University of South Florida

USF awarded $2.24 M grant to improve care for older adults

USF Health will team with Tampa Family Health Centers to build a health care workforce integrating primary and geriatric care

Tampa, FL (Aug. 13, 2015) —
The University of South Florida, in partnership with Tampa Family Health Centers (TFHC) and Senor Connection Center (SCC), has been awarded a three-year, $2.24-million federal grant to help prepare a health professions workforce to improve care for older adults.  The USF Health colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy, the School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences, the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute, and the USF School of Aging Studies will be among the collaborators for the project.

USF Health was one of 44 organizations in 29 states receiving a portion of the more $35 million awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration through its Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program.   The grants support interprofessional geriatrics education and training to provide care responsive to community needs.  Florida State University was the only other awardee in Florida.


Rita D’Aoust, PhD, of the USF College of Nursing, is principal investigator for the interprofessional Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program project teaming USF Health with Tampa Family Health Centers.

“The competition for this funding was intense, so the award is a testament to the existing and expanding clinical collaboration across our USF Health colleges,” said principal investigator Rita D’Aoust, PhD, associate professor and associate dean of academic affairs and interprofessional initiatives in the USF College of Nursing. “The grant will help us better prepare a workforce to support the state’s growing geriatric population and address gaps in health care for older adults.”

“This grant will be invaluable to Tampa Family Health Centers’ mission to provide quality, caring and accessible health care to a culturally diverse community, in particular older adults,” said Charles Bottoms, MBA, chief executive officer of TFHC.

TFHC — a Federally Qualified Health Center operating 15 clinics across Hillsborough County — provides medical, dental, pharmacy and behavioral health outpatient services to children and adults in underserved communities.

Senior Connection Center — the local Aging and Disability Resource Center — helps elders and their caregivers understand and navigate the complex web of services, agencies, long-term care, and home and community-based options available to them.

The project is expected to provide direct “age-friendly” primary care services to 6,000 underserved TFHC patients age 60 or older, with the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute offering direct services, including memory screening outreach and cognitive testing, to another 1,156 patients.

TampaFHC 1_RSS

Tampa Family Health Centers, a Federally Qualified Health Center operating 15 clinics across Hillsborough County, provides medical, dental, pharmacy and behavioral health outpatient services to children and adults in underserved communities.

Working with TFHC, USF Health faculty will tailor a geriatrics curriculum offered to USF medical, nursing, pharmacy and physical therapy students as well as residents and fellows interested in specializing in geriatric care.  Trainees will rotate through TFHC under faculty supervision for clinical training integrating geriatric and primary care.

The grant will also help build the geriatric workforce capacity within TFHC, including funds for hiring and training four case managers and two patient care navigators.  Through interprofessional training and educational opportunities, USF Health will enhance the knowledge and skills of 300 TFHC health care professionals, including physicians and pharmacists, so they can better assess and meet the needs of older adults and their families or caregivers.

 -USF Health-
USF Health’s mission is to envision and implement the future of health. It is the partnership of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Public Health, the College of Pharmacy, the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, and the USF Physician’s Group. USF Health is an integral part of the University of South Florida, a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. For more information, visit 

Media Contact:
Vjollca “V” Hysenlika, College of Nursing Communications
(813)974-2017, or


Network-wide options by YD - Freelance Wordpress Developer