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Michigan State University tackles health needs of an aging statewide population
Date:10/31/2011

EAST LANSING, Mich. - An unprecedented decade of economic demise and a population older than 80 percent of all other U.S. states is putting Michigan in a precarious spot: More aging residents needing health care with fewer resources to pay for it.

Add in a steady decline in elderly support ratio the number of working age adults per older adult and the situation becomes more dire. But with the help of an $800,000 federal grant, Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine is taking steps to address the needs of older adults and at the same time lower health care costs.

With funding from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, the college will establish a statewide Division of Geriatric Medicine, creating a network of osteopathic geriatric fellowships in Michigan. The fellowships will allow doctors to undergo specialized training after their residencies.

The goal is to build a multidisciplinary model of care via community-based education, training and research with the use of distance learning, said Carol Monson of the Department of Family and Community Medicine.

"Given our aging population and the trend of more elderly people moving back to Michigan to be closer to family members for their health care needs, it will be the family physicians, general internists, physician assistants and nurse practitioners who will be the sources of primary medical care for these older adults," Monson said. "Those providers need the consultation of fellowship-trained geriatricians, yet there is a significant shortage in that field."

She said the diversity and limited resources of Michigan's aging population require effective training be community-based, culturally relevant and multidisciplinary. MSU's new Division of Geriatric Medicine will tackle those issues on several fronts:

  • Work with residencies affiliated with the College of Osteopathic Medicine to establish a network of osteo
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Contact: Jason Cody
codyja@msu.edu
517-432-0924
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert

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