7th Annual Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Day

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Public health practitioners, professionals in the aging network, mental health providers, health care professionals, and anyone interested in ensuring the mental health of older adults should attend this free, virtual event on May 2, 2024 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm EST.

The symposium is brought to you by NCOA, the U.S. Administration for Community Living, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Register now to join us on May 2. When you register, you will be automatically signed up for all of the day’s sessions. Click the green Register button above to get started.

  • Contains 1 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 05/02/2024 at 10:00 AM (EDT)

    Welcome and Keynote Speaker, Jenifer Lewis Remarks from Federal Partners Keynote - Q&A Discussion with Ramsey Alwin, CEO and President, NCOA

    Join us for welcome remarks from federal partners and a Q&A with NCOA’s CEO, Ramsey Alwin and Actress, Jenifer Lewis. Actress Jenifer Lewis will be sharing about her personal journey with bipolar disorder.

    Jenifer Lewis

    Known as the “The Mother of Black Hollywood” and co-star of ABC’s “Black-ish”

    Jenifer Lewis is one of Hollywood's most familiar faces, with more than 300 appearances in film and television. Dubbed a "national treasure" by TV Guide.com, Jenifer stars on the hit show Black-ish (ABC), where her hilarious portrayal of "Ruby Johnson" earned her a nomination for the 2016 Critics Choice Award.

    Jenifer's most recent movies include The Wedding Ringer, Think Like A Man, Think Like A Man Too and Baggage Claim. She delivered legendary performances as Tina Turner's mother in What's Love Got to Do With It and in The Preacher's Wife as the mother of Whitney Houston's character. Jenifer starred opposite Matt Damon in Clint Eastwood's Hereafter and for director Tyler Perry, Jenifer created unforgettable characters in Madea's Family Reunion and Meet the Browns. In the movie Castaway, Jenifer portrayed Tom Hanks' boss.
    In animated films, Jenifer's uniquely recognizable voice is adored by Disney fans worldwide in roles such as "Flo" in Cars and Cars 2 and as "Mama Odie" in The Princess and the Frog.

    Jenifer's TV roles have ranged from regular appearances as "Aunt Helen" on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to guest star roles on Friends, Boston Legal and Girlfriends. For six seasons, Jenifer portrayed "Lana Hawkins" on Lifetime's hit series Strong Medicine.

    Although best known for her Hollywood success, Jenifer has enjoyed a wide-ranging and varied career in music and theater. Jenifer has performed in four Broadway shows, including Hairspray in the role of "Motormouth Mable." In 2014, she received an electrifying standing ovation at Carnegie Hall when she sang with the New York Pops orchestra. All told, Jenifer has presented more than 200 concerts, performing in 49 states and on four continents.

    Jenifer was born and raised in Kinloch, Missouri. Her accomplishments as an entertainer and community activist have been recognized with an honorary doctorate from her alma mater, Webster University in St. Louis and by the American Black Film Festival's Career Achievement Award.

    Alison Barkoff

    Performing the duties of the ACL Administrator and Assistant Secretary for Aging

    U.S. Administration for Community Living

    Alison Barkoff was sworn in as Principal Deputy Administrator on January 20, 2021 and is currently performing the duties of the ACL Administrator and the Assistant Secretary for Aging.  She provides executive leadership and coordination for ACL programs nationwide and advises the HHS Secretary on issues affecting people with disabilities and older adults.

    A sibling of an adult brother with developmental disabilities and a civil rights attorney, Alison is a lifelong advocate for community living – both professionally and personally – and has been at the forefront of national efforts to expand the home and community-based services (HCBS) that make community living possible.

    As part of countless coalitions of people with disabilities, older adults, and advocates, she has fought to uphold the rights of people with disabilities and older adults and advance policies to ensure their access to health care, housing, employment, education, and all other facets of community life. She has testified before Congress and the US Commission on Civil Rights on disability rights and community living.

    She has served in a variety of leadership roles with disability rights organizations, including leading advocacy efforts at the Center for Public Representation and the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.

    She also is a veteran of the federal government. As Special Counsel for Olmstead Enforcement in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, she led efforts to enforce the rights of people with disabilities to live, work and fully participate in their communities. She also led interagency initiatives with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Medicaid HCBS and with the Department of Labor on direct care workforce issues.

    Alison has brought that same focus on collaboration and coordination to her current role. Under her leadership, ACL is working with partners across HHS and the federal government on initiatives and interagency approaches to issues that affect people with disabilities and older adults, such as expanding access to HCBS and affordable, accessible housing; strengthening the direct care workforce; increasing competitive, integrated employment for people with disabilities; and advancing equity, to name just a few. 

    Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon

    Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use

    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

    Dr. Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon is currently Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). She previously served as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) and served in this role for six years. Prior positions held at DMHAS include Deputy Commissioner, Senior Policy Advisor and Director of the department’s Office of Multicultural Healthcare Equity. In her role as Commissioner, Dr. Delphin-Rittmon was committed to promoting recovery oriented, integrated, and culturally responsive services and systems that foster dignity, respect, and meaningful community inclusion.In addition, Dr. Delphin-Rittmon served on faculty in Yale Department of Psychiatry for 20 years, most recently as Adjunct Associate Professor and previously as Assistant Professor, Assistant Clinical Professor, and Instructor. While at Yale Dr. Delphin-Rittmon also served as the Director of Cultural Competence and Health Disparities Research and Consultation with the Yale University Program for Recovery and Community Health.In May 2014, Dr. Delphin-Rittmon completed a two-year White House appointment working as a Senior Advisor to the Administrator of SAMHSA with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. While at SAMHSA, she worked on a range of policy initiatives addressing behavioral health equity, workforce development, and healthcare reform.Through her 23-year career in the behavioral health field, Dr. Delphin-Rittmon has extensive experience in the design, evaluation, and administration of mental health, substance use, and prevention services and systems and has received several awards for advancing policy in these areas. Most recently, she received the 2023 Human Values Award from the Art of Living Foundation, the 2023 American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Children’s Mental Health Champion Award, the 2022 Distinguished Public Service in Psychology Award, from the National Register of Health Service Psychology and The Trust, Washington, DC, and the 2019 State Service Award from the National Association of State Drug and Alcohol Directors.Dr. Delphin-Rittmon received her B.A. in Social Science from Hofstra University in 1989, her M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Purdue University 1992 and 2001, respectively, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical community psychology at Yale University in 2002.

    Carole Johnson

    Administrator

    Health Resources and Services Administration

    Carole Johnson is the Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

    Johnson joined HRSA from the White House COVID-19 Response Team. She previously served as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services, leading the state’s largest agency and providing health care and social services to one-in-five New Jerseyans. During her tenure as Commissioner, the Department expanded Medicaid coverage of mental health and substance use disorder services, created new Medicaid benefits to improve maternal health outcomes, and integrated Medicaid into the newly launched state-based Affordable Care Act marketplace. Under Johnson’s leadership, the Department also substantially increased child care rates for the first time in a decade, expanded food assistance benefits, and created an Office of New Americans to support the state’s diverse communities.

    Johnson served for more than five years as the Domestic Policy Council public health lead in the Obama White House, working on the Ebola and Zika responses, implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and combatting the opioid epidemic. In addition, she served on Capitol Hill as health staff for the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging and for members of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee.

    At the Department of Health and Human Services, Johnson previously managed health care workforce policy issues for HRSA. She also was policy director for the Alliance of Community Health Plans, program officer with the Pew Charitable Trusts health program, and senior government relations manager with the American Heart Association.

    She holds a master’s degree in government from the University of Virginia.

    Ramsey Alwin

    President & CEO

    National Council on Aging

    As President and CEO of the National Council on Aging, Ramsey Alwin is leading a nationwide movement to ensure equitable aging for every American. 

    Building on NCOA’s 70 years of service and advocacy for older adults, Alwin is renewing the organization’s commitment to improving the lives of millions, especially those who are struggling. She is sparking critical conversations about the resources every American deserves to age well—and what needs to change to ensure all have access.

    A seasoned thought leader and policy advocate, Alwin has changed the way people think about older adult poverty and economic security. She designed a new measure of economic security for older adults that better accounts for out-of-pocket health costs and worked to introduce the Measuring American Poverty Act in Congress to redefine the federal poverty measure for the older population. Thanks to Alwin’s efforts, the U.S. Census Bureau formally implemented the Supplemental Poverty Measure nationwide, virtually doubling the elder poverty count and better demonstrating true needs among this population. 

    Prior to leading NCOA, Alwin directed financial resilience global thought leadership at AARP and served as Director of National Economic Security Programs at Wider Opportunities for Women. Currently, she serves on the Executive Committee of the UN NGO Committee on Aging, the America250 Health and Wellness Advisory Council, and the National Academy of Social Insurance Finance Committee.


  • Contains 1 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 05/02/2024 at 11:15 AM (EDT)

    Older adults have an increased risk of malnutrition, food insecurity, and other nutrition-related concerns that can negatively impact their mental health. This session will provide an overview of the overlap between nutrition and mental health and examine solutions. An innovation in nutrition services will showcase a virtual diabetes education program that addresses depression, anxiety, and social isolation among their clients.

