CONTACT: BECKY SOGLIN
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-6660; fax (319) 384-4638
Release: Oct. 17, 2001
Iowa Geriatric Education Center receives distance education grants
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Iowa Geriatric Education Center (IGEC), housed through
the Department of Internal Medicine in the University of Iowa College of Medicine,
has received two distance learning geriatric education grants to help health
care professionals respond to the needs of an aging population. The primary
mission of the center, which represents a state consortium of private and
public organizations, is to provide educational resources and opportunities
to the largely rural and isolated health care workforce in the state.
In July, the IGEC received a five-year, $1.3 million competitive grant renewal
from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to create distance learning
opportunities for those health care practitioners involved in caring for older
adults. The grant will fund more than two dozen geriatric distance learning
opportunities at the IGEC.
Gary Rosenthal, M.D., UI professor of internal medicine, is director of
the center and the principal investigator for the Department of Health and
Human Services grant. Co-principal investigators for the grant include Margo
Schilling, M.D., UI assistant professor (clinical) of internal medicine, and
two faculty members in the UI College of Nursing, Meridean Maas, Ph.D., professor
of nursing, and Paula Mobily, Ph.D., associate professor of nursing. Rosenthal
is also director of the Program for Interdisciplinary Research in Health Care
Organization and a staff physician at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center
in Iowa City.
Consortium members of the Iowa Geriatric Education Center include the UI
Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, Dentistry and Pharmacy; the
UI Hospitals and Clinics; Palmer College of Chiropractic; Veterans Affairs
Medical Center in Iowa City; Iowa Regional Medical Education Centers in Des
Moines, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Davenport, Mason City and Sioux City; University
of Northern Iowa College of Social and Behavioral Sciences; Iowa Department
of Inspections and Appeals; and Iowa Association of Area Agencies on Aging,
the umbrella organization for 13 regional agencies that serve all of Iowa's
The center has also received a three-year, $935,313 grant from the U.S.
Department of Education to initiate a Web-based educational program to train
health care workers at long-term care facilities in Iowa. The grant from the
Department of Education will provide nearly 48 percent of the total budget
for the project. In addition, grant participants will provide approximately
$1 million, or 52 percent, of the total budget, in support of salaries and
other project expenses.
Despite increases in the number of elders, the supply of nurse aides has
not increased. In addition, retention of nurse aides is a significant problem
for many heath care facilities such as nursing homes. Inadequacy of nurse
aide training contributes to both shortages and high turnover rates.
The project, Learning Anytime Anywhere Partnerships, will develop a Web-based
learning program that will allow nurse aides to gain the certification and
training they need to excel in their positions. The program focuses on meeting
the educational needs of learners who have limited educational opportunities
due to geographical location, inflexible time schedules or diverse language
skills, including speaking English as a second language.
Paul Mulhausen, M.D., UI assistant professor (clinical) of internal medicine,
will direct the project. Jose Assouline, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor
of anatomy and cell biology, is a co-principal investigator on the grant.
Consortium members of the Learning Anytime Anywhere Partnerships include the
University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, the Evangelical
Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals,
the Iowa Caregivers Association, Kirkwood Community College and Iowa Lakes
More information about the Iowa Geriatric Education Center can be found
online at http://www.its.uiowa.edu/igec/.
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between
the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient
care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit
UI Health Care online at www.uihealthcare.com.