On August 5, 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced $159.1 million in grants to improve health care workforce training, including nursing and geriatrics. These funds address a growing shortage of nurses and geriatric specialists as the senior population grows rapidly.stethoscope

The funds will be used for training new health care workers, as well as improving educational programs to better train the existing workforce for providing geriatric care.

Specifically, $106 million will be allocated to nursing workforce development, including such areas as nursing workforce diversity and nursing education, practice, quality, and retention. $29.5 million will go to geriatric education and training, including geriatric training for physicians, dentists, and mental health professionals. $4.2 million of the geriatric training fund will be used for a comprehensive geriatric training program.

This news comes alongside an announcement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of $2.25 billion in funding to support the development of community-based long-term care alternatives. These funds are part of the Money Follows the Person Rebalancing (MFP) Demonstration. CMS encourages states who are not yet participating to apply for funding. Those that are already participating may utilize funds to expand their current programs.

The goal of MFP is to transition appropriate individuals from institutional settings, such as nursing home facilities or assisted living, to home and community-based care models.

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