    Older adults have an increased risk of malnutrition, food insecurity, and other nutrition-related concerns that can negatively impact their mental health. This session will provide an overview of the overlap between nutrition and mental health and examine solutions. An innovation in nutrition services will showcase a virtual diabetes education program that addresses depression, anxiety, and social isolation among their clients. 

    Kathy Wilson-Gold, MS, RDN, LD, FAND (Moderator)

    Nutrition Contractor

    Office of Nutrition and Health Promotion Programs, Administration for Community Living

    Kathy Wilson-Gold is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 30 years of experience in business and industry-leading executive teams to deliver innovative solutions for healthcare, education, and senior nutrition. She currently serves as a Nutrition Contractor specializing in business acumen for the Office of Nutrition and Health Promotion Programs in the Administration for Community Living.

    Her career highlights include 18 years at the Campbell Soup Company and employment at Abbott Laboratories and US Foodservice. A familiar face in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, she has held numerous national and state offices. She is currently Chair of the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger Board of Directors and has served locally on the board of Edmond Mobile Meals.

    Nadine Sahyoun, PhD

    Professor

    University of Maryland

    Nadine Sahyoun is Professor of Nutritional Epidemiology in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Sahyoun received her Ph.D. in Nutrition from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, at Tufts University and was a postdoctoral research fellow with the Association for Teachers in Preventive Medicine at the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland. Her area of research focuses on the relationship between diet, lifestyle factors, nutritional status and health outcomes, especially in vulnerable populations, such as older adults and refugee populations, nationally and internationally. Her work with older adults uses a multidisciplinary approach to examine the relationship between risk factors, such as dietary intake, food insecurity, socioeconomic status, dental health, social support, resilience, mental, functional and health status on health outcomes. Dr. Sahyoun uses some of her research findings to develop screening and prioritization schemes to identify the neediest older adults for community-based nutrition services, including populations that are not traditionally well served. The ultimate impact of her research is to improve the quality of life of older adults and provide knowledge to impact the development of effective public health policies.

    Heather Engleman

  • Product not yet rated Contains 1 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 05/02/2024 at 11:15 AM (EDT)

    Grandfamilies refer to grandparents or other relatives who have taken on the responsibility of raising children due to various life-altering events like parental death, mental health, and substance use disorders, incarceration, deportation, divorce, or military deployment. These situations often result in traumatic experiences that impact the mental health of both the children and their caregivers. Recent events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, racial violence, and the opioid epidemic have compounded the impact of trauma. Yet grandfamilies face complex and often unique barriers to accessing mental health services and supports. It is imperative to address the mental wellness of grandfamilies. This presentation explores the complex mental health landscape among grandfamily caregivers by highlighting key findings from Generations United's 2023 State of Grandfamilies Report titled "Building Resilience: Supporting Grandfamilies' Mental Health and Wellness." The report examines the mental health challenges faced by grandfamilies as well as family strengths and provides policy and practice recommendations to address these issues.

    Grandfamilies refer to grandparents or other relatives who have taken on the responsibility of raising children due to various life-altering events like parental death, mental health, and substance use disorders, incarceration, deportation, divorce, or military deployment. These situations often result in traumatic experiences that impact the mental health of both the children and their caregivers. Recent events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, racial violence, and the opioid epidemic have compounded the impact of trauma. Yet grandfamilies face complex and often unique barriers to accessing mental health services and supports. It is imperative to address the mental wellness of grandfamilies. This presentation explores the complex mental health landscape among grandfamily caregivers by highlighting key findings from Generations United's 2023 State of Grandfamilies Report titled "Building Resilience: Supporting Grandfamilies' Mental Health and Wellness." The report examines the mental health challenges faced by grandfamilies as well as family strengths and provides policy and practice recommendations to address these issues.

    Keith Lowhorne (Moderator)

    Chairperson

    Advisory Council to Support Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (SGRG)

    Keith and Edie Lowhorne have been raising two grandchildren for over 7 years. Their Grandfamily started after courts gave custody of the children when the birth mother was arrested for child endangerment, along with 32 other felonies. Both grandchildren were born drug addicted and spent months in the hospital withdrawing from the illegal drugs in their systems.After months of trying to find help and being unsuccessful, the Lowhorne’s started Grandparents as Parents as a way to help Grandfamilies in Alabama. That led Lowhorne being named to the national organization, Generations United, where Keith represents Alabama as a Grand Voice. In 2023, Lowhorne was elected and is vice-chair of the Federal Advisory Council to Support Grandparents Raising Grandchildren in Washington DC. He was also appointed to the recently formed Alabama Joint Interim Study Commission on Grandparents Raising Grandchildren.Lowhorne has made a commitment to help Grandparents who find themselves in the same situation as he and his wife Edie to make it easier to locate possible help and to be an advocate, supporter, and listener.

