Projects Linked to Our Mission

The Community Research Center for Senior Health is proud to be related to a number of significant projects that are impacting senior health now. Center leadership and/or staff are serving on each of these projects, developing a strong infrastructure of interdisciplinary programs for the health of older adults.

South, West, and Central Consortium Geriatric Education Center

GEC is a statewide network of academic, clinical, and community members focused on promoting evidence-based chronic disease self-management education for health care providers caring for seniors. Texas A&M Health Science Center participates in part under the direction of the School of Rural Public Health Program on Healthy Aging, led by Dr. Marcia Ory.

In over 25 years, GEC has served over 50,000 health care providers through culturally appropriate on-site and distance learning geriatric education modules. GEC is funded by Health Resources and Services Administration.

Central Texas Care Transitions Intervention (CTI)

The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS), Central Texas Aging and Disability Resource Center (CTADRC), and Scott & White Healthcare have partnered to provide the Care Transitions Intervention® (CTI) to eligible patients at Scott & White Healthcare since 2008. The current Care Transitions Program (funded in late 2010) was built upon the Community Living Program, which included CTI as a significant component of the intervention.

The CTI program seeks to educate and empower consumers to manage their healthcare needs and prevent unnecessary readmissions to the hospital.

This program is designed to:

  • Support patients during the transition from hospital to home
  • Help patients understand and manage their medications better
  • Prepare patients for follow-up appointments with their primary care physicians after discharge from the hospital
  • Help patients recognize when their conditions are worsening and create a plan for responding to warning signs

HRSA Medication Errors in the Elderly: A Novel Approach of Education and Poison Center Access

Older healthcare consumers are frequently hospitalized and are particularly vulnerable to medical errors, emergency room visits, and readmissions during hospital-to-home transitions. Approximately 8% to 11% of elderly consumers experience preventable or ameliorable adverse drug events after discharge from a hospital to home. The Central Texas Poison Center and Scott & White Healthcare offered an interactive workshop for seniors on resources to help with medication management.  The workshop was free of charge, thanks to funding from a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration. The Patient Engagement & Safety Research Team and Poison Center Educator reached out to Senior Centers in areas served by Scott & White Healthcare. Twenty workshops were completed in Bell, Williamson, McLennan, Falls, Milam, and Washington Counties.  Over 470 seniors attended the workshops.

Grants to Clinical Scientists for Senior Health Research Projects

In 2011, two grants were awarded to clinical scientist-led interdisciplinary research teams to conduct pilot research projects on interventions that impact the health and well-being of senior adults. Each research team was required to include a community partner. One grant was awarded to Shirley F. Jones, MD to fund Achieving Healthy Weight Loss in Obese Older Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, a study to compare the use of three approaches to treat obese older patients with sleep apnea. The second grant was awarded to Yan Hong, PhD to fund ICANFIT: Designing and Testing a Mobile Application for Older Cancer Survivors to Use Community Resources, a study to create a web- and mobile phone-based program to assist older cancer survivors in finding community resources to support physical activity. 

In 2012, three grants were awarded to clinical scientist-led interdisciplinary research teams to conduct senior health-related research projects. One grant was awarded to Jana Reynolds, MD to investigate the impacts of the evidence-based physical activity program Fit & Strong! on cancer survivors. Another grant was awarded to Paul A. Friedman, MD to investigate the impacts of an “intelligent walker” (a walker equipped with a sensor to alert users to its presence and prompt users to use the walker) on falls prevention. The final grant was awarded to Maqsood M. Elahi, MD to investigate surgical/anesthetic factors, social/behavioral factors, and cerebral blood flow as predictors of neurological deficit after cardiac surgery.

Healthy Seniors, Healthy Communities Mini-Grants

The health and well-being of seniors can be positively impacted by community-based programs that promote healthy behaviors and self-management of one’s health conditions. As part of the Community Research Center for Senior Health’s commitment to making community-based health programs available in Central Texas, it provided technical assistance and funding to three community organizations to implement evidence-based health promotion programs for seniors in 2012-2013. The Brazos Valley Area Agency on Aging and the City of Navasota Parks and Recreation Department were both funded to implement Fit & Strong! and the Heart of Central Texas Independent Living Center was funded to implement Active Living Every Day.  These organizations estimate they will reach over 350 Central Texas seniors with their programs.

Program on Aging and Care

The Scott & White Program on Aging and Care develops and investigates support services and clinical interventions to optimize how older adults and their caregivers interact with their healthcare providers. The Program on Aging and Care provides these programs:

Engage in Your Health: Transitions Home for Medicare Beneficiaries provides Care Transitions Intervention® to high-risk Medicare beneficiaries in Central Texas. (Funded by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services [CMS] awarded to the Central Texas Council of Governments and Central Texas Aging & Disability Resource Center.)

Healthy Aging and Independent Living Initiative Evaluation

The Community Research Center for Senior Health won its bid to become the independent evaluator for the United Way of Tarrant County’s Healthy Aging and Independent Living (HAIL) Initiative. The goal of this initiative is keeping older adults with chronic diseases living at home. The initiative is carried out by five agencies, which implement evidence-based and evidence-informed programs. These programs include diabetes screening and education, Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health II (REACH II), and the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program. For the evaluation, the Center will gather data to generate quarterly and annual reports on initiative outcomes, as well as provide technical assistance on a variety of topics to the agencies implementing the HAIL Initiative programs.

Texercise Evaluation

In partnership with the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health, the Center has begun evaluating Texercise, a statewide health promotion program of the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. This evaluation will involve two steps: (1) the standardization of the existing program for widespread dissemination as an evidence-based program and (2) a systematic evaluation of the processes and outcomes associated with Texercise. The evaluation is being conducted as a randomized wait-list design and participants are sedentary or irregularly active older adults aged 60 and older living in the community. Two or three documents for publication in peer-reviewed outlets are expected to be developed out of this evaluation.

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