08/01/2005

Mountain State Geriatric Education Center Receives $2M

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Mountain State Geriatric Education Center (MSGEC) at the WVU Center on Aging has been awarded five additional years of funding totaling over $2 million by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Health Professions. 

“Given the state of the federal budget, we were afraid that we might not be able to secure the funds this year. I think the fact that we have been approved for funding speaks volumes about the importance and success of our programs here in West Virginia,” said Sara Jane Gainor, program director of the MSGEC.  “Our programs are unique in that we educate health professionals in issues relevant to rural aging populations.  We are very pleased that the federal government values our efforts in this area.”

The MSGEC is one of over 40 geriatric education centers funded by DHHS to prepare the nation’s health professions to meet the unique health care needs of the elderly. The MSGEC was established at WVU in 1997 to improve the geriatric education of health professionals in training and practice, as well as their faculty, emphasizing interdisciplinary care. The MSGEC’s second cycle was funded for an additional five years, during which a consortium of six of the West Virginia Rural Health Education Partnership (WVRHEP) sites was formed. The WVRHEP provides outreach and education to students, field faculty and health professionals in the rural areas of the state, encouraging retention of health professionals in areas of need.

“Educating our current and future health professionals about the potential benefits and the sheer enjoyment of caring well for our older patients is an essential part of our work at the Center,” said Richard J. Ham M.D., director of the WVU Center on Aging. “The MSGEC is a major source of funding for this vital work. Without it we could do far less.”

The Center on Aging is part of the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center at WVU. The Center works through research, education, clinical service and technology to improve the health, well being and security of older people and those who care for them in West Virginia and across the nation.

For more information, contact the WVU Center on Aging at (304) 293-2968 or visit www.ruralaging.org.

- WVU -


05-149
For more information:
Contact: Maria Durbin, 304-293-0660
mdurbin@hsc.wvu.edu
md:08-01-05

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