Gerontology and geriatrics are quintessentially interdisciplinary fields. To understand aging, an interdisciplinary perspective is necessary; to provide quality care to older adults with complex, chronic conditions, an interprofessional team is required. Academic, clinical, and community-based settings – with their vertical organizational structures – need bridging strategies to create networks that support interdisciplinary education in both classroom and experiential settings. Taking on these challenges requires emphasizing the importance of key competencies that integrate the unique perspectives, contributions, and roles of different disciplines, and creating the connections critical for promoting interdisciplinary education. First, this paper develops a theoretical foundation for networking to construct and maintain educational and service provider partnerships. Second, the organizational and institutional requirements for successful networking are explored, based on both empirical research and principles from the theoretical framework. Finally, practical recommendations for the development of key strategies for implementing and sustaining interdisciplinary and academic-clinical-community partnerships are summarized.
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