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The Gerontological Society of America Welcomes National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence

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For Immediate Release
July 02, 2012

Contact: Todd Kluss
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(202) 587-2839

The Gerontological Society of America Welcomes National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence

Effective July 1, The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) has become home to the Coordinating Center for the National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence (HCGNE), also known as the Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity Initiative. This program is supported by a grant from The John A. Hartford Foundation. GSA Fellow J Taylor Harden, PhD, RN, FAAN, is the National HCGNE’s director. 

“As we join GSA, I am optimistic about our future and the united vision of gerontological nursing,” Harden said. “This move positions us for new ventures and opportunities to leverage the strengths of the National Hartford Centers, alumni, GSA’s Nursing Care of Older Adults Interest Group, and inter-professional collaborations.”

The National HCGNE is a collaboration between the Coordinating Center and centers housed at schools of nursing that have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to the field of gerontological nursing. They are located at Arizona State University, Oregon Health & Science University, The Pennsylvania State University, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, the University of California, San Francisco, The University of Iowa, the University of Minnesota, the University of Pennsylvania, and The University of Utah.

The Coordinating Center also supports the studies of pre- and post-doctoral gerontological nurse scientists and educators though a program of awards. In the last 12 years, it has aided over 200 individuals who have gone on to teach nearly 33,000 students, receive over $74 million in funding, and publish over 1,300 articles on the care of older adults.

“GSA looks forward to supporting the work of the Coordinating Center and its scholars and fellows, and to cultivating ever stronger interdisciplinary links throughout the Society membership, to help advance research, education, and practice in gerontology,” said GSA Executive Director James Appleby, RPh, MPH.

The National HCGNE has three stated goals: to prepare new faculty to provide academic leadership in geriatric nursing for associate and higher degree nursing programs nationally to address the dynamic and changing needs of the older adults of the future; to enhance the geriatric expertise of current faculty at associate and higher degree nursing programs nationally; and to leverage funding to support current and new National HCGNE activities toward the first two goals and promote long-term sustainability.

John A. Hartford Foundation Senior Program Officer Rachael A. Watman noted that older Americans comprise the majority of patients in many health care settings, yet the preparation of the nursing workforce in geriatric care — as in other disciplines — lags.

“Without sufficient numbers of gerontological expert faculty in the classroom, nursing students will not graduate with the competence to care for older Americans,” Watman said. “By addressing this issue through the National HCGNE, we can increase older patients’ satisfaction, better manage their health conditions, and improve health outcomes.”

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The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society — and its 5,400+ members — is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA’s structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society, and an educational branch, the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education.

Founded in 1929, The John A. Hartford Foundation is a committed champion of health care training, research and service system innovations that will ensure the well-being and vitality of older adults. Its mission is to improve the health of older Americans. Today, the Foundation is America’s leading philanthropy with a sustained interest in aging and health. Through its grantmaking, The John A. Hartford Foundation seeks specifically to enhance and expand the training of doctors, nurses, social workers, and other health professionals who care for elders; and promote innovations in the integration and delivery of services for all older people.

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