Alaska Geriatrics Interdisciplinary Leadership Development Program

AK GILD LogoThe HRSA Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program supports the development of a health care workforce that improves health outcomes for older adults by integrating geriatrics with primary care, maximizing patient and family engagement, and transforming the healthcare system.

The Alaska Geriatrics Interdisciplinary Leadership Development (AK GILD) program is a partnership between Southcentral Foundation’s Nuka System of Care and the University of Alaska Anchorage, School of Allied Health. The overarching goal of this program is to create the next generation of leaders who will dramatically improve systems of care that support the health and quality of life for older Alaskans. The three program goals are:

  1. Increase the awareness and knowledge of integrated geriatrics, primary care and behavioral health delivery systems for University of Alaska health programs faculty; thereby ensuring students are well prepared to practice in and lead these kinds of systems;
  2. Advance the knowledge and skills of the full range of health and related professionals, direct service professionals, and advocates to effectively address the needs of older adults and their families/caregivers at the individual, community, and population levels through high quality, interdisciplinary leadership education;
  3. Provide interdisciplinary training opportunities to build capacity of leaders in ADRD’s evidence-based interventions.

Alaska GILD will have two categories of trainees: 1) the University of Alaska (UA) faculty track and 2) the Leadership Track for Health Professionals, Behavioral Health Practitioners, Direct Service Professionals, and Family/Caregivers, and Advocates.

This program will offer 6 faculty summer appointments per year, with travel included as applicable. Also included is resource support for curriculum redesign and attendance at the Alaska Nuka conference. Two (2) seats for each cohort will focus specifically on ADRD’s

Criteria: Tenure track or term faculty with a .5FTE or greater, non-administrative assignment and hold the rank of Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor, from a health or behavioral health program at the University of Alaska. In addition to the above all applicants must have a long-term professional goal to focus on an aspect of leadership in geriatrics. 

Time Commitment:  Summer Assignment (May through June) with approximately 100 hours required. 

  • Up to 16 hours on-site at SCF designated facilities – Externship
  • 40 hours Nuka conference, 3 day pre-conference relationship-based training (Core Concepts)and 2 day break out sessions– June (Alaska) conference
  • 4 hours of webinars on geriatrics topics – assigned by program, NWGEC archives
  • 40 hours curriculum revisions, project activities and/or formal presentation preparation (see examples below)

Product Development Examples:

  1. Syllabus redesign
  2. CE class
  3. Workshop(s)
  4. New course development
  5. Specific modules
  6. E-portfolio (dissemination aspect)

The leadership track will include practicing health professionals, behavioral health practitioners, direct service professionals, family and caregivers, advocates, and students (year 3). This category will have a variety of clinical field placements, depending on backgrounds of participants, which also includes rural locations and within the SCF Nuka System of Care. Cohorts will run during the Fall and Spring academic semesters, and complete all activities in 14 weeks. Three  (3) seats for each cohort will focus specifically on ADRD’s. Completers receive a University of Alaska Anchorage Workforce Credential in Geriatrics.

Criteria: A minimum Associates degree in a health or behavioral health field. In lieu of a degree, at least 5 years of progressively responsible experience in a health or behavioral health discipline may be substituted. Family member/unpaid caregiver/ advocate that has an academic degree or professional training may also be eligible to apply. In addition to the above all applicants must have a long-term professional goal to focus on an aspect of leadership in geriatrics.

Time Commitment:  Fourteen (14), in either Fall or Spring, academic semesters with a minimum of 150 hours required.

  • 30 hours on-site –Externship
  • 54 hours didactic learning
    • 2 day program orientation, 1 day program final presentation opportunity, 20 hours weekly seminars with varying topics, and assigned reading/assignments
  • 5 hours Host Family experience* as applicable
  • 61 hours other field experiences and/or project/product development

*Didactic learning will include a 2 day in-person workshop at the beginning of the semester and a 1 day distance delivered workshop at the end. These workshops will include orientation, rules and requirements, finalizing paperwork, debriefing, post-pre surveys, presentations, and speakers/seminars on geriatrics topics. (24 hours)

Didactic Learning Topic Examples

  • Patient-Centered Models of Care
  • Alaska Natives & Aging – core values
  • Falls and Safety
  • Mental Health Issues and Aging (incorporating such things as Dementias-Assessment and Managing Behavior)
  • Aging People with Disabilities
  • Service Delivery Systems (incorporating such things as SDS, waivers etc.)
  • Intro to aging and the philosophy of aging in place
  • Families and Aging
  • Cultural Views of Aging - cultural competency
  • Pharmacology
  • Advocacy/Policy (AARP presentation and such things as Affordability Health Care Act and Medicare Reform)
  • Diseases such as Stroke
  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Telehealth
  • LGBT and Aging
  • Health Literacy
  • And more!