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GSW’s Carter Institute receives $427,000 grant

AMERICUS, Ga. — The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI) at Georgia Southwestern State University is celebrating several milestones in its 25th year. In particular, Johnson & Johnson has awarded the RCI with another landmark grant — this one worth $427,000.

The RCI also hosted a national session on best practices in evidenced-based caregiver programs at the annual Aging in America Conference in Washington, D.C., on March 29. The previous day, briefings were held on the RCI’s work to support family caregivers with Sen. Johnny Isakson, Rep. Sanford Bishop, and Richard Gerakitis of Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ office.

“Family caregivers are a tremendous asset to our nation — they are the ‘backbone’ of our long-term health care system,” RCI Executive Director Leisa Easom said. “These caregivers provide a valuable service within the family, but may do so at a cost to their personal health and well-being. Worth over $450 billion annually, our nation must move forward to support these caregivers and sustain them in their critical role.”

The grant will support programs that reduce the institutionalization and abandonment of individuals living with chronic disease, mental illness or long-term care needs. Stretching from 2012-2015, funding priorities for this grant are the REACH Program which supports family caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease and Problem-Solving Training for caregivers of returning soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and/or physical disability.

Substantial progress has been made in clinical research that has resulted in improved caregiver outcomes. “Over the past several years, the generous support of Johnson & Johnson has enabled the RCI to facilitate and support the translation of this clinical research (evidence-based research) into communities of caregivers,” added Easom.

“Johnson & Johnson is proud of the way RCI keeps the caregiver movement alive with useful data and updated perspectives from the field,” said Dr. Rick Martinez, director of corporate contributions at Johnson & Johnson. “I am excited that RCI is making a timely effort to bring the community and caregiver voice to research and policy discussions. This is the right direction for this field.”