    Jamarl Clark

    Assistant Director

    National Center on Grandfamilies, Generations United

    As the Assistant Director of Generations United’s National Center on Grandfamilies Jamarl D. Clark is responsible for helping direct the Center’s work including overseeing grandfamilies’ engagement, creating and ensuring the quality of the Center’s publications and resources, conducting federal advocacy, and leading the kinship navigator collaborative. For over a decade, Clark has served as a trusted thought partner to non-profit organizations with a focus on leadership, team building, and strategic planning. Through his work as a nonprofit and program development leader for national organizations, Clark brings an arsenal of well-developed management tools to Generations United. Prior to coming to Generations United, Clark served as the Executive Director of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Program Manager for Plaza West, the first grandfamily residential affordable-housing project in the District of Columbia, and worked with corporate and government agencies to support the co-founding of the Community Corps program for Jumpstart for Young Children, in Washington D.C.

    Larry Cooper

    Executive Vice President of Innovation

    Children’s Home Network

    Larry Cooper, MSW, LCSW, Executive Vice President of Innovation, has supervised programs at the Children’s Home Network since 2001 in Tampa, Florida. He has advocated and presented locally, statewide and nationally on his work with children and relative caregiver families. He was recognized in March 2023 Tampa Bay Lightning Community Hero, 2018 Child Welfare Champion Award from the Florida Department of Children and Families, the 2017 Social Worker of the Year by the Florida Coalition for Children and 2016 Social Worker of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers, Tampa Unit. He was the model developer of one of the first evidenced based Kinship Navigation programs in country on the California Evidenced Based Clearinghouse that is serving throughout Florida and he provides training and consultation for this model being utilized throughout Delaware. Additionally, Mr. Cooper serves as a Contributing Editor for GrandFamilies: The Contemporary Journal of Research, Practice and Policy. Mr. Cooper has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of South Florida, School of Social Work. Mr. Cooper earned both his Masters of Social Work degree in 1993 and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology in 1990 at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

    Mercedes Bristol

    Founder and Executive Director

    Texas Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

    Mercedes Bristol is the Founder and Executive Director of Texas Grandparents Raising Grandchildren. Her grandparenting journey began nearly 10 years ago when she adopted 5 of her grandchildren. She quickly learned that there was a gap in information and resources for kinship caregivers. Mercedes has since become an advocate for Grandparents who are Raising their Grandchildren at the State, Federal, and City Levels.
  • Contains 1 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 05/02/2024 at 11:15 AM (EDT)

    Attending to the needs of middle aged and older adults experiencing SUD is fraught with complications and challenges. For example, morbidity and mortality estimates associated with SUD may often preclude individuals from living into older adulthood. The Hope Pointe Crisis Center has developed to provide common services such as triage, temporary observation, and connection to community-based wrap-around services, including special attention to the needs of middle aged and older adults. This new collaboration stems from an ongoing HRSA-funded graduate clinical psychology education training grant that, since 2022 and in collaboration with the Tuscaloosa County Mental Health Court, Karen Jones, and Dr. Jennifer Cox, focuses on the needs of justice-involved individuals.

    Attending to the needs of middle aged and older adults experiencing SUD is fraught with complications and challenges. For example, morbidity and mortality estimates associated with SUD may often preclude individuals from living into older adulthood. The Hope Pointe Crisis Center has developed to provide common services such as triage, temporary observation, and connection to community-based wrap-around services, including special attention to the needs of middle aged and older adults. This new collaboration stems from an ongoing HRSA-funded graduate clinical psychology education training grant that, since 2022 and in collaboration with the Tuscaloosa County Mental Health Court, Karen Jones, and Dr. Jennifer Cox, focuses on the needs of justice-involved individuals.

    Nicole Cadovius, MBA, MSM, CAPS and FAAIDD (Moderator)

    Director of Practice Improvement

    National Council for Behavioral Health

    Ms. Cadovius is the Director, Strategic Initiatives MHFA, for the National Council for Behavioral Health. She leads strategic initiatives for Mental Health First Aid USA expanding engagement opportunities and increasing awareness and implementation of the MFHA programs. She has led the mental health and substance use related projects as director and subject matter expert, including tasks elated to executing fiscal reports, training and technical assistance, grant and contract proposals, and supervision of staff. She also oversaw government, pharmacological, and State level grants, contracts, and subcontracts to ensure compliance, high quality relationship with funders, strategic oversight, and timely submission of deliverables.

