UNE presents the 30th Annual Maine Geriatrics Conference
The University of New England, in collaboration with partners from across Maine, recently presented the 30th Annual Maine Geriatrics Conference, Where Policy Meets Practice.
This conference was the first geriatrics conference in the state and has been held in Bar Harbor all 30 years.
The conference provided a venue for health practitioners, social service providers, and others with interests in the field of aging to come together to share ideas, ask questions, and develop or support care strategies affecting older adults in all care settings. The conference sessions enlightened, inspired, and honored the conference attendees, as they are the front line for advancing the health and well-being of older people. The conference provided attendees with the tools to advance ideas and systems that address older adult health disparities and optimize aging.
“One of the unique features of this conference is the participation of older adults,” stated Marilyn R. Gugliucci, M.A., Ph.D., professor and director of Geriatrics Research within the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. “This year we had 40 older adults who are designated as GEMs (Geriatrics Education Mentors). Providing education and engagement from the providers as well as those who are the participants in their own health care is essential for advancing the Age Friendly Health System approach. This includes having providers understand what matters most to their older patients and clients. The GEMs are essential to the vibrancy and culture of scholarship of this conference.”
The conference featured world-renowned speakers from the United States, morning plenary sessions, participatory workshops, networking topics, and special presentations during lunch.
Presenters from UNE included Susan Wehry, M.D., director of AgingME at UNE's College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNE COM); Daniel Pierce, D.O., M.S.Ed., retired medical director of MatureCare, a Geriatrics practice in UNE COM’s Division of Geriatrics; and co-presenters Gugliucci, Victoria Stacey Thieme, D.O., of UNE COM, and Regi Robnett, Ph.D., OTR/L, a recently retired professor of occupational therapy.
Conference topics were ideal for nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, physician assistants, nursing home administrators, certified nursing assistants, psychologists, social workers, mental health practitioners, occupational therapists, physical therapists, alcohol and drug counselors, and other aging enthusiasts.
The conference took place over two days at the Harborside Hotel in Bar Harbor, Maine. Two-hundred sixty-five registrants attended the first day, 254 attended the second day, and 28 organizations filled the exhibitor space.