4th Annual Older Adult
Mental Health Awareness
Day Symposium

May 6, 2021

Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Day Symposium

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 6, 2021.

The symposium is brought to you by NCOA, the U.S. Administration for Community Living, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Register now to join us on May 6. 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. 

  • Welcome and Opening Plenary

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    Join us for the Older Adult Mental Heath Awareness Day welcome and Opening Plenary: Ageism, Resilience and Older Adult Mental Health. Ageism creates additional barriers for older adults seeking behavioral health care and imposes a high individual and societal burden of worsened health outcomes and higher costs of care. Ashton Applewhite will speak about resilience and ageism as they relate to the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by a discussant panel.

    Welcome

    Welcome and Call to Action from NCOA, ACL and SAMHSA

    Speakers

    Ramsey Alwin, President & CEO, NCOA
    Alison Barkoff, Acting Administrator and Assistant Secretary for Aging, ACL
    Tom Coderre, Acting Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, SAMHSA

    Opening Plenary: Ageism, Resilience and Older Adult Mental Health

    Ageism creates additional barriers for older adults seeking behavioral health care and imposes a high individual and societal burden of worsened health outcomes and higher costs of care. Ashton Applewhite will speak about resilience and ageism as they relate to the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by a discussant panel.  

    Speakers

    Ashton Applewhite, Activist, Author
         "We Are All Aging - Let's End Ageism"

    Discussants

    James Klasen, Mental Health Partnerships
    Ellen Flaherty, PhD, MSN, APRN, Director, Dartmouth Centers for Heath & Aging

    Moderator

    Kathleen Cameron, BSPharm, MPH, Senior Director, Center for Healthy Aging, National Council on Aging

    Ramsey Alwin

    President & CEO

    National Council on Aging

    Ramsey Alwin joined NCOA as President & CEO in August 2020. She is a thought leader and policy advocate who has challenged outdated beliefs and sparked new solutions to address financial resilience as we age.

    In her career, Alwin designed a new measure of economic security for older adults that better accounts for out-of-pocket health costs and busts myths surrounding senior poverty. She worked to introduce the Measuring American Poverty Act in Congress to redefine the federal poverty measure to better account for older adults’ costs of living.

    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. Alwin also has led and organized efforts to enact state and local legislation and regulations using the new measure of economic security for income/asset eligibility for means tested programs.

    Prior to returning to NCOA, Ramsey was the Director, Thought Leadership – Financial Resilience at AARP, where she worked to position AARP as the global leader in challenging outdated beliefs and sparking new solutions related to financial resilience and longevity, so people can choose how they age.

    Alwin has been featured in major media outlets including The Wall Street Journal and New York Times and has testified before Congress.


    Alison Barkoff

    Acting Administrator and Assistant Secretary for Aging

    ACL

    Alison Barkoff was sworn into office as the Principal Deputy Administrator on January 20, 2021, and currently is serving as Acting Administrator and Assistant Secretary for Aging. In this capacity, she provides executive direction, leadership, guidance and coordination for ACL programs nationwide and advises the HHS Secretary on issues affecting individuals with disabilities and older adults.

    Ms. Barkoff comes to ACL from the Center for Public Representation, where she served as Director of Advocacy. In that position, she led policy advocacy with federal agencies and Congress and legal advocacy nationally to advance community living and inclusion, including in the areas of healthcare, Medicaid home- and community-based services, employment, housing, and education. She led and participated in numerous coalitions with disability and aging organizations, including as co-chair of the Long-Term Services and Supports Task Force of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities. She has testified before Congress and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on disability rights and was appointed to serve on the federal Advisory Committee for Competitive Integrated Employment of People with Disabilities.

    Ms. Barkoff previously served as Director of Advocacy at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, where she worked on a range of disability, healthcare, education and civil rights issues. In earlier government roles, she served as Special Counsel for Olmstead Enforcement in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, leading efforts to enforce the rights of people with disabilities to live, work and fully participate in their communities. She also worked with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services within the Department of Health and Human Services on policies related to Medicaid home- and community-based services and with the Department of Labor on issues affecting the workforce providing in-home services. She is a sibling to an adult brother with developmental disabilities and been involved in disability advocacy her entire life. She received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and her Juris Doctor from Emory University School of Law.

