The University of Iowa is the lead organization for the Interprofessional Strategic Healthcare Alliance for Rural Education (iSHARE), funded by the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP). For the success of the iSHARE program, the University of Iowa is bringing together its Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Public Health. Our collaborations with primary care clinics in Eastern Kansas and Iowa, as well as with statewide community-based and quality improvement organizations, are achieving our goal of developing a geriatric care workforce that optimizes community engagement and integrates geriatric and aging mental health expertise into primary care.

Read on for additional information about our collaborating partners.

Aging Resources of Central Iowa is a non-profit community-based Area Agency on Aging (AAA) mandated to provide older adults with services such as case management, home delivered meals, and home repair that will enable them to live independently. The largest AAA in Iowa, their 8-county service area contracts with 26 community-based provider agencies that deliver direct services to 132,248 clients over the age of 60.

Des Moines University (DMU), founded in 1898, is the 2nd oldest osteopathic school in the U.S. and the largest medical school in Iowa. Three health science colleges offer 9 degrees including doctorates in osteopathic medicine, podiatric medicine, and physical therapy. DMU operates a multi-specialty medical clinic with ~ 35,000 patient visits/year in which faculty sees patients and trains students. DMU's Rural Medicine Educational Pathway (RMEP) offers an elective on rural health and scholarships for select students who commit to practicing in a rural Iowa community. RMEP students are among the growing number of osteopathic graduates (60%) who pursue primary care with many practicing in rural areas. DMU offers aging education on a broader scale through its Global Health Pathways of Distinction Program.

Telligen provides services to Medicare providers and beneficiaries as the Quality Improvement Network - Quality Improvement Organization responsible for quality improvement in Iowa, Illinois, and Colorado. The goals of Telligen and the iSHARE project are well aligned: improving nursing home quality through patient and family engagement; implementing substance abuse screening for older adults in primary care; detecting and managing frailty in older adults; and reducing unnecessary antipsychotic use and improving infection control in nursing homes.

VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System (VAEKHCS) serves 39 counties in Kansas and Missouri with a veteran population of over 104,000. In addition to facilities in Topeka (Colmery-O'Neil VA Medical Center) and Leavenworth (Dwight D. Eisenhower VA Medical Center), the VAEKHCS provides services in 9 community-based outpatient clinics. This healthcare system offers an opportunity to integrate training for multiple levels of direct care workers and primary care providers who manage the complex cognitive problems of older veterans and aid their families.