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Institute for Geriatric Social Work Receives Grant

Earlier this fall, the Atlantic Philanthropies awarded the Institute for Geriatric Social Work (IGSW) at the School of Social Work a 10-month grant. But Scott Miyake Geron, an SSW associate professor and IGSW director, is looking well beyond that time frame.

According to Geron, the $720,000 grant will allow him and his SSW colleagues to strengthen the workforce available to provide care for an aging society whose increasing number of elderly people will need long-term assistance.

“There’s a real crisis in the workforce caring for the aging,” Geron says. “IGSW is committed to trying to meet that workforce crisis through our programs.”

One of his goals is to reduce what he calls the tremendous turnover rate of geriatric social workers and to “create stronger career pathways,” with more sustainable wages and better job options for current and future practitioners.

The Atlantic Philanthropies, a foundation dedicated to spending its multibillion dollar endowment by 2020 to improve the lives of “disadvantaged and vulnerable people,” supported the creation of IGSW with a $4,400,000 grant in 2002. Since then, the institute has become the leading source of online training for geriatric caregivers and has trained more than 40,000 people in the United States and internationally.

“We are using this time to develop a real long-range sustainability plan to allow us to continue the work of the institute in the years ahead,” Geron says.
Rebecca McNamara can be reached at ramc@bu.edu.