To address the growing shortage of geriatric health care professionals and direct caregivers to support our aging population, Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bob Casey (D-PA), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Aging Committee respectively, introduced the Geriatrics Workforce Improvement Act. This legislation would reauthorize the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) and the Geriatric Academic Career Awards program (GACA), which has not been funded since 2015.
GWEP is the only federal program to educate and train health care professionals in geriatrics. Today there are 44 geriatric workforce enhancement programs or GWEPs in 29 states, which help integrate geriatrics into primary care, train providers to address the needs of older adults, deliver community-based programs, and provide Alzheimer’s disease education. GACA programs, established in 1998, increase the number of faculty engaged in geriatric education by supporting health care professionals’ transition from clinical practice to academic roles.
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