    Tom Coderre

    Acting Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use

    SAMHSA

    Tom Coderre is the Acting Assistant Secretary for Mental Health andSubstance Use. With decades of public, private, and non-profit service, Tom isthe first person in recovery to lead the Substance Abuse and Mental HealthServices Administration (SAMHSA).  His career has been significantly influenced by his personaljourney and a philosophy that acknowledges the essential role peer recoverysupport services play in helping people with mental and substance use disordersrebuild their lives.  Coderre is a career civil servant who is on detail from his positionas SAMHSA’s Regional Administrator for New England. 

    Coderre wasSenior Advisor to former Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo where he helpedcoordinate the state’s response to the opioid crisis.  Prior to that, Tomserved as senior advisor and then chief of staff at SAMHSA as an appointee ofPresident Obama.  He worked to advance federal mental health and addictionpolicies and led the team that produced “Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol,Drugs, and Health,” the first report from a U.S. Surgeon General about thepublic health crisis. 

    Tomis the former National Field Director of Faces & Voices of Recovery andappeared in the documentary film, The Anonymous People.  He also has anextensive background in government, serving as a member of the Rhode IslandSenate for four terms and as chief of staff to the Senate President for sixlegislative sessions.  He has been recognized on numerous occasions forhis dedication and advocacy efforts.  Tom is a graduate of both theCommunity College of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College.  

    Ashton Applewhite

    Activist, Author

    This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism

    An internationally recognized expert on ageism, Ashton Applewhite is the author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism She speaks widely at venues that have included the TED mainstage and the United Nations, and is a leading spokesperson for a movement to make age discrimination as unacceptable as any other prejudice. 

    James Klasen

    Learning & Development Specialist

    Mental Health Partnerships

    Jim is a Certified Peer Specialist facilitator, an Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator and Certified Older Adult CPS trainer. He brings over 40 years of experience in human services and the workforce development field. Jim has worked with youth, welfare recipients, persons returning home from prison, and persons impacted by trauma, mental health, and substance related challenges. Jim is a CPS and brings lived experience, sharing his recovery journey openly as evidence that recovery and wellness are both possible and probable. Contact me at:  jklasen@mhphope.org. 

    Ellen Flaherty, PhD

    Director

    Dartmouth Centers for Health & Aging

    Dr. Ellen Flaherty is the Director of the Dartmouth Centers for Health and Aging and Past President of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) and the 2020 recipient of the prestigious AGS Henderson Award. Dr. Flaherty is the Principal Investigator (PI) of a HRSA Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program and for an Administration for Community Living (ACL) Falls Prevention grant.  Dr. Flaherty is also a Co-Principal Investigator of the AGS National Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Coordinating Center. Dr. Flaherty’s work has focused on improving the care of older adults through the development of effective interprofessional teams and has developed a model for primary care known as  GITT-PC,  Geriatric Interprofessional Team Transformation in Primary Care.  

    Kathleen Cameron, BSPharm, MPH (Moderator)

    Senior Director, Center for Healthy Aging

    National Council on Aging

    Kathleen A. Cameron has over 25 years of experience in the health care field as a pharmacist, researcher and program director focusing on all aspects of healthy aging, including falls prevention, geriatric pharmacotherapy, behavioral health, long-term services and supports, and caregiving. Ms. Cameron is currently Senior Director, Center for Healthy Aging at the National Council on Aging (NCOA) where she oversees the Administration on Aging-funded National Falls Prevention Resource Center and National Chronic Disease Self-Management Education (CDSME) Resource Center. The focus of this work is to support the expansion and sustainability of evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention programs in the community and online through collaboration with national, state, and community partners. 

    Ms. Cameron was previously with JBS International as director of a SAMHSA-funded technical assistance center aimed at educating the aging network, mental health providers and policy makers about behavioral health conditions among older adults. Ms. Cameron worked as a consultant to various aging and health care organizations in the Washington DC area from 2005-2014. She served as Executive Director of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists Research and Education Foundation from 2000-2004. In this capacity, she was responsible for successfully directing and securing support for the Foundation's federally and privately-funded research and education programs and initiatives, which are intended to improve the health and well-being of older adults through appropriate, effective, and safe use of medications.

