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.
Recently, one of the GRECC-supported Associated Health trainees, Eric Kinney, B.A., Audiology Extern, Eastern Colorado GRECC presented his quality improvement project to better support Veterans when they first receive and start using hearing aids. He brought his project ideas to the Older Veteran Engagement Team in November, during which he did a live demonstration of the hands-on skill building training and brought hearing aids that were the same or comparable to the models used by members to do this. Members provided great feedback on everything from adding a “tips and tricks” section to the guide (for which they provided a number of tips and tricks), to adding pictures and in the order in which one would use certain tools/perform certain operations, to the questions Eric should ask when he does the follow up phone call to check in about how things are going. They encouraged him to consider creating a class so that new and experienced hearing aid wearers could improve their knowledge and skills.
Another great example of GRECC Older Veteran Engagement Team combining stakeholder engagement, workforce development, and innovations all in practice!
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.