April 23, 2019

From The Director’s Desk

uams logo

By Robin McAtee, PhD, RN, FACHE, Director, Arkansas Geriatric Education Collaborative (AGEC), a Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging (DWR IOA)


Spring 2019

As the days become long and warm, the AGEC is busy with programs and activities. We completed the new Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program Grant Proposal (which supports all of the AGEC activities) in February and submitted it to Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) on time!  We are all glad that is over and now the waiting game is on to hear if the AGEC grant is refunded!

During the first three months of 2019, we continued to be very busy. We sponsored Geriatric Grand Rounds at the end of January with Dr. Brody, from Brain Matters Research where we had over 120 attendees in person and online. He discussed the latest research with Alzheimer’s medications and how that could impact care. In March we hosted the AGEC Geriatric Fellow, Christopher Walter, D.P.T., Ph.D. Assistant Professor UAMS Department of Physical Therapy, who gave a 2-hr webinar entitled A Clinical Perspective: Motor Control & Learning in Older Adults, where there were 180 attendees! On April 22, we hosted Lisa C. Hutchison, Pharm.D., MPH, BCPS, FCCP and Janna Hawthorne, Pharm.D., MA, Ed who presented Beers Criteria Update and Evidenced Based Alternatives in our second webinar for this spring. We are so excited that the use of Blackboard Collaborate is helping us to reach a much broader audience with much needed professional continuing education!

We are also thrilled about our Geriatric Scholars for spring 2019. This is a new pilot program of the AGEC designed to increase health professions students’ interest and exposure to older adults, and improve their knowledge of older adults and the specialized care they need. There was an application process last fall and 4 students from 4 different UAMS Colleges were chosen. The awardees are highlighted on our website https://agec.uams.edu/geriatric-student-scholars-2019-selected/ and all have been busy this spring with extra geriatric professional and community activities.  The scholars will end the semester with a joint interprofessional presentation on a geriatric topic of their choosing.  Stay tuned to the AGEC website for reflections and summaries of the scholars spring activities!

Other on-going programs with our partners are progressing. We continue to partner with ARcare Clinic in England, AR where we are working with them to complete geriatric team training and to incorporate and increase Medicare Annual Wellness Visits. We are also working on other data driven programs to improve outcomes such as blood sugars levels and blood pressures and to improve screenings for opioid use and misuse. Our partners with AAA senior centers are also busy this spring completing evidence-based programming in diabetes, tai chi, fall prevention, chronic pain self-management and others. Our academic partners have busy spring semesters underway with geriatric focused classes, clinical experiences, and community programs.

Thank you for all you do for older adults in Arkansas and we look forward to continuing to partner with many of you to expand and improve services and programs.