Program Overview

WE HAIL is focused on 5 areas of innovation based on the type of learner groups. These groups include, but are not limited to, Physicians, Nurses, Physician Assistants, Pharmacists, Physical Therapists, Social Workers, Nutritionists,undergraduate and graduate students, and residents. Within each area of innovation, are 1-3 projects . These projects are enhancements of current programs and developments of new programs, all of which target the five areas determined by United Way’s Area Agency on Aging. These areas are Health Literacy, Chronic Disease Patient Self-Management, Falls Prevention, Medication Management, and Dementia Care.

Below are highlights of each Innovation area’s goal, team lead, and team members. The team leads and administrative staff are part of every Innovation team.

Innovation 1: Training For Undergraduates and Graduates

Innovation 2: Training For Family Medicine Residents

Innovation 3: Training For Healthcare Professionals

Innovation 4: Training For Caregivers

Innovation 5: Training For Healthcare Professionals in Leadership


Innovation 1: Training For Undergraduates and Graduates

Goal: To integrate health literacy and patient self-management education into interprofessional healthcare student training to increase knowledge, competence, skills, and attitudes in geriatrics care to provide home and community based services to geriatric patients.

Innovation 1 Projects:

  1. SAGE Program
  2. Interprofessional Web-based Team Capstone (ITC) and Inter-professional Clinical Experience (IPE) Project

Team Lead:

Janice Knebl, DO, MBA, Principal Investigator for WE HAIL and Lead for Innovation 1


Dr. Knebl received her medical degree at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, after which she completed an Internal Medicine Residency at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania and a Geriatrics Medicine Fellowship at the Philadelphia Geriatrics Center. In 2002, Dr. Knebl completed an MBA at Texas Christian University. She is the Director of the Center for Geriatrics within the Institute for Healthy Aging and the Chief, Geriatrics Service Line and the Dallas Southwest Osteopathic Physicians Endowed Chair in Geriatrics at the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC)’s Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM). She is the Director for the Reynolds Interprofessional Geriatrics Education and Training in Texas Program and the Medical Director for several long term care communities in Fort Worth, including James L. West Alzheimer’s Center , Silverado Assisted Living and the Stayton Continuing Care Retirement Community.

Dr. Knebl’s dedication to healthy aging and Alzheimer’s care for over 25 years has gained professional and community recognition. She has been named as a “Fort Worth Top Doc”, received the distinguished “Internist of the Year” Award from the American College of Osteopathic Internists, and has been awarded the 2013 TCOM Dean’s Research Award. She has been the recipient of aging research grants from agencies such as American Federation for Aging Research, Bureau of Health Professions, Alzheimer’s Association, Texas Consortium on Alzheimer’s Disease (TARC) and Texas’ Department of Health and Human Services. Her lengthy list of publications and articles are on subjects including understanding Alzheimer’s disease, primary care and geriatrics, stages and evaluation of dementia, delirium and dementia in the hospitalized elderly.

Innovation 2: Training For Family Medicine Residents

Goal: To enhance the geriatrics education components for the UNTHSC and JPS Family Medicine Residency programs and create a Geriatrics Certificate Program for Family Medicine Residents.

Innovation 2 Projects:

  1. Family Medicine Residency Program
  2. Geriatrics Certificate for Family Medicine

Team Lead:

Lesca Hadley, MD, Lead for Innovation 2


Dr. Lesca Hadley is the Geriatrics Fellowship Director at John Peter Smith Hospital in Ft. Worth, Texas. A native of Cleburne Texas, Dr. Hadley earned a Bachelor’s degree from Abilene Christian University and her Medical Doctorate from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

After completing a Family Medicine Residency and Geriatrics Fellowship at John Peter Smith Hospital, Dr. Hadley became a faculty member in the Family Medicine Residency. Following the National Institute for Program Directors Development Fellowship, she became the Geriatrics Fellowship Director. She will complete her Graduate Certificate in Academic Medicine from the University of North Texas in June 2016.

Dr. Hadley is active in the American Geriatrics Society and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Currently, Dr. Hadley is one of the Geriatricians in the inaugural class of the Tideswell, AGS, ADGAP National Leadership Development Program. She is also President-Elect of the Texas Geriatrics Society.

With a tremendous passion to improve the care of the elderly in underserved areas throughout the world, Dr. Hadley has been blessed to teach Geriatrics to students, residents, and physicians in multiple international settings.

Dr. Hadley is Board Certified in Family Medicine, Geriatrics, and Hospice and Palliative Care. In addition, Dr. Hadley has the Certificate in Travel Health from the International Society of Travel Medicine and the Certificate of Knowledge in Clinical Tropical Medicine and Travelers’ Health from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Innovation 3: Training For Healthcare Professionals

Goal: To develop geriatric patient focused Evidence Based Clinical Decision Support Tools and online Modules for Practicing Physicians and other HealthCare Professionals providing Primary Care.

Innovation 3 Projects:

  1. Clinical Decision Tools in EPIC Software
  2. Professional and Continuing Education Modules
  3. Quality Improvement Projects in NorTex

Team Lead:

Richard Young, MD, Co-Investigator for WE HAIL, Lead for Innovation 3


Dr. Richard Young, born in Fort Worth, is a proud Native Texan. He is married with three children.

