Current WGEC Projects, 2010 - 2015



Geriatric Fast Facts

Geriatric Fast Facts are evidence-based summaries of key topics relevant to clinicians and trainees caring for older adults. This educational tool can be integrated into the providers’ daily clinical life to provide fast, evidence-based clinical solutions and algorithms at the point-of-care via any mobile device.

How do you access and use it?

  • From your smartphone or iPad at www.geriatricfastfacts.com
  • Geriatric Fast Facts are searchable — type in a keyword or illness, or choose from the list of common geriatric complaints, organ systems, relevant basic science principles, and Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) competencies

The Medical College of Wisconsin in partnership with Aurora Health Care invite you to use this free resource designed for all mobile devices. Geriatricians worked with specialty experts to develop this mobile delivery point-of-care tool.

Geriatric Fast Facts were developed through support from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, the Wisconsin Geriatric Education Center, the Medical College of Wisconsin, and Aurora Health Care. Please share Geriatric Fast Facts, www.geriatricfastfacts.com with colleagues, staff and learners via social media (#geriatricfastfacts) and by linking to them from your website. For more information contact Judi Rehm at jrehm@mcw.edu.

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Educating Non-Dentists About Geriatric Oral Health

Project Objective:

Train students from at least four different non-dental health disciplines about geriatric oral health issues

Project Director:

Dr. Jadwiga Hjertstedt, Marquette University

Contributing Faculty & Staff (listed alphabetically):

Stacy Barnes, Lesley Boaz

Brief Description:

A new web-based interdisciplinary educational module, entitled Geriatric Oral Health for Non-Dental Health Professionals, will be developed and integrated into the curricula of at least four different health profession programs at Marquette University, the Medical College of Wisconsin, and/or the University of Wisconsin.  The module will be available 24/7 via the internet and designed to be used in an asynchronous, self-paced learning environment.  The educational module will be piloted in Marquette University’s College of Nursing prior to expanding it to include the competencies and roles of other health profession disciplines,  including but not limited to medicine, physician assistant, and pharmacists.  As a part of the online module development, short podcasts will be created on specific topics related to geriatric oral health and these will be made available independent of the online module.

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Integrating Palliative Care and ACE

Project Objective:

Train health care professionals working in 16 Acute Care for Elders (ACE) hospital units about the palliative care needs of geriatric patients and reinforce learning with ongoing educational initiatives

Project Director:

Dr. Michael Malone, Aurora Health Care

Contributing Faculty & Staff (listed alphabetically):

Patti Pagel, Stephen Rommelfanger, Soryal Soryal, Marsha Vollbrecht

Brief Description:

An internal needs assessment will be conducted in the 16 Acute Care for Elders (ACE) units within Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center, the largest private hospital in the state of Wisconsin. Gaps in palliative care knowledge and practices will be identified and a training curriculum will be developed to address them.  New palliative care measures will also be built into the hospital’s patient health records system.  Training will be required of all healthcare team members working within the ACE units.  In addition to formal training sessions, learning will be reinforced over time through multiple, supplemental educational initiatives.  This will include:

  • daily interdisciplinary team rounds during which geriatricians assist the healthcare teams to incorporate palliative care principles into patient care;
  • a monthly “Palliative Care in Practice” local conference;
  • a monthly “Geriatrics Morbidity and Mortality” local conference;
  • an ongoing Journal Club that reads and discusses professional articles about geriatrics and palliative care;
  • weekly geriatrics “Morning Report” sessions focused on discussion of palliative care cases;
  • new pocket-sized “ACE Cards” for quickly referencing key palliative care principles; and
  • an annual “Going from Good to Great in the Acute Care of Older Patients” national conference focused on the nuances of palliative care for hospitalized older adults.
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Developing Injury-related Geriatrics Curriculum

Project Objective:

Involve specialty-specific medical students, residents, and fellows in the design, implementation and evaluation of injury-related geriatrics curriculum

Project Leaders:

Dr. Edmund Duthie & Dr. Deborah Simpson, Medical College of Wisconsin

Contributing Faculty & Staff:

Diane Brown, Steve Denson

Brief Description:

Medical residency/fellowship program leaders will form a “Geriatric Education Team” (GET) within each of their respective training programs and these teams will, in turn, systematically develop, deliver, and evaluate specialty-specific geriatric instruction using a two-pronged strategy.  Team members will include: (a) the residency/fellowship program director/faculty leader; (b) 1-2 resident(s)/fellow(s) who are in good standing and committed to medical education/teaching; (c) 1-2 medical students drawn from the clinician educator pathway who have indicated an interest in the targeted specialty allowing them to fulfill pathway requirements; (d) a geriatrician for content expertise; and (e) an education specialist to insure adherence to best practices.  The two-pronged educational strategy used by each GET team will include development of a core curriculum case focused on geriatric injury and a scripted podcast to capture “just-in-time learning” at the point of care.  The GETs assigned geriatrician and education specialist will provide resources, critiques, and guidance on curriculum, assessment tools, and other tasks.

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Integrating Evidence-Based Practices

Project Objective:

Train health profession students, postgraduate trainees and faculty to perform essential tasks in the care of older persons driven by current evidence-based standards

Project Director:

Dr. Steve Barczi, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Contributing Faculty & Staff (listed alphabetically):

Cynthia Carlsson, Amy Kind, Deb Sutinen

Brief Description:

The Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) in Madison is home to seven geriatric specialty clinics (e.g., Memory Clinic, Falls Clinic, Sleep Clinic).  This WGEC initiative is actually composed of multiple projects, each of which will utilize the expertise of one of these specialty clinics to facilitate integration of relevant geriatric competencies established by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) into clinical curricula.   A competency-based educational program will be developed to prepare trainees to perform essential tasks in the care of older persons driven by current evidence-based standards in each given area.  Clinical training in geriatrics will be conducted with health profession students, postgraduate trainees and faculty from multiple health disciplines (i.e. internal medicine, family practice, psychiatry, pharmacy, nursing, social work, audiology, neuropsychology, etc.) and will focus on addressing problems that arise during the early post-hospital period.  In addition, educational products will be created which facilitate just-in-time learning in the clinics and interface with cutting-edge communication and information technologies.  A database will also be developed to track learners, educational outcomes, and associated patient care outcomes.

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Improving Continuing Education at the MAC

Project Objective:

Provide regular interdisciplinary continuing education opportunities to health professionals through the Milwaukee Aging Consortium

Project Leader(s):

Ms. Stacy Barnes, Marquette University

Contributing Faculty & Staff:

Yvonne Moss

Brief Description:

The Milwaukee Aging Consortium (MAC) is an interdisciplinary membership organization in Milwaukee, devoted to locally connecting professionals who serve older adults.  Typical of many small non-profit organizations, the MAC currently operates with only one staff person and is reliant upon a large volunteer base to plan, execute, and evaluate its educational programs.  The overall aim of this WGEC project is to improve the MAC’s educational programming by:

  1. identifying topics related to geriatrics/gerontology that address discipline-specific competencies and licensing requirements;
  2. developing new evaluation tools that will help determine whether the training programs are having an impact on learners’ knowledge, skills, attitudes, and/or behaviors.
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