by Ronni Chernoff, PhD, FAND, FASPEN, AGEC Director and Professor, Reynolds Institute on Aging
As we transition from an old year to a new one, it is always good to reflect on what we accomplished during 2015 and what our goals are for the new year. Our Geriatric Education Center had an awesome 18 years of developing, producing, and evaluating programs on issues related to aging, and we are so proud of what we contributed to the education and training of health professionals, faculty and students who are looking forward to careers in one of the many health care disciplines in Arkansas. We hope to continue our connection and friendships with many of you while we forge ahead with the Geriatric Workforce Education Program (GWEP), the Arkansas Geriatric Education Collaborative, and meet new people interested in geriatric topics and issues. We all hope that our contribution to improving the health care for our senior citizens continues to be successful.
The Arkansas Geriatric Education Collaborative (AGEC) is moving along right on schedule! We have some new staff members who are part of our group, Sajni Kumpuris and Kerry Krell, MPH, CHES. Sajni has been with the Arkansas Geriatric Education Center working on the Alzheimer’s Disease supplements but has now increased her time and contribution to manage, not only the Alzheimer’s education projects but also, our web-based activities. Kerry is new to the AGEC and is our Outreach Coordinator. She will be working with the new providers and audiences for whom we are developing educational programs and materials. We are excited to have them and look forward to you having the opportunity to meet them.
The new www.agec.org website is being revamped and will offer easier navigation and more features. Watch for the launch in March, 2016. We are in the process of confirming dates for future programs and will get them up on the website calendar as soon as they are set.
Our next program will be a live, interactive 2-hour video teleconference on May 05, 2016 on “Common Dental Issues of Older Adults & Nutritional Implications”. This video teleconference will be live on the UAMS campus and broadcast to interative receiver sites across Arkansas.
Arkansas Geriatric Education Mentors and Scholars (AR-GEMS), our online self-study program in geriatrics for health practitioners, has been updated and will soon be uploaded onto the UAMS Blackboard so that it is more user-friendly.
The AGEC faculty Summer Institute is scheduled for May 16-20, 2016. Letters of invitation were sent to deans of colleges and universities in Arkansas that have health professional programs; the purpose is to update faculty with information about aging and issues that elderly Arkansans have to face and increase the geriatric content in the courses they teach or develop new courses for students who will be the future health care providers.