Office of Healthy Aging Research, Education, and Services (OHARES)

Educational Priorities

Educational priorities for the Office of Healthy Aging Research, Education, and Services (OHARES) at East Carolina University are focused on the following five areas: 

  • Raising awareness about the unique needs of older adults and their families
  • Developing, monitoring, and evaluating educational programming for healthy aging among offenders
  • Developing undergraduate and graduate programs in Gerontology and Geriatrics
  • Training gerontologically-competent workforces in academic and applied settings
  • Developing patient-centered educational programs that promote disease prevention and healthy aging
  • Advancing an intergenerationally-inclusive societal philosophy

OHARES affiliates are committed to improving the competence of professionals who work with and on behalf of older populations across a wide range of applied, policy, and academic settings.  To this end, our affiliates recruit and train students and professionals in a variety of disciplines to advance healthy-aging outcomes at both the individual- and population-levels.  For example, our research affiliates teach courses within ECU’s Undergraduate Minor in Gerontology and the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology, as well as courses in Geriatric Medicine (as offered through the Brody School of Medicine at ECU) and Geriatric Nursing (as offered through the Adult/Geriatric Nurse Practitioner Program at ECU’s College of Nursing).

Our affiliates have also developed seminars and lectures on special topics to include, but not be limited to, under-served populations of older people (e.g., older prisoners, older minorities, older LGBT populations), aging and health, health disparities and health equity across the lifespan, practice and interventions with older people, educational gerontology, individual and group work with older people, communication processes and disorders among older people, physical activity and aging, and public policy and aging.

Similar to the collaborative nature of our OHARES affiliates’ research initiatives, our affiliates also collaborate on educational initiatives that are designed to promote excellence in the delivery of geriatric and gerontologically-focused care and services for older adults, especially those in eastern North Carolina.  For example, Dr. Carol Jenkins, an OHARES affiliate, coordinates both ECU’s Undergraduate Minor in Gerontology and ECU’s Graduate Certificate in Gerontology — both credentials include courses that cut across multiple disciplines.  Many of our graduates from these programs work in eastern North Carolina.  Finally, in addition to training students at ECU, our affiliates also promote excellence in the delivery of gerontologically-focused services by teaching continuing education courses and facilitating numerous workshops for community-based professionals employed at the local, state, and national levels.

For additional information about the specific courses taught by our affiliates to include undergraduate and graduate courses as well as community-based trainings, please view our Research Affiliates' CVs. You can also contact the OHARES Director, Dr. John J. Kerbs, for information about the development of customized training programs for your organization and/or conferences. Finally, for forthcoming educational events sponsored by OHARES, please view the Upcoming Events.