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San Diego County, Universities Get $2.5M Geriatrics Grant


A coalition of local universities and the county of San Diego was awarded a $2.5 million federal grant to train the next generation of geriatric health workers in the region, San Diego State University announced Thursday.

The funding will go to SDSU's schools of nursing, social work and graduate public health, UC San Diego's Division of Geriatrics, the county Health and Human Services Agency and county Aging and Independence Services.

Together, they'll create the San Diego/Imperial Geriatric Education Center, which will have a focus on Alzheimer's and related dementia.

The Alzheimer's Association San Diego/Imperial Chapter, Glenner Memory Care Centers, San Diego County Medical Society Foundation, and Southern Caregiver Resource Centers will also be part of the project.

"This award recognizes the cooperation between SDSU, UCSD, the county of San Diego, and multiple community partners in addressing the educational needs of professionals and families related to Alzheimer's disease and related disorders," said Philip Greiner, director of SDSU's School of Nursing. "It is an opportunity to further develop interprofessional geriatric teams, a proven method for improving care to older adults with memory disorders."

The funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will pay for:

• training of at least 60 graduate students, medical residents and fellows on integrated geriatrics and primary care, interdisciplinary team building, and the prevention, recognition and treatment of memory loss and associated chronic conditions.

• expanding clinical training environments to provide experiences in integrated geriatrics and primary health care delivery systems for at least 60 students.

• training at least 1,500 primary care providers and staff on Alzheimer's screening, diagnostic criteria and treatment protocols, disease and care management and community resources.

• training at least 9,000 service providers who work with people with memory loss and their families, and at least 2,500 caregivers on effective care strategies for themselves and family members.

• developing and conducting a public education campaign on memory loss and Alzheimer's.

The initiative will work in conjunction with the county of San Diego's Alzheimer's Project, which is designed to bring together local experts on the disease.