    Ms. Cameron received her BS degree in pharmacy from the University of Connecticut and her Master of Public Health degree from Yale University. The topic of her Master’s thesis was medication use and risk of falling among community-dwelling older adults.

  • BREAK: Hear Ashton Applewhite’s TedTalk

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    Listen to the plenary speaker’s TedTalk to continue the conversation on ending ageism.

    Listen to the plenary speaker’s TedTalk to continue the conversation on ending ageism.

  • Access to Behavioral Health in Diverse Older Adults

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    A closer look at what access in mental health care services looks like from the perspective of the Native American, African American, Latinx and LGBTQ+ communities, including the impact of generational trauma and persistent systemic inequities. Each panelist will share one barrier and one solution or success.

    A closer look at what access in mental health care services looks like from the perspective of the Native American, African American, Latinx and LGBTQ+ communities, including the impact of generational trauma and persistent systemic inequities. Each panelist will share one experiences and one solution or success. 

    Jacqueline Gray, PhD

    Associate Director/Research Associate Professor

    University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences

    Jacqueline S. Gray, PhD is a Choctaw/Cherokee research associate professor and associate director of Indigenous Programs at the Center for Rural Health (CRH) at the University of North Dakota (UND) School of Medicine & Health Sciences. She also serves as director of the National Indigenous Elder Justice Initiative (NIEJI) a national resource center to address elder abuse in Indian Country. In addition, Gray is the lead for the Strong Heart Study Psychosocial Work Group, a longitudinal study of cardiovascular disease and metabolic disorders in American Indians that began in 1988. Gray also leads the Tribal Elder Abuse Services Survey funded by AARP to determine the types and locations of elder abuse services available. She has worked to address health, mental health, and health disparities across Indian Country for more than 35 years and internationally, working with Māori suicide prevention. She participated in the White House Conference on Aging in 2015 to address elder justice issues. Gray received a doctorate from Oklahoma State University in 1998 and has been at UND since 1999. Gray is a member of the Society of Indian Psychologists; she is a fellow of the American Psychological Association. 

    Sandra Crewe, PhD

    Dean and Professor of Social Work

    Howard University

    Sandra Edmonds Crewe, MSW, PhD, ACSW is dean and professor of Social Work at Howard University. She is a NASW Pioneer© and 2020 recipient of Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman award. Dr. Crewe is an ethnogerontologist with a focus on caregiving and quality of life across the life span.  She previously held position of Director of Multidisciplinary Gerontology Center at Howard University.  Dr. Crewe currently serves on the boards of the Maryland Affordable Housing Trust, National Association of Social Work Deans and Directors, Home Care Partners, American Association of Service Coordinators, and the Open My Heart Foundation. She is a graduate of the National Catholic School of Social Service (BSW; MSW) and Howard University (PhD).  

    Bill Gross

    Assistant Director of Special Programs

    SAGE

    Bill Gross has worked with LGBTQ non-profit agencies for almost three decades. Currently at SAGE, the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ older adults, he oversees several of the agency’s longest running programs.  As head of SAGEPositive, he is in charge of all HIV and sexual wellness programming at the agency including support groups, workshops, social events, and testing days.  He also oversees SAGE's Friendly Visitor Program, supervising over 125 volunteers in ongoing weekly visits to isolated clients.  Bill sits on the New York City HIV Planning Council and is a founding member of the Long-Term Survivor Wellness Coalition, a collaborative of agencies dedicated to improving the lives of the long-term HIV survivor community. 

    Yvette Lugo, LMSW

    Director – Rio Grande Area Agency on Aging

    A Division of the Rio Grande Council of Governments

    Ms. Yvette Lugo is currently serving as the Director for the Rio Grande Area Agency on Aging(AAA), a division of the Rio Grande Council of Governments located in El Paso, TX. She has been an employee of the Council of Governments since March 2002. Yvette was originally hired with the AAA as the Caregiver Support Program Coordinator, was promoted to Programs Manager, and then was promoted to serve in her current position as Director. Yvette is also a Past President of the Texas Association of Area Agencies on Aging, which is an association of the 28 Area Agencies on Aging in the state of Texas. She has been employed in social services since 1996, where she has worked with several client populations ranging from children to older adults. Yvette is a graduate of Baylor University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and the University of Texas at Arlington with a Master of Science degree in Social Work. Yvette is also a Licensed Master Social Worker in the state of Texas. 