    Throughout Nicole’s career, her passion has been to create quality community-based programs and develop strong teams supporting older adults, individuals with substance use and mental health support needs throughout the life span and individuals with developmental disabilities. She is a national speaker on topics such as healthy aging and aging in place. Nicole serves as a member of several national boards, Steering Committee member, National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices, President of the Gerontology Division and Vice President of Region X, for the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

    Before joining the National Council, Ms. Cadovius, served as a Director of Programs & Services for community non-profit supporting individuals with developmental disabilities, Director of Communications and Strategy for a state agency, and a Regional Director and Executive Director of Skilled Nursing Facilities. Nicole began her career as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist.

    She holds a Master of Business Administration and Master of Business Management both from Albertus Magnus College and a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Connecticut.

    Rebecca S. Allen, PhD, ABPP

    Professor and Associate Chair of Psychology Director

    Alabama Research Institute on Aging The University of Alabama

    Dr. Allen’s research and clinical interests are: 1) clinical training issues (e.g., substance and opioid use disorders, empowering underserved communities to facilitate effective treatment delivery through community-based partnerships, health and mental health disparities); 2) interventions to reduce the stress of individuals, family, and professional caregivers within the context of advanced chronic or terminal illness; and 3) the cultural dynamics (race/ethnicity, rural/urban) of healthcare and financial decision making. She has published on translation of end-of-life/Dignity interventions, diversity in advance care planning, adapting surveys for cultural relevance, behavioral interventions in the community and long-term care, and ethical practice in interprofessional teams. Dr. Allen is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) Committee on Aging and is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and the APA Division 20 (Adult Development and Aging).

    Karen Jones

    Chief Executive Officer

    Indian Rivers Behavioral Health Center

    Karen has been working in community behavioral health services for 27 years, serving in varying roles including therapist for various populations. She has a master’s degree in psychology and has been with Indian Rivers Behavioral Health for over 24 years. From 2014 through 2022 she served as the Clinical Director of Indian Rivers and assumed the role of CEO in June of 2022.  As a Tuscaloosa native the mission of improving behavioral healthcare services for the West Alabama area has been a lifelong mission.  

    Tony Sanchez

    Co-Founder

    Creative Collaborative Solutions

    Tony Sanchez is a dynamic and compassionate leader whose journey in recovery has transformed into a powerful force for change in the realm of addiction recovery and support. His career is marked by a series of notable achievements and roles, each contributing to his reputation as an influential advocate and expert in recovery-oriented practices. 

    Tony's personal experience with long-term recovery has been a cornerstone in his professional path, fueling his passion and understanding of the challenges and triumphs in this field. 

    As the Director of Statewide Partnerships at Faces and Voices of Recovery, Tony led the national recovery institute, playing a pivotal role in shaping recovery initiatives across the country. His tenure here highlighted his ability to influence and implement recovery programs at a national level strategically. 

    His expertise further shone through during his tenure as the Director of the Office of Recovery Transformation at Georgia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. Here, he showcased his exceptional skills in implementing recovery-oriented practices and managing a network of addiction recovery support centers. This role underscored his capacity to effect change at a governmental level, influencing policies and practices for the betterment of those in recovery. 

    With an array of skills including contract management, team building, and public speaking, Tony has established himself as a respected figure in the recovery community. His journey from personal recovery to professional advocacy encapsulates a story of resilience, dedication, and unwavering commitment to enhancing recovery opportunities for others. Tony Sanchez stands out as a beacon of hope and a leader in the recovery movement, inspiring many with his work and his story. 

  • Product not yet rated Contains 1 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 05/02/2024 at 1:00 PM (EDT)

    New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that suicide rates have significantly increased for older adults and generally increased with age, with men aged 75 and older having the highest rate of any age group. This session will present strategies that work to reach and help older adults.

    New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that suicide rates have significantly increased for older adults and generally increased with age, with men aged 75 and older having the highest rate of any age group. This session will present strategies that work to reach and help older adults.

    Alison Cammack, PhD, MPH (Moderator)

    Health Scientist

    CDC Suicide Prevention Team

    Alison Cammack, PhD, MPH is a Health Scientist on the Suicide Prevention Team in the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She earned her MPH and PhD in epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, where she focused her research on the lifecourse impact of adverse childhood experiences and elucidating risk and resilience factors. On the Suicide Prevention Team, she serves in many roles, including providing suicide subject matter expertise, serving as a Science Officer for the Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Program, and conducting suicide prevention research.

    Kimberly A. Van Orden, PhD

    Principal Investigator

    The HOPE Lab

    Dr. Kim Van Orden is a clinical psychologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She is the Principal Investigator of the HOPE Lab (Helping Older People Engage) and Co-Director of the Rochester Roybal Center for Social Ties and Aging, which is funded by the National Institute on Aging. Her lab conducts clinical trials of programs to promote social engagement and healthy aging. Kim mentors students and fellows, co-directs a research fellowship in suicide prevention, and maintains an active clinical practice providing evidence-based psychotherapy to older adults. 

