Nov. 30, 2011
Carol J. Farran, DNSc, RN, and Robyn L. Golden, LCSW, received the 2011 Rosalynn Carter Leadership in Caregiving Award for their work with the Community Caregiving Outcomes Alliance (CoCOA) at Rush. Former first lady Rosalynn Carter presented the award, the highest honor given in the caregiving field, during an Oct. 6 ceremony at the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving in Americus, Ga.
Former first lady Rosalynn Carter presented the award, the highest honor given in the caregiving field, during an Oct. 6 ceremony at the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving in Americus, Ga. The award recognizes innovative partnerships between caregiving researchers and community agencies that bridge the gap between science and practice. These partnerships help effective caregiver support programs be put into widespread use more quickly and efficiently.
“Collaboration and partnerships are at the core of the alliance,” Farran said. “We identify the entire spectrum of care and services available and provide older adults and their families with ways to resolve unmet needs.”
Farran is a professor and the Nurses Alumni Association Chair in Health and the Aging Process at the Rush University College of Nursing. Golden is director of older adult programs at the Medical Center. They are co-directors of CoCOA.
CoCOA implements innovative programs to address the needs of caregivers of older adults by nurturing partnerships among researchers, Chicago community agencies and caregivers. In 2007, CoCOA developed the Enhanced Discharge Planning (EDPP) program at Rush. EDPP provides short-term social work care coordination by telephone to at-risk older adults and their caregivers as the person receiving care transitions home after an inpatient hospital stay. EDPP also identifies, supports and educates caregivers to maximize their ability to provide care to patients, who are often leaving the hospital with multiple and complex needs.
“EDPP has significantly decreased patient readmissions,” Golden said. “There are several sites across the country currently replicating the intervention.”
In addition, the Rush University’s College of Nursing caregiver research team in CoCOA has developed and tested interventions with family caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Farran and Golden help extend new training models to nurses and social workers in home health care, assisted living, nursing homes and other settings where family and professional caregivers might benefit.
Upon receiving the award, Farran said, “When I met Mrs. Carter I felt as though I had known her all my life. She is soft-spoken but what she and colleagues have accomplished through the Rosalynn Carter Caregiving Institute speaks volumes across cultures and countries. Receiving this award is both an affirmation of the collaborations we have already established within Rush, but also gives us a greater voice to speak more boldly on behalf of the mental and physical health needs of the many family caregivers with whom we work.”
Photo caption: (L to R, front row) Judy McCann, PhD, RN, professor at Rush University College of Nursing, former first lady Rosalynn Carter, Robyn L. Golden, LCSW, director of older adult programs at Rush, and Carol J. Farran, DNSc, RN, professor, Rush University College of Nursing, at the Oct. 6 ceremony at the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving in Americus, Ga. (back row) Dr. Rick Martinez, Johnson & Johnson.