    Mary Roary, PhD (Moderator)

    Director, Office of Behavioral Health Equity

    SAMHSA

    Dr. Mary Roary is a public health epidemiologist who focuses on infectious and chronic diseases. Dr. Roary is currently the Director of the Office of Behavioral Health Equity (OBHE) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). She is also an Adjunct Professor at The Catholic University of America. She has worked across government, academia, and the private industry.   

    Dr. Roary has worked in two components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 2013 as a Program Director and Officer. At NIH, Dr. Roary was responsible for Health Promotion, Disease Prevention, Environmental Influences, Health Disparities, low resources in the “IDeA States” and Child Health portfolio. Dr. Roary has developed national funding opportunities, overseen complex budgets, mentored investigators in developing project grants, and disseminated research findings to stakeholders.   

    Dr. Roary previously served as the data lead for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Office of Minority Health Committees on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Healthy People 2020, and Environmental Justice. She was the Principal Investigator and Co-Principal Investigator for multiple community-based participatory research grants at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Arizona.  

    Dr. Roary earned her Ph. D. in Epidemiology and was an Epidemiology and Biostatistician CDC fellow at the University of Arizona. She holds several Master’s Degrees from Johns Hopkins University. Her ultimate goal is to become an influential champion of eliminating health disparities by identifying and implementing data-driven best practices that promote health equity and wellness. 

  • BREAK: Learn more about the National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging

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    The national coalition provides opportunities for professionals, consumers and government organizations to work together towards improving the availability and quality of mental health preventative and treatment strategies for older Americans and their families through education, research and increased public awareness.

    The national coalition provides opportunities for professionals, consumers and government organizations to work together towards improving the availability and quality of mental health preventative and treatment strategies for older Americans and their families through education, research and increased public awareness.  

    Website: http://www.ncmha.org/  

  • Perspectives on the Lived Experience of Mental Health

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    Managing mental illness over the course of a lifetime looks different for everyone. Hear the lived experiences of two older adults managing mental health and substance use disorders, as well as challenges of providing unpaid care to family members, friends, and others.

    Managing mental illness over the course of a lifetime looks different for everyone. Hear the lived experiences of two older adults managing mental health and substance use disorders, as well as challenges of providing unpaid care to family members, friends, and others. 

    The views and opinions expressed in this session are those of the presenters and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the hosts.

    Karen Kangas

    Older Adult Representative, Director of Recovery And Family Affairs

    Hartford HealthCare

    Dr. Karen Kangas began her career in education as a teacher, principal, and professor at Central Connecticut State University. During this time she earned her Doctorate in Administration. Valuing education and knowledge, Dr. Kangas has always pushed herself and others to further their pursuits in life. Lived experience with mental health challenges and addiction led Dr. Kangas to change her career to one in behavioral health; one that closely aligns with her dedication to education and advocacy.  

    Dr. Kangas worked for the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services as the Director of Recovery and Community Education. After a very successful tenure, she became the Executive Director of Advocacy Unlimited, a peer-run agency in Connecticut that trains peer supports and promotes advocacy within the State's behavioral health system.  

    Dr. Kangas left Advocacy Unlimited to continue building peer support services in Connecticut with Hartford HealthCare at the esteemed Institute of Living. Here she resides as the Director of Recovery And Family Affairs where she promotes behavioral health and addiction education and advocacy as well as oversees the Recovery Leadership Academy. The Academy, a testament to Dr. Kangas' legacy, trains persons in recovery to offer peer services to others in recovery.  

    Dr. Kangas is the recipient of many awards for her service including the "Clifford Beers Award," the "Dare to be Different Award," and the "Karen Kangas Excellence in Advocacy Award," an award created in honor of her legacy. She is a strong advocate and educator with no plan of retiring. 

    Nina Tumosa, PhD

    Caregiver

    Health Resources and Services Administration

    Nina Tumosa, PhD has been at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for the past 8 years. She serves as Lead Public Health Analyst for the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) and is responsible for the development and maintenance of HRSA’s 16-module Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia curriculum and 11-module Caregiving curriculum. 

    She received her BS/MS degrees in biology/molecular biology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and her PhD in Neuroscience from the State University of New York.  She completed two research postdoctoral fellowships, one at the University of Calgary and the other at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

    She completed two health policy fellowships, one with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the other with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). 

