Thank you for joining for us at the Age of Possibilities Summit on October 21st!

Exploring research, technology, and learning in the longevity era

October 21, 2019 | 8:00 - 3:30PM | Grappone Center, Concord, NH

Each new era brings with it possibilities for change and growth; the emerging longevity era is no exception. As we are living longer than ever before; the world around us offers unparalleled opportunity to test old assumptions, make new discoveries and modify our ecosystems to support our changing needs. In Northern New England, our institutions of higher education, research laboratories, tech companies, and housing innovators are leading the way in exploring these possibilities. They are developing revolutionary approaches to learning and living in later life that enhance health and well-being. They are:

  • Co-developing, with older people, technologies to improve safety, health and ease of living;
  • Creating age-diverse learning and living environments that foster bi-directional learning;
  • Offering experiential learning opportunities to health professionals and older adults;
  • Piloting evidence-based geriatric care initiatives that bend the cost curve and meet the Triple Aim;
  • Expanding the capacity of our workforce to meet the needs of rural older adults through interdisciplinary geriatrics training that leverages new technologies;
  • Leading research to end Alzheimer’s disease and delay age-related health issues;
  • Using artificial intelligence to help people self-monitor their health and care;
  • Providing policy analyses and program evaluation to contribute to the body of evidence on policy and program success; and
  • Leading efforts to reframe our ageist culture to one of inclusion of all ages.

Presentation Materials

Summit Program
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Jess Maurer, Project Manager, Tri-State Learning Collaborative on Aging

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Keynote: Aging is Cool: Everyone is Doing It

Alice Bonner, PhD, RN
Senior Advisor, Aging, Innovation, Institute for Healthcare Improvement and Former Secretary of Executive Office of Elder Affairs, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

This presentation touched on many aspects of optimal aging and policy, including home and community-based services such as the CAPABLE program, work with caregivers of individuals living with dementia, and public health issues such as social isolation, loneliness and homelessness. Bonner spoke about the importance of relationships, finding and developing champions and leaders, and the Age Friendly Health Systems movement. Audience participation was encouraged through a question and answer period after the presentation!

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Morning Plenary Panel- Healthy Aging and Research

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Lunch Plenary Panel- Healthcare Workforce

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Breakout Sessions:

B2. Empowering and enabling aging-in-place through digital technologies

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Ibis by Senscio – Piali De, PhD.CEO Senscio Systems
Information Communication Technology for Aging-in-Place – Sajay Arthanat. PhD, OTR/L., ATP, Associate Professor, University of New Hampshire

Watch below to see the 2019 TSLCA Summit: Age of Possibilities: Keynote Presentation by Alice Bonner

Presenter Bios

Keynote Presentation

Alice Bonner, PhD, RN
Senior Advisor, Aging, Innovation, Institute for Healthcare Improvement and Former Secretary of Executive Office of Elder Affairs, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Dr. Bonner’s work focuses on supporting and empowering older adults to be able to age in their communities, creating and improving age-friendly health systems, promoting dementia-friendly communities and support for caregivers of individuals living with dementia, working to prevent elder abuse and mistreatment, and advocating to end elder homelessness.

Previously, Dr. Bonner was Secretary of the Executive Office of Elderly Affairs for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Her research interests include quality and safety in nursing centers, falls prevention, improving dementia care and reducing unnecessary antipsychotic medication use, and reducing avoidable hospitalizations.

Healthy Aging and Research Plenary Panel

Lenard Kaye, PhD, DSW
Director, Maine Center on Aging

Dr. Lenard W. Kaye is Professor of Social Work at the University of Maine School of Social Work and Director of the University of Maine Center on Aging.

A prolific writer in the field of health care and aging, he has published more than 150 journal articles and book chapters and 15 books on specialized topics in aging including social isolation, home health care, men’s health, productive aging, rural practice, family caregiving, support groups for older women, and congregate housing. His recent books include A Man’s Guide to Healthy Aging: Stay Smart, Strong, and Active (with Edward Thompson, Jr.), Johns Hopkins University Press (2013) and Social Isolation of Older Adults: Strategies to Bolster Health and Well-Being (with Cliff Singer), Springer Publishing Company (2019). His current book project is the Handbook of Rural Aging, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

Dr. Kaye is lead evaluator for AgingME, Maine’s Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program and co-director of evaluation of an ACL/DHHS-funded, technology-driven, nutrition enhancement and self-management program for older adults with multiple chronic diseases.

Dr. Kaye was the lead organizer of the International Symposium on Safe Medicine, and a founding board member of the International Institute for Pharmaceutical Safety. He has managed a series of John Hartford Foundation-funded gerontological social work education programs at the University of Maine.

Dr. Kaye, was the 2010 recipient of the Career Achievement Award of the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGESW) and has served on the National Advisory Committee for Rural Health and Human Services of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service. He is a Research Scientist at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, and Past President of both the Maine and New York State Gerontological Societies. He is the Past Chair of the National Association of Social Worker’s Section on Aging, sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of Gerontological Social Work and Journal of Aging Life Care, and is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America.

Andrey Antov, PhD, MBA
Program Director, Maine Cancer Genomics Initiative, The Jackson Laboratory

Andrey Antov

Andrey’s healthcare professional experience includes basic research, medical device contracting, and pharmeceutical. He has held a number of different roles from administration to consulting. Andrey holds a PhD in immunobiology and a MBA in marketing and strategy from Yale Univeristy as well as a M.Sc in biochemistry and a MSc in ecology from Sofia University in Bulgaria.