    Debra Darmata, MS

    Program Manager

    Oregon CSP Program

    Debra Darmata is the Adult Suicide Prevention Coordinator at Oregon Health Authority and facilitated the development of the first Oregon Adult Suicide Intervention and Prevention Plan and the Program Manager for the CDC Comprehensive Suicide Prevention grant. Prior to that she served as the Washington County Suicide Prevention Coordinator for over two years. She spent 11 years as the Operations Manager for the Student Wellness Alcohol Prevention Program at New Mexico State University where suicide prevention was a major component of her job duties and coordinated the development and management of a warm line. Ms. Darmata was the Director of Rehabilitative Services for a state hospital in New Mexico. She is a trainer for ASIST and QPR. She earned her master’s degree in clinical psychology from Roosevelt University - Chicago where she spent several years specializing in the treatment eating disorders and sexual trauma.

    Tim Glascock, MPH

    Statewide ASIST Coordinator

    Association of Oregon Community Mental Health

  • Product not yet rated Contains 1 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 05/02/2024 at 2:15 PM (EDT)

    Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives (PEARLS) is an evidence-based late-life depression program. Recently, the developers of PEARLS engaged in an Equity Study to improve equitable access among older adults, especially low-income older adults of color, linguistically diverse older adults, and rural dwelling older adults, recognizing that many older adults are multiply marginalized by intersecting identities. This session will discuss what was learned from the Equity Study and share experiences from an implementation partner and a past participant.

    Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives (PEARLS) is an evidence-based late-life depression program. Recently, the developers of PEARLS engaged in an Equity Study to improve equitable access among older adults, especially low-income older adults of color, linguistically diverse older adults, and rural dwelling older adults, recognizing that many older adults are multiply marginalized by intersecting identities. This session will discuss what was learned from the Equity Study and share experiences from an implementation partner and a past participant. 

    Lily Liu (Moderator)

    Family Caregiver

    Lily Liu is a family caregiver for her mother who has had Parkinson's Disease for almost four decades and is now living with early-stage dementia.  Her parents were refugees escaping the civil war in China in the late 1940s and spent almost five years in a refugee camp in French Indochina (now Vietnam) in the early 1950s.  Lily immigrated from Taiwan as a child and grew up on the East Coast of the United States.  Her career was spent in the non-profit sector in the field of strategic communications and public outreach.  After the death of her father, Lily took a hiatus from the workplace to care for her mother.  She currently engages in consulting work, in particular, delivering speeches about empowering family caregivers at community-education events.  Lily is fluent in speaking Mandarin Chinese and highlights in her presentations the challenges experienced by immigrant family caregivers who face issues of generational trauma in addition to caregiving responsibilities.  Her hobby is literary translation and her translations of the essays of contemporary Chinese women writers have been published in the United States and Asia.

    KeliAnne Hara-Hubbard

    PEARLS Coordinator and Research Coordinator

    UW Health Promotion Research Center

    KeliAnne Hara-Hubbard is a research and program coordinator at the University of Washington’s Health Promotion Research Center. KeliAnne’s research focuses on mental health and food equity projects, where she supports implementation, adaptation, and evaluation of evidence-based programs for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, immigrant, and refugee communities. She partners with community-based organizations like IDIC to create projects guided by what the community wants to see. KeliAnne is a fourth generation mixed Japanese and Chinese American and a loving cat mom.

    Lanvin Andres

    Executive Director

    IDIC Filipino Senior and Family Services

    Lanvin Andres is executive director of International Drop-In Center Filipino Senior & Family Services (IDIC), a non-profit organization that has provided advocacy in healthcare and social services to underserved elderly, immigrant, and vulnerable families in the south-Seattle area since 1971. Lanvin is the grandson of a WWII veteran and is a first generation immigrant from the Philippines. He came to Seattle with his parents and one sibling when he was 17. Lanvin ran the IDIC’s social and health promotion programs for the last 12 years before becoming Executive Director and is an advocate for the welfare of immigrant elderly and marginalized families. He is also a Community Liaison for the City of Seattle serving the Filipino community’s elderly, veterans, and their families. He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2009.
  • Product not yet rated Contains 1 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 05/02/2024 at 2:15 PM (EDT)

    People aging with serious mental illness (SMI) such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression experience complex health problems and challenges to quality of life. They are also likely to experience accelerated physical aging as compared to people without such conditions. Older adults with serious mental illness are also very resilient and have coped with many challenges to well-being. They can experience healthy aging with supports. The Felton Institute will then share about a multi-disciplinary teams model that was developed to form deeper relationships between behavioral health and aging services providers.

