U of L gets grant for care for seniors, Alzheimer’s and Hispanics in Barren, Hart, Metcalfe, Bullitt, Shelby and Henry counties

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded the Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging at the University of Louisville $2.55 million to create the Kentucky Rural & Underserved Geriatric Interprofessional Program.

The three-year initiative will include partnering organizations from six rural counties: Hart, Metcalfe and Barren in Southern Kentucky; and Bullitt, Henry and Shelby, counties in the Louisville metropolitan area with large rural populations.

The project will addresses the shortage of workers in geriatric and primary care, the need to train health-care providers for culturally appropriate services to Kentucky’s growing Hispanic population, the need to decrease the chronic disease burden in rural Kentucky, the lack of supportive environments to promote health among seniors, and the need for supportive education and resources in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

The institute, created in 2014, will develop an interprofessional education center for geriatric education for students and professionals in medicine, nursing, social work, dentistry, pharmacy, community health and law; help primary care sites deliver integrated patient-centered geriatric primary care; and provide training and community engagement resources for Alzheimer’s and other dementias in the six counties.

“This project is unique in its integration of community health teams and mental health specialists within geriatric primary care delivery systems,” Institute Executive Director Anna Faul said in a press release. “We are going to use a systemic approach of collaborative care and develop an inter-agency consortium that strengthen the links among related services for older adults.”

Partner sites in the first year will be Glasgow Family Medicine Clinic serving Barren, Hart and Metcalfe counties; Shelby Family Medicine and Mercy Medical in Shelby County; Kentucky River Medical Partners in Henry County and UofL Geriatrics Home Care Practice in Bullitt County.

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