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