"Support Geriatrics Health Workforce Training"
Support Geriatrics Health Workforce Training
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I am writing to urge you to provide adequate funding for the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) by voting for the Geriatrics Workforce and Caregiver Enhancement Act sponsored by Representative Jan Schakowsky. The GWEP, a Title VII and VIII Public Health Service Act program administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is the only federal program dedicated to developing a health care workforce that maximizes patient and family engagement while improving health outcomes for older adults. As the baby boomers retire and life expectancy increases, now is a critical time to invest in the primary care workforce and family caregivers that we rely on to provide high quality care to older Americans. Specifically, the GWEPs equip the primary care workforce with the knowledge and skills to care for older adults and build community networks to address gaps in health care for seniors. Each program is designed to meet the unique needs of individual communities but all GWEPs share a goal of providing more coordinated and comprehensive care. They accomplish this by developing providers who can assess and address the needs of older adults and their caregivers, creating and delivering community-based programs, and providing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia education to families, caregivers, direct care workers, and health professions students, faculty, and providers. In July 2015, HRSA announced 44 three-year programs in 29 states. I urge you to support the Geriatrics Workforce and Caregiver Enhancement Act to close current geographic and demographic gaps in program coverage. The bill will allow for up to 8 new GWEP centers and the re-establishment of the Geriatric Academic Career Awards, allowing the program to reach more underserved and rural communities and ensuring the GWEPs are training the geriatrics workforce of today and tomorrow. If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact Brett M. McReynolds, Policy & Communications Manager at the Eldercare Workforce Alliance (firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-505-4817).
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