From the Director

New name, expanded focus, same commitment

IGSW Will Become Center for Aging and Disability
Education and Research at Boston University

By Scott Miyake Geron

ScottAfter 10 years as the Institute for Geriatric Social Work, we will soon be changing our name to better reflect the evolution of our mission over the past several years. IGSW will now be known as the Center for Aging and Disability Education and Research at Boston University, dedicated to workforce development in both the aging and the disability fields. This change is based on our part in the growing movement to integrate supports and services for older adults and people with disabilities and our efforts to meet the corresponding education and training needs of workers and providers who increasingly serve both groups.

ScottTaking this leap forward prompts a look at how far we've come. When the Institute for Geriatric Social Work at Boston University was founded in 2002 with a grant from the Atlantic Philanthropies, its mission was to address the urgent need for services and care for the burgeoning older population in the face of inadequate numbers of workers trained to provide this care.

In the years since, IGSW has become a national leader in efforts to meet this challenge. We have provided high-quality, low-cost, accessible online education and training to develop the skills of social service and other practitioners who work with older adults.

Ours is a unique and powerful model. IGSW courses are designed to address the basic competencies that workers need in order to be effective. Working with leading experts, we ensure that the courses convey the latest in knowledge and practice using the best online teaching and technology.

Through partnerships with national organizations and state and local agencies, IGSW brings this model to practitioners where they work. And, by providing a full range of management and learning supports, we help agencies implement our programs and ensure that their workers put into practice what they learn. More than 50,000 practitioners in state and local agencies throughout the country have benefitted from our programs thus far.

Now, with a new name and expanded focus combined with our longtime base at Boston University, renowned for excellence in aging and disability research and practice, we will continue to bring outstanding learning opportunities to workers—in aging and disability—now and in the future. We look forward to our continued association in this challenging and fruitful endeavor with you, our colleagues and friends.

Scott Miyake Geron, Ph.D., is director of IGSW and an associate professor in the School of Social Work at Boston University.

From Administration for Community Living

New Grant Will Fund Training for Aging, Disability
Providers in Negotiating with Managed-Care Organizations

IGSW/Center for Aging and Disability Education and Research has just been awarded a grant from the U.S. Administration for Community Living-Office of Aging and Disability Policy to train aging and disability providers across the country, including those on tribal lands, in negotiating with health and managed-care organizations.

In the first year of what is expected to be a three-year project, IGSW/Center for Aging and Disability Education and Research will do the following: (1) research with tribal organizations through focus groups and interviews to understand the issues and challenges of these organizations in working with managed long-term-care systems; and (2) develop an online training course on the role of participant direction in managed long-term care for aging and disability service providers around the country.

"We are pleased to have this opportunity to develop and strengthen the ability of aging and disability providers to negotiate with managed care organizations at this crucial time, especially in addressing issues such as participant direction," said Scott Miyake Geron, director of IGSW/Center for Aging and Disability Education and Research.

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Copyright © 2012 Trustees of Boston University. All rights reserved. This article may not be duplicated or distributed in any form without written permission from the publisher: The Institute for Geriatric Social Work, Boston University School of Social Work, 264 Bay State Road, Boston, MA 02215, U.S.A.; e-mail: igsw@bu.edu.