Rowan University Receives $2.55 Million Federal Grant to Enhance Geriatric Health

STRATFORD - Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine has received a three-year, $2.55 million grant from the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) to establish the New Jersey Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (NJGWEP).
An innovative coalition of several area organizations, Rowan’s NJGWEP is the only New Jersey-based project – and one of 44 nationally – that will share the $35.7 million awarded by HRSA this fiscal year. The HRSA awards will support programs in 29 states that prepare the health care workforce to respond to the needs of older Americans.
“The NJGWEP reflects the sort of innovative thinking that has made our School of Osteopathic Medicine one of America’s most recognized in the important field of geriatric medical education,” said Dr. Ali Houshmand, President of Rowan University. “This program not only answers an immediate need, but prepares our health care workforce for the near future, when one out of every five Americans will be aged 65 years or older.”
Dr. Anita Chopra, the director of Rowan’s NJGWEP and of the New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging (NJISA) at the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, said the NJGWEP will be a “boots on the ground” project.
“Working with our partner organizations, we will use the team-based practices we have pioneered at the NJISA to integrate geriatrics into primary care, create community-based programs to support patients and families, and help transform health care delivery systems to improve the quality of care for older individuals,” she explains.
According to Dr. Thomas Cavalieri, dean of the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, the grant will be used to train and equip health care providers statewide.
“This program will go a long way to improve the quality of life for seniors in the state of New Jersey,” Dr. Cavalieri said.
A major goal of Rowan’s NJGWEP will be to develop and implement inter-professional education and training programs that focus on the complex health and psychosocial needs of older patients, their families, and caregivers by:

  • Integrating geriatrics into primary care practices in two area Accountable Care Organizations

  • Providing training on dementia, delirium, and depression throughout New Jersey to health care professionals, home health aides, and family caregivers so that they can assess and address the needs of older adults

  • Creating community-based programs for patients, families and caregivers to improve health outcomes in older adult populations

  • Delivering training statewide on early detection of dementia among intellectually and developmentally disabled adults

Partner organizations in the project include Lourdes Health System, BAYADA Home Health, New Jersey Division of Aging, Camden Area Health Education Center, Fair Share Housing/Northgate II, Camden Coalition of Health Providers, Rutgers School of Nursing – Camden, and the Statewide Clinical Outreach Program for the Elderly.

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