    People aging with serious mental illness (SMI) such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression experience complex health problems and challenges to quality of life. They are also likely to experience accelerated physical aging as compared to people without such conditions. Older adults with serious mental illness are also very resilient and have coped with many challenges to well-being.  They can experience healthy aging with supports. The Felton Institute will then share about a multi-disciplinary teams model that was developed to form deeper relationships between behavioral health and aging services providers.

    Paolo del Vecchio, MSW (Moderator)

    Director of Recovery

    SAMHSA

    Michelle R Zechner, PhD

    Associate Professor

    Rutgers

    Michelle Zechner is an Associate Professor at Rutgers School of Health Professions in the Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Counseling Professions. She has focused her career on mental health recovery, research, and workforce development initiatives to promote health and wellness for people living with serious mental illness (SMI), with particular expertise on aging. She has worked in varied settings: academia, outpatient mental health programs, nursing homes, geriatric care management, training, and public mental health administration. Dr. Zechner’s research includes interprofessional education to improve health outcomes for people with SMI, developing and testing health promotion, and multi-dimensional wellness interventions. Currently, she conducts clinical research, mentors doctoral students and develops multi-platform educational content (e.g., webinars, e-learning courses, podcasts, videos, infographics, and program manuals) for health professionals and peer support providers in projects funded by the SAMHSA’s Northeast and Caribbean Mental Health Technology Center, State of New Jersey Division on Aging, the State of New Jersey Department of Health and the New York State Office of Mental Health (NYSOMH), Office of Consumer Affairs. She recently received a grant from the Administration on Community Living to develop guidelines and education for oral health providers and people with SMI to create positive oral health experiences.

    Catherine Spensley, MSW, LCSW

    Senior Division Director

    Felton Institute

    Cathy Spensley, LCSW is the Senior Division Director at the Felton Institute, a large nonprofit social service agency in the San Francisco Bay Area. Cathy develops and oversees programs in aging services, older adult mental health, workforce development, and advocacy. She oversees the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) in San Francisco, under NOCA, as well as the program in other SF Bay Area counties. Cathy is a founder member of the San Francisco Tech Council, a unique multi-stake collaboration to support digital inclusivity for all, as well as a founder of the Felton Tech Squad to inspire, connect, and train older adults in California being left out of the digital world. She continues to be dedicated to the field of aging and to support programs that empower older adults. Cathy has a BA in Communications from American University and a Masters in Social Work from UC Berkeley.

    Patricia Hayashi

    Born in 1956 in San Francisco's Western Addition/Fillmore district, I am a third-generation Japanese American. Raised in the vibrant cultural tapestry of the city, I witnessed firsthand the community's resilience and solidarity. However, our neighborhood was forever changed by redevelopment efforts, which prompted my family to relocate. As a Certificate of Preference holder, I've navigated the complexities of urban transformation while preserving our cultural heritage. Unfortunately, I faced adversity when I became homeless for two years, which took a toll on my health. I was declined chemotherapy for my cancer because I was homeless but fortunately am surviving this. During this time, I learned to navigate using resources to get meals at St. Anthony/Curry Senior Center and Living Room. I suffered from depression and PTSD, leading me to be very antisocial. However, I found support and regained self-empowerment at Felton Institute. Despite the challenges, I continued using health education services at Curry Senior Services. I was able at case management at both agencies. I even led Zoom classes in my senior vitality class on how to use My Social Security EBT and MyChart, demonstrating my commitment to helping others despite my own struggles. Today, I am dedicated to advocating for increased mental health accessibility and education for seniors, aiming to secure funding and resources to ensure all seniors have the support they need to thrive mentally and emotionally. 

  • Product not yet rated Contains 1 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 05/02/2024 at 2:15 PM (EDT)

    Hoarding disorder can develop at any age, but the prevalence of hoarding disorder diagnoses increases by 20% with every 5 years of age. Individuals with hoarding disorder are also likely to experience other mental health conditions, and it can be a challenge to know what steps to take to provide support. This session will provide a better understanding of hoarding and what a task force is doing to address it.

    Hoarding disorder can develop at any age, but the prevalence of hoarding disorder diagnoses increases by 20% with every 5 years of age. Individuals with hoarding disorder are also likely to experience other mental health conditions, and it can be a challenge to know what steps to take to provide support. This session will provide a better understanding of hoarding and what a task force is doing to address it.

