August 16, 2017

From the Director’s Desk

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By Ronni Chernoff, PhD, FAND, FASPEN, AGEC/GWEP Director

The Arkansas Geriatric Education Collaborative (AGEC), a Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program, has entered the third year of a 3-year grant. As we look forward to a new grant cycle at the end of 2017, we are making some changes to position us for new funding for the future. There will be some inevitable changes. The AGEC Director (Dr. Ronni Chernoff) will be retiring in June, 2018. To assure a smooth transition she has handed the reign to the Associate Director (Dr. Robin McAtee) effective July 1, 2017. Dr. McAtee is a PhD-prepared nurse who has had a notable career as a nurse, hospital administrator, and educator. She has worked on the Arkansas Aging Initiative as Associate Director and is responsible for replicating the care-giver training grant at the rural centers on aging. She has worked on the AGEC activities since 2010, and has worked very closely with Dr. Chernoff during the past two years. There is no doubt she will do an outstanding job.

Our year two progress report was recently submitted and we are proud to announce that we exceeded all of our goals for the time frame. We are already working on ideas for a new grant cycle; in preparation for a new grant submission in early 2018 for 2018-2021 funding, we have developed a statewide needs assessment. We really want, need and appreciate your input and ideas. Please think about what information or experiences you would like to have to provide better care to our older adult patients. The needs assessment survey is available on our webpage so please respond to it! The more input we have, the more valuable our future events will be for you. In the meantime, feel free to e-mail your suggestions for topics and programs to or post a note on our website page.

Our junior faculty fellows, Dr. Lisa VanHoose (physical therapy faculty at UCA) and Dr. Upendra Kar (research faculty in the UAMS College of Pharmacy) both recently attended the International Association for Geriatrics and Gerontology meeting in San Francisco. We anticipate great things from both of them and are delighted to be able to offer them this opportunity.

We continue to offer video teleconferences four times/year; to sponsor Alzheimer’s disease-focused geriatric grand rounds twice yearly; offer Arkansas Geriatric Education Mentors and Scholars (ARGEMS) for health care professionals; host the Summer Institute for faculty members who want an update on geriatric content; sponsor training for first responders, community members, and others. The next AGEC event will be a video teleconference on Elder Justice: Recognizing and Responding to Elder Abuse, part of our Patient Safety series, that will be broadcast on October 11. For those interested in education and programs in geriatrics, more information can be obtained at our website,,

As we plan ahead, we would love to hear from you about what you would like to know more about. Please take the time to answer the questions on line or using the mailed survey if you were randomly selected.

We all wish you a very happy and successful new academic year and look forward to your participation in one or more of our programs. Hope to see you soon!