On Friday, November 15, over 45 professionals in the field of gerontology attended the first-ever International Workshop on Home Care Medicine in Austin, Texas, as part of the Gerontological Society of America’s (GSA) Annual Scientific Meeting. The GSA describes itself as “the oldest and largest interdisciplinary scientific organization devoted to the advancement of gerontological research, learning, and practice.”
Recognizing the need to expand the “home care medicine conversation” globally, GSA invited the Home Centered Care Institute (HCCI) and American Academy of Home Care Medicine (AAHCM) to develop and co-lead the workshop. The session brought presenters together with participants from countries around the world, including Canada, China, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United States.
Aaron Yao, PhD, lead researcher for HCCI and Cheeloo Scholar Professor at Shandong University in China, played a key role in organizing the workshop. The program was designed to present recent trends and developments in home care medicine, facilitate the building of strategic partnerships to address global challenges, and provide an opportunity for peer networking.
The workshop was made up of four panel sessions featuring participants from different countries and allowed for extensive Q&A. The four panel themes were Service Delivery and Interprofessional Care, Technology (Mobile Diagnostics, EMR) in Home Care, Payments and Revenue Models, and Workforce Education and Training.
When asked what stood out most for him about the program, Yao answered, “The workshop’s message to me was simple but powerful – that aging has no borders and that great minds think alike.”
Melissa Singleton, Chief Learning Officer, HCCI, also found unique value in the event, “Having the chance to hear people from around the world talk about this growing and much-needed field of medicine reminded me of how very much alike we all are. Of course, each country has its own methodology, such as how they train providers, their payment models, and so on. But, even with that, finding our commonalities and sharing best practices make the world a little smaller, the challenges more manageable and the opportunities for collaboration even greater.”
The GSA workshop was not HCCI’s first appearance on an international stage. A little over a year ago, Yao facilitated an invitation for Dr. Thomas Cornwell, Chief Executive Officer of HCCI, to teach at the Shandong University School of Healthcare Management. Since then, much of HCCI’s curriculum has been translated into Chinese, and a total of 1,250 Chinese providers have been trained by HCCI faculty. The recent collaboration for GSA was an opportunity to bring Dr. Cornwell and HCCI back together with colleagues at Shandong University, as well as to meet new leaders in the field from around the world.