P&S Journal: Spring 1995, Vol.15, No.2
Geriatric Education Center Launches Training Programs
The Columbia University-New York Geriatric Education Center (CU-NYGEC) was funded in September 1994 to educate New York state health care professionals on the special needs of the burgeoning elderly population. The center's headquarters are in the P&S Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. It draws on faculty and resources of Columbia University, New York University, and Beth Abraham Hospital.
With funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration, the center is one of 20 geriatric education centers nationwide. Its central mission is to provide interdisciplinary, cutting-edge knowledge and training concerning issues, treatments, and service delivery models of geriatric care. It also plans to foster interdisciplinary linkages among gerontological health care professionals and provider agencies throughout the state.
The center offers a five-day intensive training program to give trainees didactic and clinical experiences that complement their individual interests. All trainees take three days of core classes covering eight topics, such as long-term care, geriatric assessment, and elder abuse. Trainees then select two days of specialized tutorials and clinical courses from 14 specialty topics, such as nutrition and aging, geriatric nursing, and social work for multicultural aging.
Columbia's collaboration with New York University and Beth Abraham Hospital provides the center's trainees with a rare opportunity to gain insight from top-notch experts in the aging field. One of the co-directors, NYU's Dr. Mathy Mezey, is a Columbia University trustee.
"It made total sense that we'd collectively put our strengths together," says Dr. Terry Fulmer, professor in the School of Nursing, who initiated the center project and serves as its director. "We have the best thinking from a variety of New York geriatric scholars and can extend it to the state. You get better outcomes because we've gained from each other's experience."