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Witchita State University and Larksfield Place Announce Alliance

Wednesday, April 7 2010 12:30 PM

WICHITA, Kan., April 7, 2010 – Wichita State University and Larksfield Place today announced the formalization and expansion of their long-standing partnership. Donald Beggs, WSU president, and Valerie McGhee, Larksfield Place Retirement Communities Inc. president, gave details on the future of their organizations' 20-year partnership at today's signing ceremony held at Larksfield Place.

This continuing alliance will provide new research opportunities for WSU faculty and students as well as additional resources for Larksfield Place community members. A formal agreement between a university and a continuing care retirement community or other long-term care organization is a relatively new but rapidly emerging set of arrangements in the United States, according to Beggs.

"People 65 and better in Kansas-and across the country-have benefited from these past joint research and demonstration projects, such as enhancing the functional fitness and driving abilities of older adults," said McGhee, whose organization has received two national awards for past efforts. "Wichita State faculty and Larksfield Place staff have shared that knowledge at universities such as Harvard and as far away as Australia."

Positive examples of the long-running partnership include the hundreds of graduates from the WSU physical therapy and nursing programs who have done part of their clinical training at Larksfield Place and took with them the vision of what positive aging can be. These graduates are now putting that knowledge into practice and doing an even better job of caring for their older clients because of their WSU/Larksfield Place training.

Central to the future plans of this alliance is the WSU Regional Institute on Aging. Teresa Radebaugh, WSU Regional Institute on Aging director and a member of the Larksfield Place board, said, "This collaboration and cooperation benefits Wichita State and Larksfield Place in the advancement of research and programs designed to enhance the lives of older Kansans."

Through this relationship, the parties hope to develop further opportunities for greater cooperation including:

  • Increasing communication for LP residents on activities and events at WSU
  • Sponsoring joint events for LP residents and employees and WSU faculty, students and staff
  • Publicizing and highlighting the relationship between LP and WSU
  • Continuing cooperation in clinical training opportunities and preceptorships for WSU students and developing research programs for WSU faculty at LP
  • Planning workshops and conferences on issues important to older Kansans.

The Alliance: A History of Excellence

WSU and Larksfield Place have worked together since the inception of Larksfield Place in 1988. During that time, Larksfield Place has received national recognition as a leader in senior housing and as an innovator in programs and services designed to enhance the lives of older Kansans. Many of the awards have been for joint ventures with the university.

McGhee concluded, "We see a lot of black and gold here – about one-third of our current or former Larksfield Place community members and employees are WSU alumni, employees, faculty or supporters."

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