Geriatrics Workforce Reauthorization Bill Introduced in Senate

February 8, 2019
Health Policy

Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bob Casey (D-PA) recently introduced the Geriatrics Workforce Improvement Act. This bill would ensure communities across the United States have access to health professionals and other critical supports to improve care for us all as we age. 

This bipartisan bill supports two critical objectives. First, it would formally establish funding for the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP). Second, it would reestablish the Geriatric Academic Career Awards (GACAs), a previously funded program for developing clinician-educators. By supporting the GWEP and the GACAs, the Geriatrics Workforce Improvement Act would:

  • Foster education and engagement with family caregivers by training providers who can assess and address their care needs and preferences
  • Promote interprofessional team-based care by transforming clinical training environments to integrate geriatrics and primary care delivery systems
  • Improve the quality of care delivered to older adults by providing education to families and caregivers on critical care challenges like Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias
  • Reach underserved and rural communities by ensuring clinician-educators are prepared to train the geriatrics workforce of today and tomorrow

The Society, through its involvement with the Eldercare Workforce Alliance (EWA), continues to support this legislation. The EWA is a group of 32 national organizations—representing consumers, family caregivers, and health care professionals, including direct care workers—joined together to address the immediate and future workforce crisis in caring for an aging America.