July 13th at the Whitehouse Conference on Aging, the Montana Geriatric Education Center at the University of Montana was awarded a grant of $163,000 which can be renewed for an additional two years to total $2.1M. Associate Director Terry Egan explains why Montana is a good candidate.

"We are a very rural state, we don't have as many options as other states do," Egan said. "What we have to do is really pull together in our state and do a lot of sharing. In our state, there isn't really another organization or agency that is focusing education especially for the geriatric population. Yet about 25 percent of our population will be geriatric by 2030."

The grant will go towards training and better educating health care staff on improving care for geriatric patients.

"What we are trying to do in primary care because in Montana we have many primary care doctors in rural communities that deal with everyone from infants to older adults," Egan said. "What we are trying to do is integrate geriatric training into the training that we have for primary doctors in our state. We are looking at improving the primary care doctor’s experience with geriatric patients."

They are working in collaboration with RiverStone Health and St.Vincent Healthcare in Billings, along with the Mountain Pacific Quality Health Foundation in Helena. For more information visit their website.

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