Spring 2021 Newsletter
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)
Wow, it has been over a year since the pandemic began and although we can see light at the end of the tunnel, we are still in the tunnel, yet thriving! The AGEC may look a little different than it did 12-15 months ago, but we are persevering and growing. We are now more diverse in our program offerings while still meeting and exceeding our goals and objectives. Over the past year we have embraced new partnerships and expanded outreach while maintaining key programs and activities.
During the past quarter, we started a new partnership with the Central Arkansas Library System that has gone state wide entitled “Learn from Home” and first aired on January 19th. The Learn from Home Series is held monthly and covers topics such as “Understanding Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease” and “Disaster Planning for Seniors”. We have also started monthly healthy cooking classes called “Cooking Live with AGEC: From Our Kitchen to Yours”. Both programs are going very well with thousands of online views. Programs with other partners included “Fall Prevention” with UCA Outreach and a “Memory Café” with Hendrix College featuring water stories and trivia. Those are just a sampling of the many programs we are having with our partners. Thank you partners for your continued support and vital participation during these difficult times!
We have also continued with our healthcare professions programming. Beginning in January with Lee Kathryn Lackey talking about “Supporting Military Caregivers” followed by Dr. Leah Tobey and myself presenting at Geriatric Grand Rounds on the “4Ms of Age-Friendly Care.” In February, “Racial/Ethnic Disparities in COVID-19 Predictors and Outcomes” was presented by Drs. Clare Brown and George Pro, followed later in February by Dr. Paul Parcon presenting on “Neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s Disease”. “Opioid Tapering” was presented by Dr. Corey Hayes on March 18th which was in partnership with the UAMS OPAL grant. Our next webinar will be in June regarding oral hygiene in older adults.
Finally, something we are very excited about with the AGEC is our involvement in older adult mass vaccination clinics in central AR. This is one of the activities supported by the CARES portion of our GWEP grant this quarter, and it has been extremely rewarding! AGEC staff along with the UAMS College of Nursing and Pharmacy students have been active in providing thousands of COVID-19 vaccines to older adults in partnership with local pharmacies, emergency management organizations, and many other volunteer groups. What great events!
Thank you all for supporting AGEC in our clinical, educational, and outreach efforts!