Spring 2018 - 60605 - PA 680PB - Policy Research Project

Young Hip Austin is Getting Old: A New Experiment in Dealing with the Challenge


The Problem

According to Central Health’s Planning Regions Overview, the senior population in Austin continues to grow rapidly. This projected growth will include a significant increase in the number of low-income seniors, most of whom will struggle to pay for aging services. The 2013 Mayor’s Taskforce on Aging found that 40 percent of seniors in Central Texas worry about their ability to pay for catastrophic health care expenses. The tidal wave of graying Baby Boomers in Austin creates a local imperative to improve available health and social services for the senior population.

In order to address these challenges, this project seeks to create a new model of multigenerational community-based care that expands current public health services to include geriatric primary care, senior services, as well as child care and adult day services all in one place. It will build upon a PRP “A Better Life for Low-income Elders in Austin” funded by Central Health and St. David’s Foundation in 2015-16 (see Appendix A) as well as an award winning implementation LBJ School student proposal presented at the University of Pennsylvania Invitational in 2017.

The ultimate goal of project is to develop a business plan to address care needs in one of Austin’s most needy areas of the city. RBJ-Holly Neighborhood (zip 78702) is a diverse community with a rapidly aging low-income population. Building the Geriatric Center for Excellence in this neighborhood will serve as a prototype for a particular model of providing health services, an adult day program, and community care to individuals 55 and older with little income and serious health problems. Central Health and St. David’s Foundation are serving as the PRP Clients and funding the project (pending) and Participating Faculty from the Community Care Collaborative (CCC) include Dr. Mark Hernandez and Greg Hartman. The LBJ Team will work with PRP partners including the CCC (a non-profit partnership formed in 2013 between Central Health, Dell Medical Center at The U.T. Austin, and Seton Healthcare) to accomplish the following objectives.


Create an operational plan to establish a Geriatric Community Center of Excellence (Senior clinic, multi-generational day program, and wrap-around services).
Produce a documentary that sensitizes the community to the growing challenge of caring for the most vulnerable seniors in one location.
Plan and host a Community Care Summit at the LBJ School, Bass Lecture Hall on April, 10, 2018.


Grades will be based on the thoroughness and quality of class presentations, written reports, team problem solving skills, as well as the successful performance of research activities associated with leadership skills, field work, data collection, analysis and writing. Although the final research report will be produced by the entire class, each student will be responsible for writing particular sections of the public-private implementation plan.