Geriatric Training and Education (GTE) Initiative
The General Assembly of Virginia has appropriated funds to continue the Geriatric Training and Education (GTE) initiative during the fiscal year, July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017. These funds are intended to develop the skills and capacities of the gerontological and geriatric workforce. The General Assembly has designated the Virginia Center on Aging at Virginia Commonwealth University as administrator of the GTE appropriation. In order to put these GTE monies to their most effective and prudent use, we are issuing a Request for Proposals from Virginia institutions of higher education, community-based organizations, and other not-for-profit groups with a strong history of adult and aging-related experience. The number of awards that will be made depends upon the availability of funds.
Delegate Jack Reid, the sponsor of the budget bill amendment in the 2006 session that launched this initiative, stated the purpose of this annual General Fund (GF) appropriation as: to continue geriatric education and training across Virginia for a wide range of professionals, including medicine, pharmacy, nursing, dentistry, and allied health, and for a variety of levels of service providers, from nursing aides and assistants in home care and long-term institutions, to clinicians in practice and instructors in higher education, …with the appropriation to be administered by the Virginia Center on Aging at Virginia Commonwealth University. These GF monies allowed the Commonwealth to continue support of the Geriatric Academic Career Award (GACA), which assists physicians in their training to become geriatric educators and researchers and to continue and expand the thrust of the former Virginia Geriatric Education Center (VGEC), which ceased operations in 2007. (A new VGEC began operations in 2010 with a federally mandated focus of interprofessional education and training.) While the focus of the VGEC is required by federal funding to be exclusively upon professional level training, GTE monies are not so constrained, and may be used, as stated in the bill’s language, for a variety of levels of service providers, including professionals, nursing assistants, and others who have direct contact providing services to older Virginians.