    Mary Dozier (Moderator)

    Assistant Professor

    Mississippi State University

    Mary E. Dozier, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist and a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Mississippi State University. She completed her graduate work at the San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology in 2019, following a one-year clinical internship with a geropsychology emphasis at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System. She has over 40 peer-reviewed publications on the characterization, assessment, and treatment of hoarding disorder across the lifespan and her work has been funded by the American Psychological Foundation and the National Institute of Mental Health.

    Catherine Ayers, PhD, ABPP

    Professor of Clinical Psychiatry

    UC San Diego

    Tamar Cooper, LISW-S

    Director of Behavioral Health Services, Benjamin Rose

    Co-leads the Hoarding Connection

  • Product not yet rated Contains 1 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 05/02/2024 at 3:30 PM (EDT)

    Climate change is the biggest threat to human health. The effects of climate change such as extreme heat, wildfires, and flooding impact not only physical health, but there are significant mental health consequences as well. Older adults are especially vulnerable. This session will cover the most important mental health impacts of climate change and information on what communities are doing to support older adults.

    Climate change is the biggest threat to human health. The effects of climate change such as extreme heat, wildfires, and flooding impact not only physical health, but there are significant mental health consequences as well. Older adults are especially vulnerable. This session will cover the most important mental health impacts of climate change and information on what communities are doing to support older adults.

    Closing: 4:30 to 5:00 PM Eastern

    Robin Cooper, MD

    Associate Clinical Professor

    Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of California, San Francisco

    Dr. Robin Cooper is a psychiatrist who has had a private practice in San Francisco for 40 years. She is Associate Clinical Professor in Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California San Francisco Medical School  where she is actively involved in efforts to address climate change impacts on mental health and health, both within psychiatry and teaching to mental health trainees 

    She is co-founder of Climate Psychiatry Alliance, (www.climatepsychiatry.org) a national group with current membership of over 1,000 psychiatrists and mental health professionals dedicated to understanding, educating, and advocating about the specific impact of climate change on mental health.  As she moves into semi-retirement in her clinical work, her work around climate change impacts on health and mental health have become a second career.

    Dr. Cooper has spoken to many professional and public sector groups on mental health impacts of climate change, including addressing impacts on aging populations for the National Council on Mental Health and Aging and the Marin Council on Aging.  She is often called upon by journalists and media sources to discuss climate change impacts on mental health. 

    Dawn Baldwin Gibson, PhD

    Peletah Institute for Building Resilient Communities

    Steven Samra

    Dedicated Specialist

    C4 Innovations, LLC.

    Mr. Samra served nine years as Deputy Director on SAMHSA’s Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) and is skilled at both virtual and onsite T/TA across a diverse cross-section of behavioral health and recovery services. Areas of expertise include but are not limited to expanding access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder (MAT/MOUD); stigma and bias reduction; urban/rural SUD, OUD, and homelessness support strategies; criminal justice involvement, re-entry, drug courts, and trauma informed corrections care; cultural proficiency and the impact of subcultures of addiction, homelessness, and incarceration on treatment and recovery. He also specializes in peer leadership and professionalism. Mr. Samra is a Dedicated Specialist for the SAMHSA Program to Advance Recovery Knowledge (SPARK), Recovery Consultant for SAMHSA’s Opioid Response Network (ORN) and regional T/TA provider for the Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) homelessness initiatives. He has a master’s degree in public administration and currently resides in Nashville, TN. He utilizes both his extensive personal experiences and professional knowledge when providing technical assistance. 

    Elissa Epel (Moderator)

    Ramsey Alwin

    President & CEO

    National Council on Aging

    As President and CEO of the National Council on Aging, Ramsey Alwin is leading a nationwide movement to ensure equitable aging for every American. 

    Building on NCOA’s 70 years of service and advocacy for older adults, Alwin is renewing the organization’s commitment to improving the lives of millions, especially those who are struggling. She is sparking critical conversations about the resources every American deserves to age well—and what needs to change to ensure all have access.

    A seasoned thought leader and policy advocate, Alwin has changed the way people think about older adult poverty and economic security. She designed a new measure of economic security for older adults that better accounts for out-of-pocket health costs and worked to introduce the Measuring American Poverty Act in Congress to redefine the federal poverty measure for the older population. Thanks to Alwin’s efforts, the U.S. Census Bureau formally implemented the Supplemental Poverty Measure nationwide, virtually doubling the elder poverty count and better demonstrating true needs among this population. 

    Prior to leading NCOA, Alwin directed financial resilience global thought leadership at AARP and served as Director of National Economic Security Programs at Wider Opportunities for Women. Currently, she serves on the Executive Committee of the UN NGO Committee on Aging, the America250 Health and Wellness Advisory Council, and the National Academy of Social Insurance Finance Committee.


  • Product not yet rated Contains 1 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 05/02/2024 at 11:00 AM (EDT)

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