Kady Nearing, PhD, Associate Director for Education and Evaluation, GRECC at GSA Conference, Austin, TX, November 2019
Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Centers (GRECCs) are United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) centers of excellence focused on aging. They were established by Congress in 1975 in order to improve the health and health care of older Veterans. Each GRECC has three main missions: (1) to build new knowledge through research; (2) to improve health care through the development of new clinical programs; and (3) to ensure that VA staff are educated about aging-related issues. Eastern Colorado GRECC is one of 20 GRECCs nationally, each of which represents a partnership between a VA medical center and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. The Eastern Colorado GRECC serves hundreds of Veterans per year through their various programs, resources and services.
Dr. Lynette Kelley, PhD, Research Nurse Practitioner/Clinical Analyst, with GRECC Connect partners, created a project to help improve Veterans’ access to telemedicine by improving the instructions they receive with the i-Pad device ahead of their first telemedicine appointment. Dr. Kelley, consolidated 11 pages of instructions into a single page “Tip Sheet.” The Older Veteran Engagement Team reviewed the Tip Sheet, comparing it to the instruction manual, and made suggestions regarding ways to improve the clarity and utility of the Tip Sheet.
The Older Veteran Engagement Team is a group of 8 Veterans and 1 care partner, between the ages of 62-92, who meet monthly to provide feedback and input on GRECC aging-related research and clinical demonstration projects at any stage from design to dissemination.
For additional information please visit: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35349016/Nearing
The goal of GRECC Connect is to improve access to geriatric care for Veterans in rural areas. Older Veterans living in rural areas often have limited access to geriatric care and rural providers and staff often lack opportunities to learn about best practices for management of Veterans with geriatrics syndromes. The Eastern Colorado GRECC links geriatrics specialists (geriatricians, geropsychologist, social workers, pharmacists, audiologists and interprofessional trainees), located at Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC with outlying community-based outreach clinics (CBOCs) and Veterans in their homes.
Activities: Current modalities include clinical video telehealth to CBOCs, telephone visits, and VA Video Connect visits, and educational teleconferences. Consultation is provided in tele-geriatrics and tele-geropsychology. All visits are transdisciplinary with at least physician, social worker, and pharmacist input. Many veterans and caregivers are also seen by the geropsychologist, especially related to dementia and caregiver support needs. Through this project, we aim to equip rural providers and staff with knowledge and skills to care for older adults, support staff at rural clinics by providing geriatrics and geropsychology consultation, and raise awareness of needs and services for older rural veterans through outreach.
In FY20, the GRECC Connect team at the VA Eastern Colorado GRECC continued to offer telehealth interprofessional training to geriatric medicine fellows, pharmacist trainees, and a psychology intern. In FY20, the GRECC Connect program conducted the following visits, recognizing the COVID-19 pandemic started in mid-March 2020.
Total FY20 Geriatrics visits (CBOC/VVC/Phone): 159
Total FY20 Geropsych visits (CBOC/VVC/Phone): 101
Total visits: 260; Total Miles saved: 51,813
Jennifer Stevens-Lapsley, PT PhD - Associate Director for Research
Kathryn Nearing, PhD, MA - Associate Director Education and Evaluation and Founder, Coordinator and Facilitator of the Older Veteran Engagement Team
Elizabeth Juarez-Colunga, PhD - Associate Director Informatics
Lauren Abbate, MD PhD - Associate Director Clinical Care
The mission of the Rocky Mountain MIRECC is to study suicide with the goal of reducing suicidal ideation and behaviors in the Veteran population. Towards this end, the work of the Rocky Mountain MIRECC is focused on developing promising clinical interventions, as well as studying the cognitive and neurobiological underpinnings of suicidal thoughts and behaviors that may lead to innovative prevention strategies.
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The Denver-Seattle COIN's mission is to conduct outstanding health services research that promotes Veteran-centered and value-driven care, generate and disseminate knowledge that contributes to the well-being of Veterans, partner with VA policy and operational leaders to implement research findings into clinical care, and train the next generation of health services researchers and leaders.