Problem: A faculty development curriculum aimed at increasing health literacy and awareness of patient care issues in ethnogeriatrics is essential to address serious deficiencies in faculty and health professionals’ training and to prepare future health care professionals to care for older adults.
Approach: Authors from the Stanford Geriatric Education Center developed and implemented a faculty development program in Health Literacy and Ethnogeriatrics (HLE). The goal was to enhance faculty and health professionals’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes in HLE-related areas (e.g., health disparities, low health literacy, quality of care for ethnically diverse elders, patient/provider communication). The curriculum was implemented during an intensive weeklong program over a three-year period (2008–2010). The eight-module core curriculum was presented in a train-the-trainer format, supplemented by daily resource sessions.
Outcomes: Thirty-four faculty participants from 11 disciplines, including medicine, came from 19 institutions in 12 states. The curriculum positively affected participants’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to topics in HLE. Participants rated the curriculum’s usefulness highly, and they reported that over 57% of the content was new. The HLE curriculum provided a mechanism to increase the self-assessed knowledge, skills, and attitudes of participants. It also fostered local curricular change: Over 91% of the participants have either disseminated the HLE curriculum through seminars conducted at their home sites or implemented HLE-related projects in their local communities, reaching diverse patient populations.
Next Steps: Next steps include measuring the impact on the participants’ teaching skills and at their home sites through their trainees and patients.