Category: Health and Health Care

5 - Geriatric Assessment Interdisciplinary Team Program – An Interprofessional Training Opportunity in Geriatric Care - Preparing the Next Generation of Providers of Care for an Older Population

For the past 23 years, the Geriatric Assessment Interdisicplinary Team (GAIT) Program has provided one or two day interprofessional, geriatric/team training programs for more than 14 health professional, social work and law programs in the University of Maryland System.  The program is the result of a partnership between the University of Maryland Baltimore’s Geriatrics and Gerontology Education and Research Program and the Eastern Shore and Western Maryland Area Health Education Centers. In addition to the program offering both interprofessional team and geriatric training, each session is located in a rural geriatric care facility which features a care specialty – for example = dementia care, geriatric rehabilitation or palliative care.  Health literacy, aging simulation and other relevant topics are touched up specific to the host facility.

Each GAIT Program agenda features both didactic and clinical experiences for no fewer than three professional disciplines.  In many cases, this will be the first interprofessional experience for the students who are guided through each GAIT by its coordinator and by the professional team hosting each rotation.   GAIT has been embraced by faculty and students as a successful introduction to team training, geriatrics and rural care. 



Reba Cornman

University of Maryland, Baltimore; Geriatrics and Gerontology Education and Research Program
Baltimore, Maryland

Reba Cornman, MSW is Director of the Geriatrics and Gerontology Education and Research Program, The Graduate School, University of Maryland Baltimore.

As Director of GGEAR she has organized the following program:

On campus interprofessional activities for UMB students;

Off campus interprofessional student training with the Area Health Education Centers is known as the Geriatric Assessment Interdisciplinary Team (GAIT) program which reaches UMB students as well as students in each health and social work degree program within the University System of Maryland campus. Funding for GAIT is from USM. The program has served several thousand students over its 21 year history.

Interprofessional professional education conferences in Baltimore, The Eastern Shore and Western Maryland in addition to nursing assistant conferences and the Southern Maryland Caregivers Conference which is celebrating its 25th year this spring.

Each of the programs is done in collaboration. At UMB with faculty from each of the schools and programs with geriatric/gerontology strengths, in the community with the Area Health Education
Centers, city or county based Departments of Heath and Social Services; and Area Agencies on Aging plus other community based non-profits serving older adults.

In addition, Reba has been a partner with the Johns Hopkins Geriatric Education Center Consortium, now the Hopkins Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program and the Hopkins interprofessional education programs for Hopkins medical and nursing students with Notre Dame of Maryland Pharmacy students.

Terri Socha

Clinical Education and Geriatrics Program Coordinator
Cumberland, Maryland

Terri Socha
BA, Psychology and Political Science, University of Dayton; served as Summer VISTA volunteer. Graduate work in Psychology, University of Connecticut and Psychology instructor at Allegany College of MD, University of Pittsburgh-Bradford and Frostburg State University.
Since 1999, coordinated Clinical Education and Geriatrics programs (interprofessional education for health professions students and professionals) Maryland AHEC West. Terri has presented on campus – community partnerships for Interprofessional Education at Maryland Rural Health Association, National Academies of Practice, National AHEC, and VA Tech.
As an Older Adult, she is a passionate advocate for quality, person-centered care in geriatrics.

Lisa Widmaier

Project Coordinator for Geriatric Education
Eastern Shore Area Health Education Center
Cambridge, Maryland


Lisa Widmaier is Project Coordinator for Geriatric Education and the Community Health Worker Lead Trainer for the Eastern Shore Area Health Education Center (ESAHEC). After receiving her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education, Ms. Widmaier taught in the public school system before accepting the Project Coordinator position at ESAHEC. She has been the Geriatric Assessment Interdisciplinary Team (GAIT) Program Coordinator since 2012 and has used her teaching degree to educate health professionals about geriatrics and team-based care. Ms. Widmaier has established herself as an integral leader in developing the Community Health Worker workforce in the state of Maryland and is relied upon for her expertise, as well as providing expertise in geriatric, interprofessional education.