Geriatric Career Development Program (GCD)

Gcd 2019

LeadingAge Wisconsin is embarking on a new and very exciting project designed to address the long-term care workforce shortage. Together, we will make a difference in so many ways.

Through our Research and Education Foundation (R&E), we have launched a pilot program of the Geriatric Career Development (GCD) program at Ovation Communities in Milwaukee. We now are ready to begin implementing the program in other communities throughout Wisconsin.

Overview of the Geriatric Career Development (GCD) Program

At Risk Students

The term “at risk” refers to students who are at risk of not graduating from high school because they are dropouts, credit or skill deficient, truant or delinquent.  Often, these students are ethnic minorities, students with disabilities, and have low socioeconomic status.  Students who drop out of high school are far more likely to experience reduced job and income opportunities, chronic unemployment, incarceration, or require government assistance than the rest of the population.

Our nation’s children are our future workers, citizens, and leaders. Education remains the major tool by which people become empowered and the economic, social, and personal well-being of all citizens increases. Our vision is that all young people be educated to equip them to become knowledgeable, responsible, socially skilled, healthy, caring, and contributing citizens.

Long-Term Care Workforce Crisis

Wisconsin’s long-term and residential care providers are experiencing caregiver vacancy rates that have reached crisis levels.

How are long-term care providers coping?

  • They limit admissions.
  • They rely on current caregivers to fill open hours. Nearly 84 percent of the time, providers use overtime, double shifts, and/or other strategies to fill open hours which are expensive and can lead to caregiver burnout.

Building the Bridge

R&E is building a bridge between these at risk students and long-term care providers.

Our vision is to inspire youth and create the next generation of geriatric healthcare professionals. GCD includes providing job opportunities through member/subscriber long-term care providers. GCD also will work to close the education achievement gap for at risk students who come from challenging socio-economic backgrounds.

R&E selects students from our partnering high schools. These students commit to GCD for three years during grades 10 through 12 and spend eight to ten hours a week in this year-round program within our member communities. Students have access to:

  • Elder Mentors
  • Intergenerational Programming
  • Targeted Tutoring
  • Literacy Development
  • Life Skills Counseling
  • Individual Coaching Sessions
  • Elder Care Fundamentals
  • Health Career Explorations
  • Bereavement Training
  • Departmental Internships
  • Clinical Skills Training

Number of Individuals Served

Through this program, R&E will nurture at risk students and build their path for a successful future. The impact of the program goes well beyond these students. These students will be working to provide compassionate care and intergenerational activities for the residents of member and subscriber long-term care and assisted living communities. A number of these residents will be selected to serve as mentors for the students. The students’ families, the residents’ families, the schools, and the community will benefit. The impact of this program will grow exponentially over the years as we grow the GCD program across the state.

Through the GCD Program, We Can: 

  • Ensure at risk students promising career paths to ensure family stability, regional vitality, and long-term economic mobility.
  • Ensure new healthcare workers have the opportunity to sharpen their skills and stay current on aging-related issues.
  • Address critical gaps in the healthcare workforce and strengthen programs that enhance the quality of care provided to older adults throughout Milwaukee and Wisconsin.

 You Can Help Us Grow and Sustain the GCD Program

The success of our GCD program relies on building a strong and integrated base of community support. We look forward to the years in the not to distant future when we will be ready to bring this program to your community. You can help us by working now to build your base of community support. Help us spread the work about our GCD program, the goals we want to pursue, and our interest in working as a community to serve our youth and our seniors.

Grants & Donations

The expenses affiliated with GCD program are covered totally with grants and donations to the LeadingAge Wisconsin Research & Education Foundation. LeadingAge Wisconsin launched this GCD program with a major grant from a philanthropic foundation. With your financial support of this innovative program, we will continue to expand the GCD throughout Wisconsin. Donations are tax deductible.

  • Major Donor (More than $5,000)
  • Platinum Sponsor: $5000
  • Gold Sponsor: $2500
  • Silver Sponsor: $1000
  • Bronze Sponsor: $500
  • Contributor: Any amount less than $500

We are very grateful for the generous support from our major funders and sponsors.

GCD Major Funders

 GCD Gold Sponsors

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact Janice Mashak, Vice President of Member Services and Innovation,; 608-255-7060.