Center to Increase Health Workforce Geriatrics Expertise

Dr. Mark Beard geriatric patient_43_1

A Northwest Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Center is being established at the University of Washington to increase the expertise of primary-care providers, trainees and others in caring for older adults.
The ultimate goal is to improve healthcare for aging individuals and populations in the WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho) region.

The UW Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine received a three year, $2.5 million cooperative agreement award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration for the new center.

The grant is part of the $37.5 million in funding to 44 organizations around the country announced by President Barack Obama and HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell at the July 13 White House Conference on Aging.

Dr. Elizabeth Phelan, UW associate professor of medicine, will be the project director of the center. The co-director is Dr. Michael Vitiello, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. Dr. Barbara B. Cochrane, professor of family and child nursing, will be the associate director.

The Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine at the UW medical school houses the center. Other UW units contributing geriatrics practice expertise and leadership include the UW Schools of Nursing, Pharmacy and Social Work. Partner organizations include the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System, Aging and Disability Services of Seattle/King County, Area Agency on Aging and Disabilities of Southwest Washington, and Qualis Health.

See the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration press release on the recent Health and Human Services grants to support quality care for older Americans through health professional training.

News media contact: Leila Gray, 206-685-0381,