Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Mar 06 2010

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Video shows benefits of hiring older workers

Faced with research showing that 65 percent of businesses and organizations are reluctant to hire older workers, the Older Learner Center at Michigan’s Grand Rapids Community College produced a video explaining the benefits.

Watch (Windows Media Player) or Real Player.

Mike Faber, associate director of the Older Learner Center, mentioned the video during a session on Innovative Models for Re-training and Re-careering Older Workers at the annual conference of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE).

The conference was held March 4-7 at the Peppermill Resort in Reno.

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Mar 05 2010

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Program address issues of ‘aging in place’ in prison

The U.S. population is graying everywhere, and that includes behind bars.

According to Mary T. Harrison, a psychologist at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center in Carson City, about 10 percent of inmates of state and federal prisons now are 50 or older.

The 50+ population has tripled since the early 1990s, she said, and as a result more inmates are dying in prison. There were 1,630 inmate deaths in 1991. Ten years later that number had almost doubled.

Harrison spoke at at the annual conference of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, held March 4-7 at the Peppermill Resort in Reno. She described a program for older prisoners that she launched at the correctional center in 2004. It’s called the Senior Structured Living Program or True Grit.

The program, which has grown to about 120 members, aims to provide older inmates with dignity and humane care, she said. It was begun in response to older inmates being exploited by younger inmates. Some of the older inmates, especially those in wheelchairs, were having to pay protection money to the younger inmates.

True Grit participants live in one unit of the prison. They participate in a wide variety of structured activities, including pet therapy, arts and crafts and drama productions. They also must do work such as cleaning.

True Grit operates at no cost to taxpayers, she said. It is run entirely by herself and volunteers from outside the prison. These include military veterans who meet with vets who are behind bars. About half of the participants in the program are military vets, she said.

She said the program benefits the prison system by reducing costs of medical care, including the provision of psychotropic drugs. She also said older inmates would often malinger in the infirmary to get out of their cells.

“Now we can’t even get them in [the infirmary],” she said.

She said the program also helps rehabilitate those prisoners who are eligible for eventual release, although about 70 percent of participants in True Grit are in prison for life.

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Mar 05 2010

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Nursing students test their skills on Gerontology Education Island

On  Gerontology Education Island in the virtual world Second Life, Lesele Rose’s nursing students can do assessments of virtual patients (for a grade), see how homeless people live, and, as everywhere else in Second Life, fly.

Rose, an  instructor in the College of Nursing at the University of Utah, built the island to give students an interactive learning experience. She demonstrated its many capabilities at the annual conference of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, held March 4-7 at the Peppermill Resort in Reno.

The virtual examination rooms include beds and medical monitoring equipment. In the future, she said, there will be sinks where the students’ avatars will be required to wash their hands before examining a “patient.”

Such learning environments are common now in Second Life. She showed one facility constructed for medical examiners. She said she would consider taking her students on a field trip to the facility.

Among the other items of interest outside the main building on Gerontology Education Island is a small hobo homestead complete with a hammock and clothes line. On giant video screen inside the building, students can watch YouTube videos or take a look at any website.

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Jan 14 2010

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Community Advisory Board chair Phil Gillette dies

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Phil Gillette

Phil Gillette

Philip J. Gillette, one of the founding officers of the University of Nevada School of Medicine and a board member of many community organizations – including the Community Advisory Board of the University of Nevada, Reno’s Sanford Center for Aging – died on Jan. 4 following a long illness. He was 89.

Mr. Gillette was the financial officer of the medical school when it was chartered in 1969 and served as assistant to the dean and as health systems administrator until 1987. He was a lecturer in the College of Business Administration, a member of the task force that developed the Master of Public Health program at UNR, secretary to the School of Medicine/Washoe Medical Center Liaison Planning committee, consultant to medical school clinical chairmen, and faculty council secretary for the School of Medicine.

