Center of Excellence for Geriatric Scholarship, Training and Faculty Development
The mission of the Center of Excellence for Geriatric Scholarship, Training and Faculty Development is to provide an intercampus consortium at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Medicine to encourage outstanding education and faculty development in geriatrics. The center is composed of faculty members of the departments of Family and Community Medicine and Internal Medicine from the campuses of Amarillo, Lubbock, and Permian Basin. The Center will focus its efforts on identifying academic initiatives in geriatrics that are appropriate for cross-campus collaboration, supporting and evaluating geriatric fellowship training programs, and encouraging faculty development in the care of older adults. The Amarillo campus is designated as the administrative site for collaboration with other health sciences center schools and higher education institutions.
Background and Needs
From 1990-2000, although the population of West Texas served by the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine increased by 7.3%, the population over age 65 grew at a rate of almost double (12.6%) and West Texas over the age of 85 increased over four-fold (32%). The growth rate in this age group in West Texas is approximately 10 times that of West Texans under the age of 44. Rural areas of Texas--just like rural areas across the United States--have high proportions of older adults, estimated at 54% (6,026) of persons age 60 and over. Nonetheless, the number of physicians trained to provide care to these older adults has not continued to grow. According to the American Geriatrics Society, there are currently 7,128 certified geriatricians in the US--one geriatrician for every 2,546 Americans 75 or older. However, due to the projected increase in the number of older Americans, this ratio is expected to drop to one geriatrician for every 4,254 older Americans in 2030.
For the academic year 2009-2010, 468 geriatric medicine first-year fellowship training slots were available, and 253 (54%) were filled. The TTUHSC currently has five fellowship slots- two in Amarillo, two in Lubbock, and one in Odessa. To improve health access for seniors across West Texas, continued education and faculty development is essential.
All three campuses that are participating in the Center of Excellence have benefited from a strong geriatric curriculum supported over the years from the Hartford Foundation and the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. In fact, since the receipt of the $1.99M Reynolds Foundation grant, the School of Medicine saw a major strengthening of its geriatric curriculum and programs at all training levels, including medical students, residents, and faculty development. Both Amarillo and Lubbock are members of the Geriatric Education Center SWAP Consortium spearheaded by UTHSC of San Antonio. For other geriatric programs offered by TTUHSC, please visit Geriatric Programs Resources.
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