SAGE thanks Meals on Wheels with donation

For five years, Meals on Wheels has helped connect homebound older adults with the Students Assisting in Geriatric Education, or SAGE, program that makes it possible for medical professions students to make home visits with local seniors.

Recently SAGE leaders were able to thank Meals on Wheels by presenting a $20,000 donation to the community organization.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you," said Carla Jutson, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County. "This really does help us with our mission to keep seniors in their homes as long as possible."

Dr. Janice Knebl, Dallas Southwest Osteopathic Physicians Endowed Chair in Clinical Geriatrics and Chief of Geriatrics, said she was excited to be able to support the work that Meals on Wheels does.

"It doesn’t just take a village, it takes an army to care for our clients," she said.

Meals on Wheels has provided referrals for more than70 percent of the seniors participating in SAGE, which pairs medical professions students with elderly residents. Students make home visits where they take medical histories, conduct physical exams and advise clients on nutrition and home safety.

The SAGE program began in 2009 with 189 medical students and has grown to1,034 in 2014. It has also expanded to include all health professional first- and second-year students. Medical, physician assistant, physical therapy and pharmacy students make up the teams who visit elderly residents. Nursing, social work and nutritional sciences students from Texas Christian University will be added next year.

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