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September 9, 2002


Emory Plays Major Role In Atlanta Becoming One of 13 Cities To Receive Grant For Improving Long-Term Care and Supportive Services for Older Adults

Jonathan M. Flacker, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine and chief of geriatrics at Grady Memorial Hospital, has helped initiate and organize the Aging Atlanta partnership, which was recently awarded one of 13 Robert Wood Johnson Community Partnerships for Older Adults grants. The partnership members include a broad range of academic, community, business, and governmental groups including representatives from the Rollins School of Public Health, the Grady Geriatrics Center, Fulton County Department of Family and Children Services, United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta and Reaching Out to Senior Adults (ROSA). The Atlanta Regional Commission is leading the partnership.

"The idea is to bring people together, and for people to work with the community to improve quality of life for seniors," Dr. Flacker said.

The goal of the project is to improve Atlanta's long-term care delivery systems and increase the region's understanding of the impact of an aging society. The project is funded with an 18-month development grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for $150,000 with the opportunity to apply for larger grants for implementation in the future.

Related objectives are to create a better understanding of an aging society and how it affects the Atlanta community; improve the region's long-term care system through the collaboration of providers and increased coordination of services; empower aging individuals using long-term care services by increasing access to information, long-term care option and technology; and educate the community and state and local leaders on the impact of the changing population.

Kathryn Lawler, project director of the Aging Atlanta project, said the grant will examine the impact of aging and how it affects multiple parts of the community with regards to housing, transportation, work force populations, health care delivery, environmental strategies, and supportive service needs.

Aging Atlanta is a partnership between 26 organizations in the Atlanta region. As part of the partnership, a pilot project, focused in south Fulton County, will help address barriers to services such as prescription drugs and mental health services, as well as use a client tracking system to better serve seniors living in the community. Other efforts include creating a resource database that will be installed in a number of public locations including libraries, pharmacies and senior centers.

The 13 Community Partnerships projects, which are based in communities ranging from rural southwest Arkansas to metropolitan San Francisco, will focus on two groups of older Americans: those 60 years of age or older who are at increased risk of disability because of poverty, race or ethnicity, chronic illness, or advanced age; and older adults with physical or cognitive impairments who require long-term care and supportive services. The communities that have received the grants will be eligible to apply for four-year implementation grants averaging $750,000 to put their plans into action. A second round of development grants for a new round of grantees will be announced next summer.

The Community Partnerships for Older Adults program is a new initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to promote better lives for vulnerable older adults in communities across the country through broad local partnerships among health care providers, social service organizations, community leaders, nonprofit and public agencies, private businesses, and older adults and their caregivers and families.

For more information about the Aging Atlanta partnership, contact Kathryn Lawler at: 404/463-3224. For more information about the Community Partnerships for Older Adults, go to:

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