In this symposium we present five examples of critical gaps in knowledge and practice being addressed at Silberman Aging: A Hartford Center of Excellence, one of only five in the country. The Center’s mission is to promote inter-professional, community-engaged leadership in research, policy, education, and practice in gerontological social work, with a focus on ethnically, culturally, racially, and economically diverse urban communities. The first project focuses on building cultural competence in aging and LGBT services nationally by evaluating the impact of various in-person and web-based curricula for aging network professionals. A second paper discusses the pilot testing of a care transition model designed to address complex health and psychosocial needs of diverse older adults. A third presentation describes gaps in knowledge and information uncovered among older adults, their families, and professionals serving them in an under-resourced urban setting and innovative approaches to addressing such needs. A fourth paper presents results of interviews of chronically-ill older adults in Harlem regarding perceptions of symptom burden, caregiving needs, resources, and service utilization, including community Pain Management and Palliative Care. Finally, a fifth paper examines results of outreach strategies used in the Sandy Mobilization, Assessment, Referral and Treatment for Mental Health (SMART-MH) project, an innovative academic-community collaboration of psychiatrists, social workers, public and non-profit service providers, and student interns who are integrating micro-macro practice. Taken together, the presentations highlight the leadership role social work can take in uncovering, exploring, and productively addressing the needs of the increasingly important older adult demographic through research, practice, and policy efforts.
Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (2014). Disparities in healthcare quality among racial and ethnic minority groups: Selected findings from the 2010 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report. Author: Rockville, MD.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2013). The state of aging and health in America 2013. Atlanta, GA: Author.
Gee, G. C., & Ford, C. L. (2011). Structural racism and health inequities: Old issues, new directions. Du Bois Review, 8(1), 115–132.