DEFT Center Provides Training to Caregivers Across Campus

DEFT program

The Duke Elder Family/Caregiver Training (DEFT) Center was created to train, educate and empower individuals in their role as caregivers of homebound older adults. DEFT offers an academic-medical-community model that develops, implements and evaluates an innovative and scalable model for teaching, training and supporting caregivers who assist and care for elders at home following a hospital or rehabilitation discharge.

Leaders at DEFT understand the potential that their program has on caregivers and patients and wish to see the program develop and flourish. That is why earlier this year, Center staff started working with the Duke Fuqua School of Business, through the Fuqua Client Consulting Practicum (FCCP), a collaborative consulting program that provides participants with consulting services from business planning, sales and marketing, sustainability and more.

Students from the nationally-recognized business school are helping DEFT create a sustainable business model and marketing plan to expand the unique program. FCCP students are meeting with DEFT leaders throughout the semester to collaborate, find and create the best possible outcomes for DEFT.

“Consulting with the students from FCCP will benefit our program as we begin to look at different models of sustainability. Our goal is to develop DEFT into a premiere caregiving training program beyond the Duke community,” says Cristina Hendrix, DNS, GNP-BC, FNP, FAAN, director of DEFT and associate professor at Duke University School of Nursing. “The DEFT Program has already helped over 250 caregivers since the rollout of the program in April 2017.”

The DEFT program consists of social workers who serve as case managers, a program director, nurses and students. The program offers classes four days a week at Duke University Hospital, Duke Regional Hospital and soon at Duke Raleigh Hospital. In the future, there are plans for a “train the trainer” model that health systems with an academic-health system model can use to educate their caregivers.

The Fuqua School of Business’ consulting practicum courses have provided advisory services for more than 25 years for more than 40 companies. The FCCP’s success is built on establishing a mutually beneficial relationship where client organizations receive valuable business advice and students enhance their educational experience by applying their newly acquired skills to a practical, real-world project.

The DEFT/FCCP partnership will end later this semester, but DEFT leaders are pleased with the valuable insight the students in the FCCP program have brought to their team.

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