WE HAIL receives grant to improve care for older adults

By Jan Jarvis

Knebl Web

UNT Health Science Center and its community partners are expanding their efforts to improve health care for older adults with the support of a $3.75 million federal grant.

The Health Resources and Services Administration funding will address the growing needs of older adults through UNTHSC’s geriatric training program, Workforce Enhancement in Healthy Aging and Independent Living or WE HAIL. UNTHSC was one of 48 grantees awarded for a five-year period, 2019-2024.

The funding makes it possible for WE HAIL to build on its initial efforts that started four years ago, said Dr. Janice Knebl, DO, MBA, Chief of Geriatrics Section and Dallas Southwest Osteopathic Physicians Endowed Chair in Geriatrics.

“This is truly a transformative opportunity to improve education and training for health care professionals and to help create age-friendly health care programs for older Texans,” she said. “We are so very appreciative to our partners for collaborating on this funding opportunity and to have expanded our reach to include additional partners within Texas and across the USA.”

WE HAIL was established in 2015 when UNTHSC collaborated with JPS Health Network, Texas Christian University and the United Way’s Area Agency on Aging of Tarrant County to provide geriatric training and education.

Almost 12 percent of Texans – 3.2 million people – are 65 and older, and the number is growing. Tarrant County’s population of adults 65 and older is expected to triple and make up nearly 20 percent of the population by 2050.

WE HAIL offers training opportunities to prepare health care professionals to treat geriatric patients and meet their unique and often complex needs, said Jennifer Jurado Severance, PhD, Program Administrative Director for WE HAIL.

WE HAIL works with health professional schools and training programs, community partners, and health care organizations to equip the primary care workforce with the knowledge and skills to care for older adults. New projects with the UNTHSC Correctional Medicine Department and Office of Rural Medical Education expand training to correctional facilities and rural areas experiencing challenging issues of aging populations.

“Our focus is on underserved populations, particularly in rural and urban areas,” Dr. Severance said. “Through this continued support, we are able to move forward with additional partners to expand to areas around and beyond Texas.”

Recently the partnership was expanded to include MedStar and the North Central Texas Council of Governments. Other partners include Alzheimer’s Association of North Central Texas, Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County, Sixty and Better, Texas Health Resources NICHE Program, Texas Osteopathic Medical Association, Texas Hospital Association, University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine, and Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine in New Mexico.

WE HAIL has been widely recognized for its success serving older adults. Earlier this year, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission presented WE HAIL with its Innovators in Aging award. This was the first time the award, which honors programs that have a positive impact on older Texans, was presented.

 

Recent News

Screenshot 2024 06 20 At 3.45.01 pm
  • Our People
|Jun 20, 2024

From sacrifice to success: a journey through physical therapy school

Ancelmo Mojarro came to Fort Worth to study. The Tyler native knew he wanted to be a physical therapist early on his undergraduate days. He embarked on his path to physical therapy a decade ago, inspired by a friend's suggestion amidst his quest to find his calling in the medical field. “I starte...
Garciarosanski
  • Our People
|Jun 20, 2024

HSC pro bono physical therapy program offers hope

For 70-year-old Beverly Rozanski, the journey to improved health has been long and challenging. Raised in Michigan, Rozanski spent her childhood and early adult years struggling with physical challenges that made even the simplest tasks seem insurmountable. However, her discovery of a pro bono p...
Mills John
  • Our People
|Jun 20, 2024

Team of HSC experts develops national position statement for NCCHC on care for aging patients in correctional facilities

Addressing an overlooked and sometimes neglected patient population, a group of experts from The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth partnered with the National Commission on Correctional Health Care to write a “Care for Aging Patients in the Correctional Setting” posit...
Jennifer Fix 2 Purple
  • Education
|Jun 18, 2024

Pharmacy technician shortage driving force behind new, online prep course

A self-paced, online Pharmacy Technician Preparation Course is now being offered through The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth as a way to help combat the shortage of pharmacy technicians at hospitals, health systems and retail pharmacies. Recognized by the Pharmacy Tech...