Jun 25, 2019

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services award will develop new interprofessional geriatric curriculum and training to provide the highest level of geriatric care in Brooklyn

 SUNY Downstate Medical Center today announced that the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, awarded a 5-year, $3.75 million grant to Downstate’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences to prepare physicians, nurses, and other members of the health care team to provide comprehensive, integrated physical and mental health services for older adults. This model service and training initiative will be led by clinical and education experts in primary care, geriatric psychiatry, and nursing with Drs. Carl Cohen and Michael Reinhardt as the project directors, and Drs. Everton Prospere, Shirley Girouard, and Tonya Taylor as Co-Directors.

The grant will provide additional financial resources to support Downstate’s Brooklyn Initiative to Develop Geriatrics Education (BRIDGE), an interprofessional geriatrics education initiative that includes the College of Nursing, the Department of Medicine, the Department of Psychiatry, the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry, the School of Public Health and the College of Health Related Professions, as well as neighborhood health centers and community-based organizations focused on Brooklyn’s aging population.

The grant will also fund educational efforts through Downstate’s Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease, which combines geriatric psychiatrists, advanced practice nurses, geriatric medicine specialists, a behavioral neurologist, social workers, and care managers to provide comprehensive care for patients. The Center also serves as a training site for medical, nursing and other health professional students and for geriatric psychiatry and medicine residents, and fellows.

 "This grant from HRSA recognizes the critical importance Downstate’s Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease and our Psychiatry program in improving the mental health and quality of life for residents here in Brooklyn,” said SUNY Downstate President Wayne J. Riley, M.D. “This funding will result in more intense training for our students, medical residents and fellows, nurses, and other providers to improve the care of older adults at Downstate. In collaboration with community partners and providers, we aim to improve the health and wellbeing of older adults in our community.”

The HRSA grant will be dispersed over 5 years to support comprehensive care and services to Brooklyn’s aging population by educating providers, healthcare workers, and students about the physical and mental health needs of older adults. It will also address the social determinants of health in integrated primary care and geriatric settings.

Funding will also be used to promote health literacy, age-friendly health systems and dementia-friendly communities through partnerships with local organizations, including the Brownsville Multi-Service Family Health Services, Kings County Hospital, Fort Greene Council, and the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health.1

About SUNY Downstate’s Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease
SUNY Downstate’s Center for Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease offers integrated, one-stop care for patients and caregivers that include geriatric psychiatrists, geriatric medicine specialists, a behavioral neurologist, medical assistant, social workers, care managers, and a neuropsychologist. Many of the staff are bi-lingual. The program serves as a training site for students, residents, and fellows in geriatric psychiatry and medicine.

Note: This program is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $3.75 million with zero percentage financed with nongovernmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.



About SUNY Downstate Medical Center

SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Health Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and a multifaceted biotechnology initiative including the Downstate Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT for early-stage and more mature companies, respectively.

SUNY Downstate ranks twelfth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools. More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.