The Atlanta Regional Geriatric Education program is a partnership among Emory University, Georgia State University, Morehouse School of Medicine, and the Atlanta Regional Commission (serving as the Area Agency on Aging).
Collaboration allows for enhanced care for seniors
“Coalescence” is the idea of coming together or fusing; the partners of the Atlanta Regional Geriatric Education Center (ARGEC) program COALESCE will do so in support of each others’ efforts to improve education to health professionals that will better the lives of older adults. Building upon the extensive interdisciplinary training framework of Emory (lead), the historic community outreach and disparities reduction programs of Morehouse, and the socially- centered undergraduate and graduate studies of Georgia State University, the ARGEC has developed a shovel-ready model for implementing and improving geriatric training across the Atlanta Region.
Additionally, this COALESCE has the opportunity for national impact (with the National Center for Primary Care, leadership of the Department of Veterans Affairs Community Living Centers, and access to materials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
The population of the Southern region of the United States is booming. ARGEC will target the 10-county metro-Atlanta area, where the need for training in geriatric medicine and gerontology is clear: from 2000 to 2008, the 60+ population in the region increased by 52%, exceeding total population growth rates. Fulton County (Atlanta) currently has a failing grade from the state on racial differences in health care, and Georgia’s population is the 43rd ranked state in the US on a composite health measure, further illustrating the need for the ARGEC.
The ARGEC’s evidenced-based practice will be late-life depression, which is the second only to memory loss as the most debilitating psychiatric disorder in older adults. ranked state in the US on a composite health measure, further illustrating the need for the ARGEC.
As each consortium partner brings unique assets and strengths, a well-rounded, sustainable education center is created. Through COALESCE, ARGEC will train health professionals across disciplines and from varying levels of education, from students to practicing clinicians, in the clinical and social aspects of aging. The proposed program will allow the provision of effective geriatrics training programs needed to reduce healthdisparities and improve quality of life for elderly persons in our region. Here, the leadership of the Emory’s Fuqua Center for Late-Life Depression will be essential; they have been in partnership in the Atlanta Region with the Area Agency on Aging for over ten years.