Center for Excellence in Aging and Health holds kick-off celebration

Tom Meuser, founding director of UNE's Center for Excellence in Aging and Health, addresses the audience at the CEAH's kick-off
Tom Meuser, founding director of UNE's Center for Excellence in Aging and Health, addresses the audience at the CEAH's kick-off reception on November 29.

The Center for Excellence in Aging and Health (CEAH) held its kick-off reception in Alumni Hall on November 29. Stakeholders in the field of aging from across the University and the state of Maine participated. 

UNE President James Herbert, Ph.D., welcomed the crowd of 70 guests and spoke of UNE's deep commitment to the health care of older adults, acknowledging the foundational work of College of Osteopathic Medicine Professor and Director of Geriatrics and Research Marilyn Gugliucci, Ph.D., which helped set the stage for the new center. “Education in geriatrics at UNE is second to none,” he said, “thanks, in part, to the work of Dr. Gugliucci and many other dedicated faculty and staff over the years who have placed a major emphasis on how best to promote healthy aging.” He noted the University’s many interprofessional education efforts in the geriatrics field, including the School of Social Work’s Training in Aging Diversity (TRIAD) Program, and he celebrated the “Age Friendly University” designation that UNE earned from the International Age Friendly University Global Network in 2017. “At UNE, we recognize the importance of the full human life course in everything we do,” Herbert stated.

Herbert acknowledged the generous gift in 2017 from the Housing Initiatives of New England, a corporation headed by UNE trustee Cynthia Taylor, which made the formation of the CEAH possible. Taylor spoke at the event, expressing her excitement as UNE ushers in a new era of geriatrics research and programming under the CEAH’s founding director, Tom Meuser, Ph.D. "My entire career has been working with and for senior populations in New England,” Taylor shared. “It became evident that there was a much needed opportunity here at UNE to create an inter-disciplinary health and social research program that would utilize the wonderful talents of faculty, staff and students. I am so very pleased that with Tom Meuser we have set out to meet the real world of seniors and the health professions here at UNE.”

Meuser presented to attendees a vision for the CEAH focused on "inclusive, narrative-informed and outcome-oriented research on healthful aging," and he invited individuals and organizations to affiliate with the new center. He also thanked the many individuals who have helped make the CEAH a success in its first 100 days, including Joe Wolfberg, M.S., Interprofessional Geriatric Education Program site coordinator and adjunct professor in the Department of Physical Therapy; Regula Robnett, Ph.D., OTR/L, professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy; and the 15 new external advisors who met in closed session after the reception.