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Geriatric Leadership Scholar Program

The Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) provides the opportunity for early to mid-stage career faculty each year to be selected from colleges and universities across Missouri to participate in the Geriatric Leadership Scholars Program.

This GWEP initiative is aimed at developing faculty who have the skills to teach and assess students and conduct research key to improving future care for older adults. To develop faculty with expertise in geriatrics and gerontology, the Geriatric Leadership Scholars Program provides support for three health care faculty to enhance their geriatric knowledge and skills.  Scholars participate in and lead GWEP education events.

 Each of the Scholars are paired with a Gateway GEC Faculty Mentor who works with the Scholar throughout the year to address teaching, research, and program development issues.

2017-2018 Geriatric Leadership Scholar Program

The 2017-2018 Geriatric Leadership Scholars include:

Melissa Ramel, Ph.D.
Melissa Ramel, Ph.D.

Melissa Ramel, Ph.D., is an instructor of nutrition and dietetics. A member of her department’s faculty since 2011, Ramel has focused on nutritional issues in older adults. She has been instrumental in helping GWEP faculty launch the new Interprofessional Geriatric Assessment Clinic and serves as the clinic coordinator. Milta Little, Ph.D., will be Ramel’s mentor for her scholar year.

Jan Wood, DNP
Jan Wood, DNP

Jan Wood, DNP, is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She maintains a clinical practice at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, and her career includes roles in bedside nursing, administration and patient education. As a Geriatric Leadership Scholar, she trained in dementia care and is developing interprofessionally-focused practice strategies. Her SLU faculty mentor is Helen Lach, Ph.D.

Qiang Chen, Ph.D.
Qiang Chen, Ph.D.,

Qiang Chen, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of social work at Missouri State University. Chen completed his MSW and Ph.D. degrees at the the State University of New York at Albany and joined the MSU faculty in 2016. While Chen primarily teaches policy, human behavior and research, his focus during his scholar year will be on staffing issues within residential care facilities. He is working with Marla Berg-Weger, Ph.D.

For more information, contact us at 314-977-2151 or

GWEP Acknowledgment/Disclaimer

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U1QHP28716 Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program for $843,079. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author 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.

Este proyecto es apoyado por la Administración de Recursos y Servicios de Salud (HRSA) del Departamento de Salud y Servicios Humanos (HHS) de Estados Unidos bajo el número de concesión Programa de Mejoramiento de la Fuerza Laboral U1QHP28716 Geriatría de 843.079 dólares. Esta información o contenido y las conclusiones son las del autor y no deben interpretarse como la posición o la política del funcionario, ni debe inferirse cualquier endoso por HRSA, el HHS o del Gobierno de Estados Unidos.