UNTHSC honored for best practices in serving older adults
By Eric Parker
The UNT Health Science Center Clinical Practice Group is the first health care organization in Fort Worth to be recognized as an Age Friendly Certified Business. As a result, the UNTHSC Center for Geriatrics will help educate other health care organizations to integrate best practices in serving patients.
The recognition follows a community-wide effort to establish Fort Worth as the first Age-Friendly City in Texas, an effort in which UNTHSC played a substantial role.
Fort Worth received the official Age-Friendly designation from the World Health Organization and AARP in December 2017. It required months of collaboration among community partners and city and community leaders.
“UNTHSC has been one of the strongest supporters of the Age-Friendly Fort Worth initiative,” said Melodía Gutiérrez, Associate State Director of Advocacy and Outreach at AARP. “Many of its leaders supported our planning processes prior to Fort Worth receiving the Age-Friendly designation from the WHO and AARP.”
The UNTHSC Center for Geriatrics was instrumental in achieving the Age Friendly designation. The Center optimizes health care for older adults through programs such as the Workforce Enhancements in Healthy Aging and Independent Living, or WE HAIL.
UNTHSC will develop and deliver workforce education and training to help additional organizations optimize care for older adults. This responsibility enables UNTHSC to expand its values outreach and create a healthier community, an effort that is supported and recognized by organizations such as United Way.
“Fort Worth has an incredible opportunity to engage multiple sectors in adopting best practices that improve the quality of life for all Fort Worth residents,” said Jennifer Severance, PhD, Program Administrative Director for WE HAIL. “With this goal in mind, the Center for Geriatrics is collaborating with Age-Friendly Fort Worth and United Way Tarrant County to equip public-facing businesses with best practices training when serving older adults.”
By expanding partnerships with AARP, UNTHSC seeks to engage businesses in system change that expands access to early detection and diagnosis services for diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
“These efforts will yield an increase in collective action while encouraging the adoption of practices that increase support and safety for older patients and caregivers,” Severance said.