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Largest Award in Department’s History Will Support Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program

Dr. Katina Lang-Lindsey and Dr. Sam Choi
June 04, 2024

Social Work Department Awarded $3.6 Million HRSA Grant

In a historic achievement, Dr. Katina Lang-Lindsey and Dr. Sam Choi, professors in Alabama A&M University’s Social Work Department, have secured an extraordinary $3,601,844 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

“This is a spectacular achievement,” says Dr. Tonya Perry, Professor and Chair of the Department of Social Work and Associate Dean of Student Success for the College of Education, Humanities, and Behavioral Sciences. “This is the largest award in the history of our department and a milestone for our college.”

The transformative five-year grant will fund AAMU’s Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP), a visionary initiative aimed at revolutionizing care for older adults.

“The GWEP seeks to educate and train healthcare and supportive care workforces to deliver high-quality, comprehensive care to older adults,” explains Lang-Lindsey. “Through collaboration with community partners, we will enhance patient and family engagement, address critical care gaps, and improve health outcomes for our aging population.”

Central to this mission is the integration of geriatrics with primary care and other specialties, leveraging the Age-Friendly Health Systems Framework.

“This grant empowers us to develop a primary care workforce proficient in Age-Friendly Health Systems principles, ultimately enhancing the well-being of older adults,” adds Choi. “The GWEP initiative, funded by HRSA, marks a significant stride towards our goal of providing holistic, integrated care for the elderly.”

The success of this award is a testament to the collective effort of the entire department.

“Special thanks to Dr. Peter Eley, Interim Dean of the College of Education, Humanities, and Behavioral Sciences, for connecting us with the experts, whose expertise was invaluable,” acknowledges Lang-Lindsey. “I am deeply grateful to my colleagues for their unwavering support and contributions. Thank you, Dr. Choi, for your visionary leadership, and Dr. Perry for your steadfast support.”

Dr. Perry emphasizes this award cements the department’s reputation as a key player in workforce development. The AAMU Department of Social Work has now secured four HRSA Workforce Development grants, totaling nearly $8 million.

“The timing of this award couldn't be more perfect as it coincides with the launch of our Ph.D. program,” Dr. Perry notes. “This creates exciting opportunities for our doctoral students to serve as research assistants, turning proposed possibilities into realities.”