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All Hands on Deck: Training A Geriatric Workforce

All hands on deck. That’s how four state universities won federal grants to help train a woefully unprepared California geriatric workforce — especially in underserved communities.

The grants mark an important shift in the way older adults will be treated in the future. Instead of a single physician, teams of health professionals will offer wraparound care spanning physical and behavioral health as well as social services and referrals to community groups.

In some cases, “physician extenders” like nurses will be specially trained in geriatrics and injected into health systems facing a shortage of geriatric expertise.