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New Online Resources Released to Support Health Workforce for Older Adults

Health & Medicine would like to announce two great resources recently made available online: CATCH-ON and ENGAGE-IL. Our own Chicago Area Health Education Center (AHEC) at Health & Medicine and Center for Long Term Care Reform have teamed up to help review and define these two programs as a way to increase access to learning and professional development opportunities for health professionals; promote health careers development to students; and enhance collaborative, community-based health promotion activities.
 
Chicago AHEC is committed to helping to recruit, support, and maintain a diverse workforce with a focus on underserved and underrepresented communities. Chicago AHEC’s participation in CATCH-ON builds on program goals of diversity, distribution, and practice transformation. In addition to these goals, CATCH-ON and ENGAGE-IL embody the mission of the Center of Long-Term Care: promoting a just system of long-term services and supports that enables people to live according to their own goals and values. Both Chicago AHEC and the Center for Long-Term Care Reform also participate in the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program.

CATCH-ON, which stands for Collaborative Action Team training for Community Health—Older adult Network, is a module-based program designed to “unify state-wide academic, health, and community organizations and resources to prepare a geriatric collaborative practice-ready health workforce optimizing health while serving and improving patient-centered health and wellness outcomes.” CATCH-ON provides universally accessible online modules for all learners (and all ages) with a focus on multiple chronic conditions (MCC) management especially those with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD).  The program itself uses real-life scenarios and continuing story lines to keep learners engaged; it also incorporates “checkups” that tests users on previously learned information. 

ENGAGE-IL is an “interprofessional community of learning and practice focused on improving the health of older adults.”  The program is offered to a multi-faceted group of learners including health professionals, students, older adults, and community partners serving older adults. The free Interprofessional Geriatric Training Program includes 32 modules on key topics related to the care of older adults.  Most of the modules are 30 minutes in length and include interactive films with narrators, infographics, and expert interviews.

Both programs offer free continuing education credits for medicine, pharmacy, occupational therapy, social work, and dentistry with the completion of the modules, assessment questions, and post-evaluation survey.  Additionally, they discuss the Bridge Model of Transitional Care which has its roots at both Health & Medicine and Rush University Medical Center.  This social-work based interdisciplinary intervention program exemplifies many of the lessons in the two programs.