    David Hanson

    Veteran

    US Air Force

    David Hanson is an Air Force Veteran who served in Viet Nam working with Night Ambush Teams out of a base in the Central Highlands.  I came home  in 1970 to no fanfare and a political nightmare.  At that time, many didn’t separate the warrior from an unpopular, political war.   I went on with my life and didn’t admit to anyone I was there.  As I grew older, my ability to deal with issues worsened over 50 years going from nightmares, to PTSD, Flashbacks, and 3 attempts of suicide before I got the help I needed from the VA in 2015.   I’ve done videos for the VA website called About Face, The Pioneer PBS TV Station on Postcards about “Coming Home", and my own YouTube video on my successful VA  treatment, plus several talks to Veteran groups.  I’m hoping all helps older and younger Vets understand their issues better and seek the help they need before it’s too late.  

    Lauren Pongan (Moderator)

    National Director

    Diverse Elders Coalition

    Lauren Pongan (she/her) is the National Director of the Diverse Elders Coalition, which advocates for policies and programs that improve aging in our communities as racially and ethnically diverse people; American Indians and Alaska Natives; and lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBT) people. She is a strategic thinker, creative problem solver, and connector who loves building community. Lauren supports community leaders' mastery of policy, advocacy, and communication for social impact. She believes in centering diverse communities’ experiences and expertise in building their own solutions. 

  • Latest Interventions Related to Substance Use Disorders

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    This session will highlight how the signs and symptoms of substance use disorders (e.g. alcohol, cannabis) may manifest differently in older adults, recommendations for person-centered care, and interactions between substance misuse and cognitive impairment. Information about TIP #26 will be shared along with how organizations can use the report in their own work.

    This session will highlight how the signs and symptoms of substance use disorders (e.g. alcohol, cannabis) may manifest differently in older adults, recommendations for person-centered care, and interactions between substance misuse and cognitive impairment. Information about TIP #26 will be shared along with how organizations can use the report in their own work.

    Frederic C. Blow, PhD

    Director, U-M Addiction Center

    University of Michigan

    Frederic C. Blow, Ph.D. is a Professor and Director of the U-M Addiction Center in the Department of Psychiatry. He is a career researcher and educator in the field of alcohol and substance use screening, interventions, and treatments. The large body of his work has been directed to providing the research base and training scholars and clinicians alike. Dr. Blow currently has two NIAAA grants and has had continuous funding from the NIAAA since 1988, and extensive funding from NIDA, VA, and NIMH during the same period. He has led many federally-funded studies including international and US training grants focused on substance misuse and abuse.

    Dr. Blow has a long history of funding related to research and program evaluation, and implementation of evidence-based treatments for substance use and mental health disorders. His areas of research expertise include alcohol brief interventions in healthcare settings, substance abuse prevention, substance abuse screening and diagnosis for older adults, serious mental illness and concurrent substance abuse, suicide prevention, mental health services research, and implementation of evidence-based substance abuse and mental health practices.

    Eric Weakly (Moderator)

    Western Branch Chief in the Division of State and Community Systems Development

    SAMHSA

    Eric Weakly is the Western Branch Chief in the Division of State and Community Systems Development, Center for Mental Health Services at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The Division manages the Mental Health Block Grant, which provides funds and technical assistance to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 6 Pacific jurisdictions. Grantees use the funds to provide comprehensive, community-based mental health services to adults with serious mental illnesses and to children with serious emotional disturbances and to monitor progress in implementing a comprehensive, community-based mental health system. Prior to his work at SAMHSA, Eric was a project officer at the Administration for Community Living working on the No Wrong Door/ADRC, Inclusive Transportation, and Supported Decision Making projects. Eric has also led collaborative efforts at the local level on mental health and long-term services and support programs. Prior to work in administration, Eric worked as a social worker with older adults and families. 

  • Addressing Behavioral Health Disparities in Aging: The E4 Center of Excellence

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    Come engage, empower, and educate in a conversation with the E4 Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Disparities in Aging! Opportunities for learning, partnering, and creating equity in behavioral health for older adults and their families will be discussed.

    Come engage, empower, and educate in a conversation with the E4 Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Disparities in Aging! Opportunities for learning, partnering, and creating equity in behavioral health for older adults and their families will be discussed.

    Robyn Golden

    Co-Director

    E4 Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Disparities in Aging

    Robyn Golden, LCSW, is the associate vice president of population health and aging at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, where she also holds academic appointments in the Departments of Medicine, Nursing, Psychiatry and Health Systems Management. She is responsible for developing and overseeing health promotion and disease prevention, mental health, care coordination and transitional care services for older adults, family caregivers and people with chronic conditions.  Golden is key to the development of interprofessional models of care for Rush’s population health programs. She is currently the principal investigator for the HRSA Funded Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program and the Commonwealth Funded Primary Care Redesign Project.

    For over 30 years, Golden has been actively involved in service provision, program development, education, research and public policy aimed at developing innovative initiatives and systems integration to improve the health and well-being of older adults and their families. In 2003-04, she was the John Heinz Senate Fellow based in the office of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in Washington, D.C. Golden is a past chair of American Society on Aging and currently co-chairs the National Coalition on Care Coordination. She also is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare and is an NASW Social Work Pioneer. She received the Gerontological Society of America’s 2017 Maxwell A. Pollack Award for Productive Aging.

    Erin Emery-Tiburcio, PhD, ABPP

    Co-Director

    E4 Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Disparities in Aging

    Dr. Erin Emery-Tiburcio is an Associate Professor of Geriatric & Rehabilitation Psychology and Geriatric Medicine at Rush University Medical Center, as well as Co-Director of the Rush Center for Excellence in Aging (aging.rush.edu). She is past-Chair of American Psychological Association Committee on Aging, and past-President of the Society for Clinical Geropsychology. Dr. Emery-Tiburcio is Co-Director of CATCH-ON, the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program based at Rush University Medical Center (www.catch-on.org). Dr. Emery-Tiburcio also co-directs the brand new Engage, Educate, Empower for Equity: E4, The Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Disparities in Aging at Rush (www.e4center.org). 

    Joan Weiss, PhD, RN, CRNP, FAAN (Moderator)

    Deputy Director, Division of Medicine and Dentistry

    Health Resources and Services Administration

    Joan Weiss is an adult and gerontological nurse practitioner who serves as the Deputy Director in the Division of Medicine and Dentistry (DMD) at the Health Resources and Services Administration. She oversees all phases of management for workforce development in geriatrics, primary care, graduate medical education, preventive medicine/public health, and oral health. She advises on the development of performance measures for HRSA’s DMD education and training programs. Her experience in interprofessional practice and education spans 30 years. She is the immediate past Designated Federal Official for the Federal Advisory Committee on Interdisciplinary Community-Based Linkages. She is the HRSA representative on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Disease Research, Care, and Services; the Family Caregiving Advisory Council; and the Grandparent Advisory Council. She also serves on HHS interagency workgroups on palliative care, elder justice, and caregiving. She has served in many leadership positions at HRSA including Director of the Division of Public Health and Interdisciplinary Education and Acting Director of the Division of Nursing. She is a recipient of the 2015 Secretary’s Meritorious Group Award for taking important steps to find a cure and improve care for people with dementia.

  • BREAK: Join us for a Mindful Moment

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    Practice some breathing and meditation techniques with Michigan State University Extension.

    Practice some breathing and meditation techniques with Michigan State University Extension.

    Renee Cunningham

    Executive Director

    Center in the Park

    Reneé received a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice from Chestnut Hill College in 1996. She began her work in the field of Aging in January 2000 when she joined the staff of Center in the Park (CIP), a nationally-accredited senior center in Northwest Philadelphia, as a social worker in the Family Caregiver Support Program.  She advanced into various supervisory roles and, in 2005, received her Masters in Social Service with a concentration in Social Services Management from the Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research.  In 2007, she was promoted to Associate Director and, in July 2018, she became Center in the Park’s Executive Director, the 4th in its 50-year history.  She has served as Acting President of Philadelphia Association of Senior Service Administrators (PASSA) and is currently on the Board of the Pennsylvania Association of Senior Center Administrators where she co-chairs the Public Policy Committee.  She is a thoughtful and responsible steward of the vision of Center in the Park’s co-founders, and continues to work with the Center’s leadership team, staff, Board of Directors and members to fulfill the Center’s mission and help to define its place in the future.

