What's New at CBH

“We’ve Come a Long Way in 11 Years”

3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
Written By:
G. Richard Jackson, MPA, CSA

In 2012, the Riverside Health System merged the Center for Excellence in Aging and Geriatric Health (CEAGH) into the Lifelong Health and Aging Related Services division to allow for CEAGH's mission to be applied at even greater levels. Now known as the Riverside Center for Excellence in Aging and Lifelong Health, CEALH continues its non-profit work to fulfill its mission to improve the quality of life for older adults by integrating academic, clinical, and health services research with the capabilities of local service providers to develop and implement innovative community-based and health care system initiatives that can be replicated and sustained by the Riverside Health System. CEALH places special focus on applied research for operationally sustainable programming to meet the needs of the most vulnerable members of our community, a critical element of population health management. CEALH's ability to bring community partners together with the common goal of improving health care for older adults is critical as the baby-boom age wave continues to grow and accompanying public policy is put in place to improve the nation's approach to health care.

CEALH has recently revised a new Mission and Vision Statement:

Mission & Vision

Mission: To integrate interdisciplinary aging research with clinical capabilities to develop innovative programming that can be applied and sustained by Riverside Health System, the community, and other providers of aging-related services to improve care and better meet the needs of a growing older adult population.

Vision: To lead the development of model communities that will promote the well-being and independence of people as they age through translational research and widespread application.

The Riverside Center for Excellence in Aging and Lifelong Health currently operates around four strategic activities that enable it to research and develop programming targeting aging-related issues and population health management for those with serious and advanced illness. These activities are:

  • Clinical Research
  • Health Services Research and Development
  • Services Promoting Wellness and Independence
  • Community Outreach and Engagement

Clinical Research

CEALH has an active engagement in the selection and completion of clinical trials (i.e. drug trials) that support its mission. Led by the Clinical Research Director and supported by a staff of doctors and clinical research coordinators, the clinical research division actively engages in trials focused on meeting the needs of the community and increasing the quality of patient care.

Health Services Research and Development

The Health Services Research and Development Department has been in existence since the inception of the organization. Also known as the "Aging Research Department", it was a key component in the founding and development of CEALH because of its focus on serving older adults through applied research and collaboration with service providers, health systems, and academic institutions. This department adds significant value through its ability to generate revenue in the form of grant funding and private contracts with service providers, through addressing community needs (e.g., caregiver support), and through examining programs and protocols that can be translated into enhanced service delivery and improved health outcomes for residents of the Peninsula and Williamsburg.

Services Promoting Wellness and Independence

CEALH currently provides two services that are targeted at increasing the wellness of older adults and enabling their independence. These programs are:

Driver Rehabilitation Clinic: CEALH offers one of the most comprehensive driver rehabilitation clinics in Hampton Roads. Led by a licensed Occupational Therapist, who is dually credentialed as a Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist and a DMV-Licensed Commercial Driving Instructor, the clinic offers driving assessments and retraining in order to help older adults make good decision about their driving abilities. The service helps to ease the transportation challenge among older adults, serves as a recognized expert in the field, and helps reduce the dangers of having medically compromised drivers on the road.

Geriatric Assessment Clinic

CEALH offers comprehensive, interdisciplinary evaluations to older adults who are concerned about their ability to remain independent or are suffering from common geriatric syndromes like dementia, memory loss, falls, frailty, etc. The assessment is provided by a team comprising an MD/DO, Neuropsychologist, Registered Nurse, Social Worker, and Physical Therapist. The 4-hour, two-day assessment provides results that help physicians to make recommendations intended to enable their older patients to remain healthy and independent. This service also provides valuable information to caregivers as they struggle to provide necessary care for a parent or loved one.

Community Relations

The Community Relations team at CEALH works to foster relationships with organizations, foundations, and the general population in order to expand upon the mission of CEALH. The Director of Community Relations is now involved in efforts to form regional partnerships for the provision of Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs and Effective care transitions from acute care settings.

Where We Have Been

CEALH was originally called The Center for Excellence in Aging and Geriatric Health (CEAGH) and was incorporated in 2002 under the guidance of The Crossroads Group. This group was a collaboration between community and government organizations that had identified a gap in the conversion of research into application for the older adult population. A number of organizations conducted aging-related research and health systems across the country focused on providing geriatric and palliative care with a limited level of clinical or health services research, but a hybrid of the two models was rare. The Crossroads Group solicited like-minded institutions in the Williamsburg area to combine their resources in the development of a center that would foster both academic and clinical research in a way that would allow for direct application to the older adult population. This founding group included: The Crossroads Group, The College of William & Mary, Eastern State Hospital, Eastern Virginia Medical School, the Peninsula Agency on Aging, the Riverside Health System, Sentara Healthcare, and Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center.

In 2007, the Riverside Health System established an endowment at CEAGH allowing for the Center's financial stability in challenging economic times. Riverside then began to manage the Center's payroll, hiring, accounts, and related administrative support.

For more information about CEALH and our history visit us online at http://www.excellenceinaging.org

Mr. Jackson has served as Executive Director of the Riverside Center for Excellence in Aging and Lifelong Health since 2009.Previously Mr. Jackson served as Geriatric Services Manager for the Hampton Newport News Community Services Board.

He serves on the Leadership Council for the Peninsula Alzheimer's Association and on the Advisory Board for the Peninsula Agency on Aging. In August 2011 Mr. Jackson was appointed by the Southeastern Virginia Alzheimer's Association to serve as ambassador to Congressman Rob Wittman. Mr. Jackson also serves as the Vice-Chair for the Senior Services Coalition.

Additionally, he serves on the Geriatric Mental Health Planning Partnership, a state wide advocacy group that seeks solutions to the issues of access to treatment for older adults for mental health and substance use disorders.

Mr. Jackson holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Richmond and a Master's degree in Public Administration from Old Dominion University. He resides in Williamsburg with his wife Dr. Donna Haygood-Jackson, the Senior Assistant Dean of Students at the College of William and Mary.

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