The Geropsychology Podcast is an educational resource on all things gero-related. Listen to experts in the field talk about issues related to mental health and aging, geropsychology education, careers in geropsychology, long-term care, hospice and palliative care, caregiving, and much more.

Careers in Geropsychology: Geriatric Patient-Aligned Care Teams (GeriPACTs)

In this episode, Dr. Grant Harris joins me to talk about working in a geriatric primary care and his research on GeriPACTs in the Veterans Health Administration.

Dr. Grant Harris is a geropsychologist currently working in the Geriatric Primary Care Clinic at the St. Louis VA. He received his PhD from The University of Alabama with a clinical and research interest in geropsychology. With the help of his advisor, Dr. Rebecca Allen, Grant was presented with the Outstanding Dissertation Award and the Psychology Department's Award for Outstanding Research by a Doctoral Student for his work in several domains, including dementia caregiving, the stress process in older adults, and the use of religiosity as a coping strategy in chronic illness. Dr. Harris completed his internship at the Memphis VA Medical Center and stayed for a fellowship in Clinical Health Psychology with an emphasis on late life. He joined the St. Louis VA in 2015. He is a member of the facility Dementia Committee and VISN 15 Dementia Committee. In his role as the GeriPACT psychologist, Grant has created and implemented an interdisciplinary dementia evaluation clinic and enacted a facility-wide dementia consult to triage cognitive evaluations to the most appropriate clinic. Dr. Harris was integral to the development of the geropsychology fellowship at the Saint Louis VA and acts as the cognitive evaluation preceptor for the psychology internship and fellowship programs. He serves as newsletter editor on the board of the Council of Professional Geropsychology Training Programs.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of this episode, listeners will be able to:

1. Explain the medical home model.

2. List differences between a GeriPACT and a traditional primary care clinic.  

3. Describe the role and responsibilities of a geropsychologist in a GeriPACT.

4. Describe the current research on GeriPACTs.

For further reading on topics discussed in today’s episode:

- Moye, J., Harris, G., Kube, E., Hicken, B., Adjognon, O., Shay, K., & Sullivan, J. L. (2019). Mental health integration in geriatrics patient-aligned care teams in the Department Veterans Affairs. The American Journal of Geriatrics Psychiatry, 27(2), 100-108.

- Mast, B. T. (2011). Whole person dementia assessment. Baltimore, MD, US: Health Professions Press.

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