A Survey of Collaborative Efforts Between Public Health and Aging Services Networks in Community Health Centers in Texas
Description: Federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) that harness the reinforcing nature of collaborative efforts with aging services can better prepare for the future of older adult populations. The purpose of this research was to identify collaborative efforts between FQHCs and aging services and distinguish perceptions and knowledge regarding older adult populations. Executive directors, medical directors and social service directors (N=44) at 31 FQHCs across the state of Texas completed surveys measuring structural, procedural and environmental components of the health center setting. The 2007 Uniform Data System and 2000 US Census provided additional data on health centers use and services. Descriptive statistics analyzed independent variables of health center characteristics. Bivariate analysis determined significance of association between independent variables and levels of collaboration with aging services. Results found that all health centers collaborated with at least one aging service, with more informal than formal partnerships. Respondents indicated major barriers to providing services to older adults, including inadequate transportation, inadequate insurance, and limited funding. Respondents also indicated overloaded staff as a major barrier to collaborating with aging services. Aging topics for staff development and perceptions about older adults were also identified. Health center tenure (p=0.005, lambda=1.000), professional tenure (p=0.011, lambda=1.000), leadership in aging services (p=0.002, lambda=1.000), recent gerontological training (p=0.002, lambda=0.500), formal gerontological training p=0.002, lambda=1.000), strategic planning (p=0.002, lambda=1.000), and having older adults on governing boards (p=0.002, lambda= 1.000) were significantly associated with informal collaboration with aging services. Health center tenure (p=0.006, lambda=0.500), leadership in aging services (p=0.004, lambda=0.500), recent training (p=0.010, lambda=0.500), formal training (p=0.005, lambda=0.500), the designation of health center staff older adult services (p=0.025, lambda=0.250), strategic planning (p=0.011, Iambda=0.500), and older adults on governing board (p=0.009, lambda=0.500) were significantly associated with formal collaboration with aging services. In conclusion, FQHCs' efforts at partnering with aging services should include an investment in ...
Date: May 2009
Creator: Severance, Jennifer Jurado