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UK Summer Series on Aging

Contact: Jennifer Bonck

 

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"This is really a future-looking issue in which policy makers should have a vested interest. What can we do to ensure the diverse needs of older adults are identified and met during a bioterrorist attack or other public health emergency?"

- Michael D. Smith, Ph.D., associate director for education and community services

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June 13, 2003 (Lexington, Ky.) -- Homeland security and emergency preparedness issues for the elderly will be among the major topics at the 20th annual Summer Series on Aging, June 30 through July 2, sponsored by the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging.

"The popular Summer Series provides a forum for professionals to share the most current information in geriatrics and gerontology from a multidisciplinary perspective," said Michael D. Smith, Ph.D., associate director for education and community services, Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, UK College of Medicine.

The Series annually attracts about 400 professionals in aging from across the country including nurses, social workers, physical therapists, pharmacists, nursing home administrators, adult day care directors, dietitians, and recreation directors. This year's conference will be held at the Marriot Griffin Gate Resort in Lexington.

One of the sessions devoted to the topic of bioterrorism is Bioterrorism and Aging: Developing Strategies and Resources. The session will be led by Scott R. Lillibridge, M.D., professor of epidemiology and director, Center for Biosecurity and Public Health Preparedness, University of Texas School of Public Health. Most recently, Lillibridge worked for U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson as the Special Assistant for national security and emergency management. He assisted in the development of a national bioterrorism program at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) when the nation was experiencing anthrax attacks in October 2001.

"This is an interesting topic, and one that the general public probably hasn't considered to a great degree," Smith said. "This is really a future-looking issue in which policy makers should have a vested interest. What can we do to ensure the diverse needs of older adults are identified and met during a bioterrorist attack or other public health emergency? How do we continue to provide care to homebound and rural elderly during a large-scale quarantine? These are questions that we must explore and answer."

Other major presenters at the Summer Series sessions will include:

  • Diana Koin, M.D., educational director, University of California Davis Health System, California Medical Training Center, who wrote the first medical paper on elder abuse in the United States. Koin will discuss elder abuse cases and hallmarks of elder abuse prevention in a panel discussion of innovative approaches to the problem of elder abuse.
  • Gema G. Hernandez, D.P.A., lead consultant, Aging and Cultural Consultants Inc., the first Hispanic female to serve in the capacity of Secretary of any department in the history of the State of Florida. Hernandez will lead a presentation that explores new ways to make your community Elder Ready , Family focused and Children friendly. It explains the initiative that began in Florida three years ago and is being replicated nationwide in a variety of urban settings.

Other sessions of the Summer Series will focus on aquatic exercise for seniors, nutrition in Alzheimer's disease patients, depression in the elderly, economic security for older women, rural health issues, and geriatric updates on pharmaceuticals.

For more information, call (859) 257-8301 or visit www.rgs.uky.edu/aging/summerseries.


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