He graduated from UT-Austin with a degree in Chemical Engineering in 1984 and worked for two years for the Celanese Corp. at their research facility in Corpus Christi. He earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in 1990. He completed his family medicine residency at John Peter Smith Hospital in 1993 and has completed fellowships in Faculty Development in 1994 and the Grant Generating Project in 2006.

Dr. Young has been active in organized family medicine all of his career. For the Texas Academy of Family Physicians, he has served on the Managed Care Liaison Committee, the Health Care Services Commission, and the Board of Directors. For the Tarrant County Academy of Family Physicians, he is the current Vice-President. He is the U.S. Co-chair of the Cost-Analysis Workgroup for the Committee for the Advancement of Science in Family Medicine. He is a member of the AAFP task force on Comprehensive Primary Care Payment reform.

Dr. Young is currently the Associate Program Director and Director of Research for the JPS Family Medicine Residency Program. He has also been excited to help grow and transform family medicine residency education in Russia with exchanges and travel in Fort Worth and Moscow.


Innovation 4: Training For Caregivers

Goal: To expand and disseminate AAATC services, into a variety of primary care settings, which are evidenced based programs in falls prevention, health literacy, medication management, chronic disease patient self-management, dementia care and support that provide patients, families and caregivers with training and knowledge to improve their health and quality of life.

Innovation 4 Projects:

  1. Alzheimer’s Association’s REACH II Caregiver Support Program
  2. James L. West Center’s Stress Busting Program
  3. James L. West Center’s Dementia Education via Podcasts Program

Team Lead:

Don Smith, MA, Lead for Innovation 4

Don Smith_headshot_crop_300dpiDon has served as Director of the Tarrant County Area Agency on Aging at the United Way of Tarrant County in Fort Worth, Texas since 2005. He holds degrees in Psychology, Gerontology and Urban Affairs and has 30 years of experience working for health, human service and governmental organizations including four Texas area agencies on aging. He has also served on numerous state-wide task forces, work groups and committees for the Texas Department on Aging, Department of Human Services, Department of Aging and Disabled Services and Texas Association of Area Agencies on Aging. He currently serves on the Board of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (N4A) and the Evidence Based Leadership Council.

Don has played a leadership role in the formation of community coalitions in Houston, Waco and the Dallas-Fort Worth area to promote evidence based programs, eliminate duplication, fragmentation and streamline access to the health and human services. He has also overseen several large national grants including the Real Choice Systems Change, Nursing Home Diversion/Community Living Program and established one of the first 3 ADRCs in Texas. He also led the design and implementation of United Way’s 10 year $15 million Healthy Aging and Independent Living Initiative which currently provides funding for 11evidence based and informed programs. Over the past two years Don has also overseen one the largest Marketplace Navigator grants in the nation which serves most of Texas and 3 extremely competitive grants from the US Administration on Community Living for the expansion of evidence-based programs throughout Texas and building a dementia capable network of services in Tarrant County.

He is a recipient of the 2012 the Tarrant Area Gerontological Society’s Harriet Griffin Award for outstanding representation of older adults in Tarrant County and the Public Citizen of the Year Award by the National Association of Social Workers – Fort Worth Area Branch. Also under Don’s leadership, since 2008 the Tarrant AAA has received 4 N4A Innovation and Achievement Awards.

He is a native of Longview, Texas and has two adult children that live in California.


Innovation 5: Training For Healthcare Professionals in Leadership

Goal: To develop a Geriatrics Practice Leadership Institute (GPLI) for healthcare trainees and practitioners in primary care to create “Geriatric Transformational Champions” with a focus on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to lead the emerging integrated delivery systems for geriatrics in patient-centered primary care.

Innovation 5 Projects:

Geriatric Practice Leadership Institute (GPLI)

Team Lead:

Diane Hawley, PhD, RN, CCNS, CNE, Co-Investigator for WE HAIL, Lead for Innovation 5

diane hawley

Diane Ackall Hawley, PhD, RN, CCNS, CNE is Associate Professor of Professional Practice, Texas Christian University (TCU), Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences Fort Worth, Texas. Dr. Hawley received her undergraduate degree in Nursing at Texas Christian University. Her Masters of Science Degree in Nursing was earned at Texas Woman’s University with emphasis in nursing education and as a clinical nurse specialist in critical care. Dr. Hawley holds a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from New Mexico State University. She worked as a critical care nurse for many years in Fort Worth, San Antonio and El Paso. Dr. Hawley started her teaching career with a joint appointment at the University of Texas at San Antonio Health Science Center and University Hospital. Before joining the faculty at TCU Dr. Hawley was on faculty at the University of Texas at El Paso. For the past 18 years she has been with TCU were she has taught a variety of courses usually all focusing on the critically ill adult with a special emphasis on geriatric nursing, leadership and interprofessional education.

Dr. Hawley has authored several publications concentrating on systematic reviews for nursing evidence based best practices. Her current research and writing focus on geriatric, interprofessional, leadership and evidence based practice for nursing education.

Dr. Hawley is certified as a critical care clinical nurse specialist with the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. She also holds certification as a nurse educator with the National League for Nurses. Dr. Hawley was given the prestigious Wassenich Award for Mentoring at TCU in 2013.

This page was last modified on March 22, 2018