The John A. Hartford Foundation (JAHF) and the National Association of Geriatric Education Centers (NAGEC) recently convened an intensive one-day strategic planning session with twenty key representatives from around the nation. Participants included leaders in geriatrics and geriatrics education, palliative medicine, nursing, public health, planning, and public policy, as well as the Hartford Foundation’s executive staff. Meeting at Foundation headquarters, the group shared experiences in their fields and generated ideas to enhance and improve the work of the Geriatric Education Centers (GEC). The result was a decision to move in new directions.
In his opening remarks, the Foundation’s Program Director, Christopher Langston, PhD, set the tone: “We have to look at the big picture,” he said. Let’s face it—available monies are greatly diminished when compared to ten years ago. We have to develop non-financial powers. What do I mean by this? I mean convening people; developing new synergies, ideas, and plans; and identifying how the various sectors of society can work together. We must work to determine where our interests and missions intersect and then be able to move forward to create partnerships in new places.”
The meeting revolved around three broad areas: developing partnerships, conducting outcome evaluations, and retooling for an aging America. The morning session included participant speakers, who gave concise topic summaries. Langston provided an overview of the Institute of Medicine’s report, Retooling for an Aging America. Roseanne Leipzig, MD, PhD, of the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, presented a brief survey of the geriatric education initiative. Janet Frank, DrPH, of the David Geffin School of Medicine at UCLA, discussed developing partnerships to extend GEC. Julia Hannum-Rose, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Palliative Care, Case at MHMC, spoke about current NTACC resources in support of GECs.
Participants then divided into three breakout discussion groups to confer about their assigned issues and develop recommendations for strategic next steps. At the end of the day, everyone reconvened, and group leaders reported the results of their deliberations. These included the following recommendations to HRSA: