Formerly IGSW News | VOLUME 24 | WINTER 2017 |

From the Director

In aging and disability

Opportunities Amidst the Challenges of 2017

By Bronwyn Keefe

A new year always brings challenges and opportunities. For those of us in aging and disability, results of the recent election have made clear the extraordinary challenges we face in 2017, while the opportunities may be harder to envision.

Threats to healthcare and long-term supports and services are great. Congress has already taken the first steps to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Proposals that would undermine Social Security, Medicare, and, especially, Medicaid are in line. The health and well-being of millions of Americans, particularly the vulnerable populations we serve, are at risk.

Yes, opportunities do exist. They stem from our contributions over the past eight years to changing the way healthcare is delivered. The emerging system fostered by the Affordable Care Act already has strong roots and will be harder to "repeal" than changes in the way insurance is provided. This issue of The LearningEdge highlights examples of innovative workforce training, patient-centered care, care coordination, and interdisciplinary care teams. These and other developments supported by the Affordable Care Act are already making the goals of the ACA—better care for more people at lower cost—a reality. It won't be easy, but at CADER, we appreciate the opportunity to continue and build upon this work together with you. Read more

Boston University photo of Bronwyn Keefe, acting director of CADER.
Scott Miyake Geron, director of CADER, is on sabbatical.

Issues and Views

Patients and care teams benefit

Investment in Workforce Training Strengthens
Interdisciplinary Patient-Centered Care

By Brownyn Keefe

The valuable role that skilled supports and services workers play in healthcare delivery is confirmed once again by results of a just-completed two-year study showing that interdisciplinary person-centered care and positive patient outcomes can be strengthened by effective workforce training.

CADER and Commonwealth Care Alliance (CCA) came together in 2014 to design and implement competency-based, standardized training for CCA's rapidly expanding workforce. At healthcare sites in low-income communities across Massachusetts, CCA uses an innovative enhanced primary-care model to serve clients eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. Based on their assessment of CCA workers' skills, CADER developed a set of courses tailored to strengthen the clinical staff's capacity for providing person-centered care as part of an interdisciplinary healthcare team.... For skill gains from the training and benefit to patients and workers, read more.

In my opinion: Julie Abramson

Social Workers, You Can Make Teams Work

By Julie S. Abramson

Social workers are in a unique position to contribute to the effectiveness of interdisciplinary teams because of their professional education, contends Julie S. Abramson, a longtime professor of social work and researcher and consultant on teamwork. "But to draw on these skills successfully," she says, "social workers need to relinquish the false dichotomy between the skills they apply with clients and those they apply with colleagues." Here, she tells how.... Read more.

Photo courtesy Julie S. Abramson

A current priority in policy and practice

New CADER Course: Interdisciplinary Care Teams

The urgent need for comprehensive coordinated care for older adults and people with disabilities—now a priority in policy and practice—means that social service and other care professionals increasingly are called upon to work as members of an interdisciplinary care team. This course provides the skills and knowledge that make an effective team member and a well-functioning team. Real-world examples of how teams solve problems and resolve conflicts as they develop and implement care plans are presented throughout the course. Visit the CADER website for more information or to sign up (use code ENEWS2017 for a 10 percent discount). Also check out the new Interdisciplinary Teams and Healthcare Certificate program.

Notable News and Resources

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Trump Voters
Like Many Provisions of Affordable Care Act

Though repeal of the Affordable Care Act is already under way, it could prove to be complicated. According to the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, conducted a few days after the November 8 election, many provisions of the law are quite popular with voters—including large numbers who reported having voted for Donald Trump. The poll found that a majority of Trump voters have a favorable opinion of the following elements of the ACA:

For the full list of the ACA elements that Trump voters favor and a look at what could happen if voters are reluctant to give up the benefits they like, read more.

New infographic from NIA

Tips for Caregiver Health and Well-Being

Workers who provide supports and services to older adults and people with disabilities know that teaming up with and supporting clients' family caregivers frequently comes with the job. A new resource from the National Institute on Aging is now available to encourage caregivers to attend to their own well-being as an important step in taking care of another.

Make Yourself a Priority, Too: Tips for Caregivers is a concise and appealing infographic that presents simple actions for better health and well-being. The infographic can be posted on Twitter or Facebook or used as a hand-out or as part of an e-mail to clients and families.... Read more

Courses and Certificate Programs

High-Quality Online Training Available for
The Aging and Disability Workforce

Expand your skill set and knowledge by earning CEUs or Certificates from Boston University's Center for Aging & Disability Education & Research (CADER). For over 10 years, CADER has worked with individuals and agencies across the country providing high-quality, cost-effective, self-paced online certificate programs and courses. For a list of available programs, and information, read more.