    Susan Stiles

    Moderator

  • Socialization and Engagement – What We Know Works

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    COVID-19 has amplified the problem of social isolation, yet older adults have remained resilient. Presenters share what strategies they know work from a clinical and community perspective across settings, and what is next from the research.

    COVID-19 has amplified the problem of social isolation, yet older adults have remained resilient. Presenters share what strategies they know work from a clinical and community perspective across settings, and what is next from the research.

    Ipsit V. Vahia, MD

    Medical Director, Institute for Technology in Psychiatry and Medical Director, Geriatric Psychiatry Outpatient Programs at McLean Hospital Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

    Harvard Medical School

    Ipsit Vahia, MD, is a geriatric psychiatrist, clinician, and researcher. He is medical director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Outpatient Services at McLean Hospital and the McLean Institute for Technology in Psychiatry. He is also director of the Technology and Aging Laboratory. His research focuses on the use of technology and informatics in the assessment and management of older adults and currently, he oversees a clinical and research program on aging, behavior, and technology. He has published extensively in major international journals and textbooks.

    Dr. Vahia serves on the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Council on Geriatric Psychiatry and the Geriatric Psychiatry Committee of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He has served on the board of directors of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP) and on the editorial boards of five journals including his current role as social media editor of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. He is a recipient of several prestigious awards including the 2016 AAGP Barry Lebowitz Award and the 2014 APA Hartford Jeste Award.

    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. 

    Diane Slezak

    CEO

    AgeOptions

    Diane Slezak serves as the Chief Executive Officer of designated by the Illinois Department on Aging under the U. S. Older Americans Act and State Act on Aging to serve older and disabled persons in the Cook County suburbs surrounding Chicago. AgeOptions and the community agencies that serve older and disabled persons in the region, have developed a number of significant and collaborative programs and services including evidence based health promotion, benefits outreach and access, economic security initiatives, aging and disability resource centers, congregate and home delivered nutrition, the Avisery Program and others. Diane has a Bachelor Degree from Wheaton College (Wheaton Illinois) and an MBA degree (concentration Public Administration) from Rosary College (now Dominican University). Diane joined AgeOptions in 1976. 

    Sandy Markwood (Moderator)

    Chief Executive Officer

    National Association of Area Agencies on Aging

    Chief Executive Officer Sandy Markwood has more than 30 years experience in the development and delivery of aging, health, human services, housing and transportation programs in counties and cities across the nation. Prior to coming to n4a in January 2002, Sandy served as the Deputy Director of County Services at the National Association of Counties where she took a lead role in research, training, conference planning, program development, technical assistance and grants management.

    As CEO, Sandy is responsible for n4a’s overall management. She sets strategic direction for the staff, oversees the implementation of all policy, grassroots advocacy, membership and program initiatives. She also leads n4a’s fundraising efforts and engages corporate sponsors to support critical initiatives, including an aging awards/best practices program and the Leadership Institute for Area Agency on Aging staff. Externally, Sandy forms strategic partnerships with federal agencies and organizations in aging, human services and health care arenas to enhance the role and recognition of Area Agencies on Aging and Title VI programs.

    Sandy holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Virginia.

  • Promising Practices and Funding Strategies from State Partnerships in Aging and Mental Health

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    Georgia, Oregon, and New York share about innovate strategies and funding opportunities for aging and mental health partnerships.

    Georgia, Oregon, and New York share about innovate strategies and funding opportunities for aging and mental health partnerships.

    Eve Byrd, DNP, MPH

    Director, Mental Health Program

    The Carter Center (Georgia)​

    Eve H. Byrd became director of the Carter Center’s Mental Health Program in February 2017.  Prior to joining the staff of the Mental Health Program, she was a faculty member of the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and served as the Executive Director, Fuqua Center for Late-Life Depression/ Emory School of Medicine.   

    Eve is a long -term friend of The Carter Center Mental Health program having participated in each of the programs initiatives over the last 14 years. Eve has held leadership positions both nationally and locally engaged in work aimed at eliminating the stigma of behavioral health disorders and improving persons with behavioral health disorders access to care.  She has been a consultant to the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, the Georgia Division of Aging, the Atlanta Regional Commission, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging and Georgia Representative Pat Gardner. Until coming to the Carter Center, Eve also practiced as a nurse practitioner in geriatric psychiatry establishing on-site services in affordable housing for older adults and young disabled as well as practicing in a patient-centered medical home for persons with dementia. Eve began her career as a public health nurse in Georgia.  

