Program Initiatives

Director's Welcome

Welcome to the Montana Geriatric Education Center, home of the Montana Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (MGWEP)

The Montana Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (MGWEP) is a collaboration between the Montana Geriatric Education Center at the University of Montana, Missoula, RiverStone Health in Billings, St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings, and Mountain-Pacific Quality Health, the state QIO, in Helena, and is supported by partner organizations throughout the state.

MGWEP provides geriatric education and training to develop a health care workforce to improve health outcomes for older adults. Programming will be provided for patients, families, caregivers, direct care workers, health professionals, students, family medicine residents and faculty in a variety of settings.

Montana Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Initiatives

 Initiative 1: Interprofessional Collaboration, Education and Training in Geriatrics

Geriatrics will be integrated with primary care in community health centers training teams of family medicine residents and health professions students.  Patients, families and caregivers will be engaged and will gain confidence in managing the patients’ conditions.

 Initiative 2: Interdisciplinary Geriatric Health Screening Initiative

Students provide geriatric health screening in interdisciplinary teams throughout rural Montana.  Individuals, families and caregivers will be engaged and will gain confidence in managing the patients’ conditions.

In partnership with the Skaggs School of Pharmacy, Improving Health Among Rural Montanans (IPHARM) wellness screenings are conducted in a variety of settings including senior centers, pharmacies, health fairs, and urban Indian centers. Follow-up is provided for individuals with abnormal results.

 Initiative 3: Development of the Geriatric Nursing Workforce

Opportunities will be provided for the infusion of geriatric knowledge and skills in the nursing workforce in Montana. Professional development opportunities will be provided to individuals who care for older adults on a variety of topics including Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD).

 Initiative 4 – Continuing Education in Geriatrics for Health Professionals

Continuing education programs will be presented annually on geriatric topics for groups of Montana health professionals from such disciplines as medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, social work, and others. The goal is to develop providers who can assess and address the needs of older adults and their families/caregivers at the individual, community, and population levels.

 Initiative 5: Geriatric Curriculum Expansion

An online geriatric curriculum is available through MTGEC which can be used to complete professional continuing education requirements or to meet employment or personal goals. Contact hours are approved for a variety of health professions. Educational modules offered include:

  • Core modules providing an overview and background information.
  • Health Issues modules provide in depth information on the treatment of common conditions in older adults.
  • Geriatric Health Screening modules discuss the rationale and methods for screening older adults for specific diseases.
  • Education modules are designed for professionals who teach or train staff. They discuss principles of teaching and learning.

 Initiative 6 – Geriatric Training for Direct Care Workers

Training will be provided in the care of older adults for direct care workers (certified nursing assistants, home health aides, community health workers, health navigators, and others) employed in such settings as long term care and assisted living facilities, home health agencies, and in the community.

 Initiative 7 – Geriatric Education for Patients, Families and Caregivers

Community-based programs will be offered that will provide patients, families, and caregivers with the knowledge and skills to improve outcomes and the quality of care for older adults.