The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) is the largest medical college in the nation and the only Academic Health Center in the osteopathic profession. As part of LECOM Health, LECOM actively collaborates with numerous community-based organizations and neighboring institutions in Northwest Pennsylvania. LECOM’s geriatric infrastructure is now the most complete continuum of care in the region. In 2015, LECOM established the Lake Erie Integrated Geriatrics Health Team (LIGHT), a multifaceted group of providers, educators, and community-based organizations committed to promoting excellence in geriatrics education, training, and service provision. The LIGHT Project provides a platform for integrating geriatric primary care with Home and Community Based Services (HCBS), other caregiver supports, and a revitalized geriatrics training landscape that includes external educational institutions. LIGHT maximizes impact by integrating and enhancing the LECOM education infrastructure with the array of geriatrics service lines through LECOM Health and community resources. These efforts are enriched by collaborative activities with partnering organizations including multiple nursing schools, Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) in several counties, and local non-profit organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association, Meals on Wheels, and the Rotary Club

The geriatric-related service units in LECOM Health include:

  • LECOM Institute for Successful Aging (LISA), an ambulatory geriatric clinic for primary and specialty care, and consultative services
  • Millcreek Community Hospital (MCH) Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) Unit
  • MCH Geriatric Behavioral Health Care Unit
  • MCH Geriatric Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit
  • MCH Transitional Care Unit
  • LECOM Senior Living Center, a skilled nursing facility
  • Additional LECOM Senior Living Communities, offering a full continuum of care: Regency at South Shore, Parkside North East, Parkside Westminster
  • LECOM Medical Fitness and Wellness Center, a geriatrics-oriented wellness center
  • LifeWorks Erie, a Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) provider
  • Visiting Nurses Association (VNA)

GWEP – Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program

The LIGHT Project is made possible by LECOM’s receipt of a $2.2 million Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) grant. The GWEP supports the development of a health care workforce that improves health outcomes for older adults by integrating geriatrics with primary care, maximizing patient and family engagement, and transforming the healthcare system. The GWEP grant recipients are encouraged to provide the primary care workforce with the knowledge and skills to care for older adults, and to collaborate with community partners to address gaps in health care for older adults through individual, system, community, and population level changes. The program offers the opportunity to realign the clinical training experience to be consistent with transformative healthcare systems while improving collaboration within the healthcare team.

GWEP Grant – https://bhw.hrsa.gov/grants/geriatrics

HRSA – https://www.hrsa.gov/

Core Services

Provider Integration Core

The Provider Integration Core focuses on aligning health care organizations in our region to ensure that they provide seamless, coordinated, and informed care for our seniors. This Core includes a diverse array of partner organizations whose geriatrics service streams are integrated, formalized, and assessed under strategic plans and professional development efforts that are developed, implemented and monitored by this Core.

The Geriatric Education Core

The Geriatric Education Core focuses on enhancing geriatrics training and education across the spectrum of clinical and social service providers in our region. This Core develops and implements new and enhanced education activities for various segments of the geriatrics health care workforce. The Geriatrics Education Champions who lead these efforts receive ongoing support from this Core. This support positions them to be effective leaders at their home institutions. The Home and Community Based Services Core focuses on community-based service provision, education of patients and families and delivery of programs that address Healthy People 2020 Objectives for Older Adults. This Core builds on LifeWorks’ years of experience in delivering HCBS in our region, coupled with educational and training experiences for LECOM. Two important aspects of this Core are its role in promoting sustainable community-based service provision by working in new ways with MAE primary care providers and its ability to act as a new training venue for students as part of revitalized geriatrics training efforts.

Administrative, Measurement and Evaluation Core

The Administrative, Measurement and Evaluation Core is responsible for managing the administrative aspects of the grant, as well as for all measurement and reporting of outcomes. Measurement and evaluation activities include tasks such as measure identification, data collection and management, and outcome report generation and delivery. The Steering Committee has representation from each of LIGHT’s partners as well as each of the LIGHT Core Directors and two community stakeholders—one patient and one caregiver. The Committee provides leadership to the project as a whole, and promotes organizational integration and achievement of LIGHT’s programmatic objectives.

Collaborating Partners

LECOM Health

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Millcreek Community Hospital

Medical Associates of Erie

LECOM Institute for Successful Aging

LECOM Senior Living Communities

  • LECOM Senior Living Center

  • Regency at South Shore

  • Parkside Westminster

  • Parkside North East

LECOM Medical Fitness and Wellness Center

Lake Erie Consortium for Osteopathic Medical Training (LECOMT)

LECOM Health Center for Health and Aging

Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs):

  • Crawford County

  • Erie County

  • Warren County

Pennsylvania Department of Aging

Alzheimer’s Association

Erie County Health Department

* Edinboro University

* Gannon University

* Mercyhurst University

* Penn State Behrend University

Meals on Wheels

Rotary Club


Accessing Care for Complex Issues

Building a Successful Senior Community

Forgetfulness, Is it Part of Normal Aging?

Woman’s Health and Aging

Your Health: An Integrative Approach

“This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U1QHP28711 and the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program for $743,673 and is not financed with nongovernmental sources. This information or content and conclusions are those of the aut hor and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.”