The Riverside Center for Excellence in Aging and Lifelong Health (CEALH), originally The Center for Excellence in Aging and Geriatric Health, was incorporated in 2002 under the guidance of The Crossroads Group. This group was a collaboration between community and government organizations that had identified a gap in the conversion of research into application for the older adult population.
A number of organizations conducted aging-related research and health systems across the country focused on providing geriatric and palliative care with a limited level of clinical or health services research, but a hybrid of the two models was rare. The Crossroads Group solicited like-minded institutions in the Williamsburg area to combine their resources in the development of a center that would foster both academic and clinical research in a way that would allow for direct application to the older adult population.
This founding group included:
- The Crossroads Group
- The College of William & Mary
- Eastern State Hospital
- Eastern Virginia Medical School
- The Peninsula Agency on Aging
- Riverside Health System
- Sentara Healthcare
- Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center
In 2007, Riverside Health System established an endowment at CEALH which allowed for the Center's financial stability in challenging economic times.
In 2012, Riverside Health System merged CEALH into the Lifelong Health and Aging Related Services division to allow for CEALH's mission to be applied at even greater levels. Now known as the Riverside Center for Excellence in Aging and Lifelong Health, CEALH continues its nonprofit work to fulfill its mission to improve the quality of life for older adults by integrating academic, clinical and health services research with the capabilities of local service providers to develop and implement innovative community-based and healthcare system initiatives that can be replicated and sustained by Riverside Health System.
In 2017, CEALH marked its 15th anniversary by hosting Joanne Lynn, M.D., Director of Altarum Institute’s Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness, for a community listening session on MediCaring Communities.
In 2018, CEALH received its first federal funding from the Administration of Community Living to expand dementia wellness and training.
CEALH places special focus on applied research for operationally sustainable programming to meet the needs of the most vulnerable members of our community, a critical element of population health management. The organization's vision is to lead the development of model communities that will promote the well-being and independence of older adults through translational research and widespread application. CEALH continues to focus on identifying areas of need within the populations they serve, developing pilot programs and working with the health system and community partners to implement the pilots on a broad scale. CEALH's ability to bring community partners together with the common goal of improving healthcare for older adults is critical as the baby-boom age wave continues to grow and accompanying public policy is put in place to improve the nation's approach to healthcare.
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