    Eve earned a master of public health in health policy from Rollins School of Public Health/Emory University and a master of nursing with a concentration in psychiatric/ mental health nursing from the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing/Emory University.  She earned a bachelor degree in nursing from Emory School of Nursing and a bachelor degree in psychology from Florida State University.  She is a Doctorate in Nursing Practice candidate with an emphasis in systems change and implementation science at Emory School of Nursing.  

    Nirmala Dhar, LCSW

    Older Adult Behavioral Health Project Director

    Oregon Health Authority - Health Systems Division

    Nirmala Dhar is a licensed clinical social worker with a Master’s in Social Work from the Brown School of Social Work, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri and Bombay University, India. She is mission driven and has a passion to work with the most vulnerable clients, often with cross sector complex care needs. Nirmala has worked for 35 years in all aspects and programs of behavioral health in the public sector in Missouri, New Jersey and Oregon. She is a senior policy analyst and the Older Adult Behavioral Health Services Coordinator for Oregon Health Authority ‘s Health Systems Division. In this position she is the Older Adult Behavioral Health Initiative Project Director, the PASRR Level II Coordinator and subject matter expert for her Division. She is the OHA Champion for the Geriatric Behavioral Health ECHO Program. Prior to this position she worked for Clackamas County Behavioral Health for 18 years. This included 10 years as the geriatric mental health specialist for the County. She has provided trainings on a variety of topics over the past twenty years locally and nationally and enjoys coaching and mentoring new clinicians. Her areas of professional interest include healthy aging, social justice, workforce development, quality improvement, health metrics and service delivery innovations. Nirmala lives in Lake Oswego with her husband Sanjay. Her hobbies include world travel, reading non-fiction, gardening and good food! 

    Kimberly Williams

    President and CEO

    Vibrant Emotional Health (New York)

    Kimberly A. Williams is the President and CEO of the Vibrant Emotional Health, a nonprofit organization which reaches over 2.5 million people each year to help them achieve emotional well-being through high quality, innovative programs. She began as a public policy intern in 2003, rising to President and CEO in 2017. She has served the mental health industry through various positions, including mental health advocate, administrator, educator, and consultant. As CEO, Williams has overseen the expansion of Vibrant’s premier programs they administer, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Disaster Distress Helpline, and NYC Well, New York City’s leading edge, multi-lingual, multi-modal contact center program that responds around the clock to the mental health needs of over 300,000 New Yorkers every year. Williams serves on a number of advisory committees and boards including the New York State Interagency Geriatric Mental Health and Chemical Dependence Planning Council, the New York State Health Foundation Community Advisory Committee, Mental Health News Education Inc., United Community Schools, and the National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging, for whom she is immediate past chair. Her leadership in the field has been recognized by City and State New York, New York Nonprofit Media, Mental Health Association in New York State, and the National Association of Social Workers NYC Chapter. Williams has been an adjunct lecturer at Columbia University School of Social Work and NYU Silver School of Social Work. Her voice has been featured in The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, Forbes, CBS Evening NewsThe Today Show and more.

    Brian Hepburn, MD (Moderator)

    Executive Director

    National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors

    Dr.Brian Hepburn is the Executive Director of the NationalAssociation of State Mental Health  ProgramDirectors (NASMHPD). He started in that position on July 1, 2015. He previously was  theDirector of the Maryland Mental Hygiene Administration (MHA) from 2002 to 2014and that  positionbecame the Director of the Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) on July,2014. He  wasthe Clinical Director for MHA from 1996 to 2004. He wasalso the Director of Psychiatric  Educationand Training for MHA from 1987 to 1997. He maintained a private practice from1983 until 2004 at the University of Maryland and Brooklane HealthServices. Dr. Hepburn received his M.D. degree in 1979from the University of Michigan School of Medicine. He received ResidencyTraining in Psychiatryat the University of Maryland from 1979 to 1983. He was a Full-Time FacultyMember atthe University of Maryland from 1983 to 1988 and has been on the Volunteerfaculty at the Universityof Maryland since 1988.