State-wide consortium honors senator for leadership in geriatrics education

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 874-4500

KINGSTON, R.I. — December 9, 2003 — Last month, the Rhode Island Geriatric Education Center (RIGEC) based at the University of Rhode Island, honored Senator Jack Reed for his strong support of education programs for professionals who provide care for the elderly.

The honor was presented to Sen. Reed during the third in a series of RIGEC workshops on geriatric clinical care, as a full house of long term care administrators, social workers, nurses, pharmacists, physicians and other health care providers applauded the Senator for his leadership.

“Senator Reed has consistently been a strong advocate in Congress for funding the training of health care professionals to better prepare them to work with older adults,” said URI Gerontology Professor Phil Clark in presenting the plaque with URI Provost M. Beverly Swan. “We here in Rhode Island have benefited enormously from his leadership in recognizing the importance of providing high quality health care to our older citizens.”

Clark, who is the centers director, also said that the senator has a clear understanding of the impact educational support can have on those working with this growing population and that the programs that have been established through this support, like RIGEC, also have become models for other states.

Founded in 1996 with a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, RIGEC is a consortium of the University of Rhode Island Colleges of Nursing,

Pharmacy and Human Science and Services, Rhode Island College School of Social Work, Brown Medical School and Aging 2000. The center was established to improve knowledge and skills in geriatrics and gerontology among health care and human service providers to better serve the needs of a growing elderly population. Since its founding, RIGEC has provided programs for thousands of health care professionals statewide and across the Southern New England Region.

The Rhode Island Geriatric Education Center sponsors many conferences and seminars throughout the year open to professionals and students. The RIGEC can be reached at 401-874-5311.