The Evolution of Academic-Based Geriatric Emergency Preparedness and Response (GEPR) Training for Medicine, Health, and Behavioral Sciences
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This chapter provides a historical perspective of the evolution of policy, funding, training, and resources to address the age-appropriate needs of older persons and the healthcare workforce that serves them in planning, response, and recovery from disasters. The collaborative efforts are described of six U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources Services Administration (USDHHS/HRSA) funded Geriatrics Education Centers that have made a significant impact on training for health professionals, the continuum of geriatric care services, and the ability to leverage financial support. Academic courses, faculty development, clinical and practice training, and continuing education programs are described. Focused programs on mental health, acute care settings, community-based long-term care and populations with functional, access, and unique needs are included so they can be replicated in other settings to enhance academic and community disaster planning and response. Strategies are recommended to support and advance the national goals of preparedness for older adults and their families from mainstream communities as well as from culturally and functionally diverse communities. Lessons learned, unmet needs, and evolving trends are included that have significant implications for future education and resource development for geriatric emergency preparedness and response.
KeywordsTraining Preparedness Geriatrics/gerontology Disaster Geriatric education
The authors extend their thanks to the tens of thousands of interprofessional participants of the hundreds of GEPR Collaborative training programs who took back the geriatrics preparedness knowledge and skills that they learned, to their institutions, communities, families, and friends to help older adults become ready and to increase and strengthen their capacity for resilience in a disaster. A special thanks to: the National Association of Geriatric Education Centers (NAGEC, http://www.nagec.org) for taking decisive action when the elder community needed a champion; colleagues who gave their thumbs up for undertaking this chapter; and the staff at the GEC member of the GEPR Collaborative who made time to support this writing project. Finally, sincere appreciation goes to Dr. Charles Cefalu for recognizing the value of the HRSA funded GECs’ leadership role and endeavors for national geriatrics preparedness and secure and healthy diverse populations of older adults and their families in the United States.
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