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Geriatric Health Screening Certificate Program.

The Montana Geriatric Education Center (MTGEC), the Montana Primary Care Association, and the Montana Area Agencies on Aging Association, along with ImProving Health Among Rural Montanans (IPHARM), have received a grant to provide education on geriatric wellness testing to Montana health professionals and health profession faculty and students. The MTGEC was created in July 2002 with the funding of a five year grant from the Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration to facilitate the training of health professions faculty, students, and practitioners in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention of disease, disability, and other health problems of the elderly.

IPHARM will play a major role in this new supplemental grant. IPHARM was created by an Office for the Advancement of Telehealth (OAT) federal grant in late 2002. After purchasing wellness-testing equipment and hiring staff, IPHARM began services in February 2003. IPHARM pharmacists have traveled over 14,000 miles since then providing wellness-testing services to over 3,000 Montanans.

IPHARM offers four basic wellness tests for bone density, cholesterol, diabetes and thyroid function. Donna Beall, PharmD, the project's Principal Investigator indicates," The four tests were chosen because they test for health issues that are often silent. That is, the symptoms of the problems may be easily overlooked." Furthermore, she explained, the tests were chosen because they meet criteria specified by the "Healthy People 2010" program. This is a national program that sets health goals for the United States.

The MTGEC-IPHARM grant focuses on educating and training health profession students, faculty, and rural health professionals in the provision of wellness testing. MTGEC will provide the educational modules while IPHARM will provide a platform for hands-on training of those students and professionals who have completed the modules. The ultimate goal of the project is to improve health outcomes for rural Montanans.

The Geriatric Health Screening Certificate Program is an extended educational program designed for community and ambulatory care pharmacists, physical therapists, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and social workers that want to conduct geriatric health screening in rural Montana communities. A certificate of learning will be provided for participants at the completion of all four sections of this program, which includes home study modules, a training workshop, the screening experience, and program development.

The Montana Nurses' Association has approved this program for 46.8 contact hours. Those participants not interested in obtaining a certificate can complete the home study component for 10 contact hours.

The University of Montana Skaggs School of Pharmacy is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education and has approved this program for 4.0 CEU.

For further information on the certificate program or scheduling an IPHARM screening, contact Julia Schrom at the Montana Geriatric Education Center, 406-243-2339, 866-506-8432 (toll free), or

Gayle Hudgins Cochran, Pharm.D., Director of Experiential Education

Skaggs School of Pharmacy, The University of Montana, Missoula, Montana
COPYRIGHT 2005 Montana Nurses Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Title Annotation:Continuing Education
Author:Cochran, Gayle Hudgins
Publication:The Pulse
Geographic Code:1U8MT
Date:Jul 1, 2005
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