He also chaired the Governor’s State Health Plan Development Committee and was a board member or office of the Washoe County Asthma Coalition, the Crisis Call Center, the Northern Nevada Cancer Council and the National Medical Care Seminar Group. He was regent for the American College of Healthcare Executives for Nevada and served as editor of Health Coalition News.

Dr. Ole J. Thienhaus, dean of the School of Medicine, recalled meeting Mr. Gillette soon after he, Thienhaus, arrived at the school in 1995.

“I knew I had discovered a kindred spirit. We shared an interest in the systems aspects of health-care delivery and medical education and spent hours in animated discussions of conceptual and practical issues. The privilege of joining him in teaching senior-year family medicine residents at St. Mary’s (hospital in Reno) will not be forgotten. The gentle, truly kind way he had of conveying feedback as to how my teaching had been received was genuine Phil Gillette.”

Before coming to Nevada, Mr. Gillette served as associate hospital administrator for the University Hospital of the University of Washington, Seattle, from 1956-69. During World War II he was a medical administrative officer in the Air Force.

A fourth-generation Californian, he was born June 27, 1920, in Richmond. His father, Felix Gillette, was from Troy, New York, and worked at various careers throughout his life. His mother, the former Ethel Thompson, was born in California and worked as buyer in a large department store in San Francisco.

“Phil,” as he was known to all, loved his family, his faith and working. He appeared to tireless, remaining engaged with many organizations well into his 80s even as he dealt with mounting health issues from cancer.

In the last few years, he served on the HealthInsight advisory council for Nevada and Nevada Board of Directors, chaired the Angel Kiss Foundation Advisory Board, served as a Sanford Center for Aging community advisory board member and chairman, and gave his time as coordinator of the Resident Physician Practice Management course.

After Hurricane Katrina he was instrumental in his church, Trinity Episcopal in Reno, becoming involved with Episcopal Relief & Development, an organization that provides disaster relief and works to combat poverty.

Among other honors, in 2008 he was given the Sanford Center for Aging’s Living the Legacy Award, which recognizes long-time commitment to improving the lives of Nevada elders.

He was preceded in death by wife Geneva (Petersen) Gillette, married Sept. 1, 1946.

He is survived by children Richard Gillette of Seattle and Denise (Gillette) Breslin of Newport Beach, Calif.; and grandchildren Jennifer Gillette, Allison Gillette, Ryan Breslin, Sean Breslin, Paul Breslin, Alex Simmerly and Joel Simmerly.

A memorial service for will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church in Reno, 200 Island Avenue, on Saturday, on Jan. 16 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Angel Kiss Foundation or Episcopal Relief and Development, c/o Reno Trinity Episcopal Church.

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Dec 03 2009

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Our grad assistant elected secretary of Nevada Public Health Association

Paula Valencia-Castro

Paula Valencia-Castro

Paula Valencia-Castro, a graduate assistant with the Sanford Center for Aging, has been elected secretary of the northern Nevada chapter of the Nevada Public Health Association.

Originally from Chile, she works as a research assistant in the Medication Therapy Management program. She earned her Master of Public Health (Epidemiology) from UNR and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences and Health.

Also newly elected an officer of the northern Nevada chapter was Member-at-Large Laura Davidson, a third-year doctoral candidate in social psychology.

The NPHA is the state affiliate of the American Public Health Association and brings together professionals representing a wide range of public health organizations, including the Nevada State Health Division, local health departments, universities, nonprofits, businesses, and other public-health professionals. Among other objectives, the organization works to enlighten the public about modern practices of public health, and it promotes high ethical standards for public-health workers.

Other officers of the northern Nevada chapter with UNR connections are Vice President Teresa Sacks, a health-research analyst with the Sanford Center for Aging; and Member-at-Large Enid Jennings, on-campus affiliate of Student Health Services.

Statewide officers of the NPHA include Treasurer Sara Velasquez, a program officer with University of Nevada Cooperative Extension in Las Vegas; and American Public Health Association Affiliate Representative and past-president John Packham, director of health-policy research in the Education and Health Services Research Center in Reno.

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