Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC)
Birmingham/Atlanta GRECCThe Birmingham/Atlanta GRECC has been serving older Veterans in the Birmingham and Atlanta areas since 2000.
Research goals are to establish scientific excellence with an integrated program of biomedical, clinical, health services and rehabilitation research related to preventing and improving the treatment of age-related disorders including nocturia and urinary and fecal incontinence, mobility loss, and symptoms and manifestations of suffering experienced with advanced or life-threatening illness. The ultimate goal is to develop and test interventions to improve and maintain function and prevent and effectively manage physical, emotional, social, and spiritual suffering and thereby improve quality of life for the Veteran population. The GRECC Research Cores are (1) Data Analysis Core; (2) Muscle Research Laboratory including the Biospecimen Repository; and (3) Urodynamic and Anorectal Function Laboratory.
Education and Evaluation
The education program goals are to become a specialized education and training, research and service dissemination asset, to serve as a network geriatric education and training resource, to provide support and enhance patient and family education efforts connected with the Veteran Integrated Service Network’s Geriatric and Extended Care clinical programs and GRECC clinical demonstration programs, and to provide public education to raise awareness of geriatric care issues and approaches. Specific education and training projects are (1) Continence Education Programs; (2) Mobility Training Programs; (3) Palliative Care Training Programs; and (4) Scientific Seminars and Conferences.
The goal of the clinical demonstration programs are to develop innovative, patient-focused models of geriatric care that maximize the quality of life and functional independence of older Veterans, to integrate and coordinate these models of geriatric clinical care into primary care delivery systems, including home-based and nursing home care, to support GRECC research programs, especially maintaining clinical data sets that support health services research, and to provide clinical sites for trainees in multiple health care disciplines to facilitate dissemination of new clinical models and methodologies throughout the VA system. Clinical services are (1) Outpatient Continence Clinics; (2) Fall Prevention and Mobility Clinic; and (3) Palliative Care Programs (Consults, Outpatient Programs, and In-Patient Palliative Care Units).
Rural Promising Practice: IMPROVE: Integrated Management and Polypharmacy Review of Vulnerable Elders
To address polypharmacy, the Geriatric Clinic at the Atlanta VA Medical Center, in collaboration with the Birmingham/Atlanta Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center, established the IMPROVE program. This program is a successful pharmacist-led, patient-centered clinical program that improves medication management in high-risk older Veterans.
Under the IMPROVE program, clinical pharmacists perform face-to-face consults with enrolled Veterans and their caregivers. During these appointments, the pharmacists conduct collaborative reviews of each Veteran’s medication protocols with the Veteran and his or her caregiver. The pharmacists also provide recommendations, education, and strategies and tools to improve the Veterans’ adherence to their medication protocols.
To Learn More
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Office of Rural Health (ORH) implements a targeted, solution-driven approach to increase access to care for the 3 million Veterans living in rural communities who rely on VA for health care. As VA’s lead advocate for rural Veterans, ORH works to see that America’s Veterans thrive in rural communities. To accomplish this, ORH leverages its resources to study, innovate and spread enterprise-wide initiatives through partnerships.