and primary care models, and 2) partner with community-based organizations (CBOs) to address gaps in healthcare for older adults, promote Age-Friendly health systems and dementia-friendly communities, and address the social determinants of health.
GWEP awardees have the flexibility to identify education and training needs unique to their own communities. GWEPs and their partners include schools of medicine, schools of nursing, primary care practices, community-based organizations, clinical settings, academia programs, long term care centers, and emergency departments.
The 48 GWEP awardees are working towards:
- Developing partnerships between academia, primary care delivery sites/systems, and community-based organizations.
- Training geriatrics specialists, primary care providers, and health professions students, residents, fellows, and faculty to assess and address the primary care needs of older adults.
- Delivering community-based programming that provides patients, families, caregivers, and direct care workers with the knowledge and skills to improve health outcomes for older adults.
- Providing training to patients, families, caregivers, direct care workers, healthcare providers, and health professions students, residents, fellows, and faculty on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias and how cognitive and behavioral impairments impact medical care throughout the course of illness.
In November 2023, HRSA announced the GWEP Notice of Funding Opportunity (NoFO) for their next cohort. Up to 43 awards will be granted for five years, from July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2029. The application due date is February 26, 2024. The NoFO can be found here.
What Does the GWEP Coordinating Center Do?
The GWEP-CC supports GWEP awardees by bringing them together for national meetings, providing resources to be used towards clinical content products, memberships, and meeting travel, as well as offering other educational and networking opportunities including webinars and advocacy training.
Now in its third phase, the overarching objectives of the GWEP Coordinating Center are to:
- Support and celebrate the GWEPs in obtaining, maintaining, and moving up to Level-1 and Level-2 Age-Friendly Health System recognition.
- Support the GWEPs to meet HRSA’s goals as specified in the upcoming notice of funding opportunity, including accounting for HRSA input during the collaborative planning process that occurs on our monthly team planning calls.
- Meet the needs of the GWEPs as identified on annual evaluation and needs assessment (survey) and specific program evaluations.
- Advocate for Title VII Geriatrics Health Professions Programs (the GWEPs and the GACAs), with goal of reauthorization of programs in 2024 and maintaining at least level funding for federal fiscal years 2024 – 2027.
The GWEP Coordinating Center will support GWEPs through the following:
- Hosting continuous Age-Friendly Health Systems (AFHS) Action Communities and supporting the process in achieving Age-Friendly recognition– Learn more about past GWEP-CC AFHS Action Communities by clicking here.
- National opportunities for collaborative learning through bi-annual meetings, bi-monthly topical webinars and peer coaching calls, the exclusive GWEPOnline community, and with the Geriatrics Academic Career Awards (GACAs).
- Publication of written case studies authored by GWEPs and their partners to the GWEP-CC AFHS Case Study Collection with an accompanied audio-podcast.
- Matching GWEPs in a GWEP Director/New GWEP Director Mentoring Program.
- Connecting with state-based dementia public health efforts – Click here to access a recording of a GWEP-CC collaborative webinar with BOLD, “Partnering with GWEPs in Dementia Caregiving and Education: Opportunities for Public Health”.
- Providing access to AGS Licensed Content and Health in Aging Foundation (HiAF) public education resources, as well as additional AGS resources at no cost, including…
- Providing access to GWEPOnline’s library of resources and products, such as the:
- Distributing bi-weekly e-Newsletters.
- Providing annual educational resource stipend of $1K to each GWEP.
- Providing education and engagement in advocacy for Title VII funding in partnership with the National Association for Geriatric Education (NAGE) and Eldercare Workforce Alliance (EWA) through an Annual Appropriations Training Webinar and Virtual Hill Visit Program.
The GWEP-CC is led by a team of three co-Principal Investigators, Jan Busby-Whitehead, MD, CMD, AGSF, Ellen Flaherty, PhD, APRN, AGSF, and Jane F. Potter, MD, FACP, AGSF, and an Interprofessional Advisory Committee. The GWEP-CC is administered by the AGS.