Barbara Colombo, PhD
Associate Professor, Champlain College, Vermont

With her fifteen years of teaching experience in psychology at the university level, Dr. Barbara Colombo strongly believes that college is a wonderful and exciting life experience for the student. She leads each student to learn not only concepts, but also practical skills that he or she can use both in everyday and professional life. One of her main research interests is creativity— and she applies it to every class. Apart from teaching psychology, Dr. Colombo has been applying neuroscience techniques both in research labs and medical settings (including hospitals, assisted-living communities, and physical rehabilitation centers). She also has many years of experience empowering the life skills of children, teenagers, adults, and seniors —often with the support of music therapy.  Dr. B is known for being quite eclectic. She went both to conservatory to study viola da gamba (an instrument that she plays regularly in ancient music ensembles, contemporary music groups, and Rock bands) and to culinary school (you may occasionally find homemade cookies in her office).  She has a strong passion for statistics (sad but true) and American Football.

Allison Wilder, PhD
Associate Professor, University of New Hampshire

Allison has over 20 years experience as a practitioner of recreation and recreational therapy, with 15 years as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. She received the Faculty Senate Excellence in Teaching award in 2007-2008 from the Metropolitan State College of Denver. Her research interests are two-pronged. She is interested in both disability issues and the aging population, as they relate to leisure function. She is specifically interested in where these two topics intersect, whether this means having lived a lifetime with disability and growing older or aging into disability. Aging with lifelong disability is a passion.

Healthcare Workforce Plenary Panel

Laura Davie
Director of Long Term Care and Aging
Co-Director Center on Aging and Community Living

Laura Davie is the Director of the Long Term Care and Aging focus area at the Institute for Health Policy and Practice (IHPP). She is also the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Center on Aging and Community Living (CACL), a collaboration between IHPP and the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire.

Laura joined IHPP in 2005. She provides leadership, project management, facilitation, and evaluation across multiple projects focused on person-centered options for older adults to support them to live and age in communities of their choice. Laura collaborates with the NH Department of Health and Human Services, Endowment for Health, US DHHS Administration on Community Living, ServiceLink Aging and Disability Resource Center Network, and many other NH community based organizations.

Projects that Laura has worked on include the NH Aging and Disability Resource Center Program, NH No Wrong Door System of Access Program, NH Balancing Incentive Program, Department of Labor DirectConnect Project, and the Citizen’s Health Initiative. Laura is an active member of the Tri-State Learning Collaborative on Aging’s Advisory Board and is a collaborative partner in the NH Senior Leadership Series. Laura was a New Hampshire Public Health Association Board Member (2009-2016) and served as Vice President (2011-2015).

Ellen Flaherty, PhD, APRN, AGSF
Director, Dartmouth Centers for Health and Aging

Dr. Flaherty is the Director of the Dartmouth Centers for Health & Aging and is the Board Chair of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS). Dr. Flaherty also Co-Directs the Dartmouth HRSA funded Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) and is a Co-Principal Investigator of the AGS National Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Coordinating Center funded by the John A. Harford Foundation and has been funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation to further develop, test and spread the GITT-PC (Geriatric Interprofessional Team Transformation in Primary Care) model.

Jennifer Gunderman-King, MPH
Workforce Development Team Lead, AHEC Director, and Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of New England

Jennifer came into public health by failing organic chemistry as an undergraduate at Providence College. Her goal was to be a physician but she soon realized that her skill and passion belonged elsewhere. Luckily her college has a public health major, and the rest is history.  Her background includes being a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger, working with the state of Maine health department as an infectious disease epidemiologist, providing technical assistance to Caribbean countries on HIV surveillance, and even owning an organic farm.  She lives in Belfast, Maine with my 3 children where we enjoy being outdoors as much as possible.

Susan Huard, PhD
President, Manchester Community College

Susan Huard

Susan Huard was appointed President of New Hampshire’s Manchester Community College in 2010 after serving as Dean of Learning and Student Development for 12 years at Quinebaug Valley Community College in Danielson, CT. Dr. Huard has decades of higher education experience, as both a senior administrator and faculty member. During the 1990s, Dr. Huard taught in the English Department and served as a Division Director at Connecticut’s Manchester Community College. From 1982 to 1990 she was a faculty member at Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua, NY, where she also served as Acting Director of the Developmental Studies Division in 1990. Dr. Huard earned her Bachelor’s degree from Framingham State College, MA, a Master’s from the University of Connecticut and holds a Doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction from U Conn as well. Dr. Huard is Board Chair of NH Jobs for America’s Graduates (NHJAG) and serves on the Board of Directors of the NH Higher Education Assistance Foundation, the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and Catholic Medical Center. A member of the Leadership Greater Manchester Class of 2012, Dr. Huard is on the NH Scholars Advisory Board, and is involved in other endeavors that focus on her interest in programming for high school-aged students to build their aspirations for college. Susan and her husband Tom have two adult children, Aimee and Zachary. Both work in higher education.

Breakout Session Presenters

Anna Adachi-Meja, PhD
Director, Health Promotions Research Center at Dartmouth
Associate Professor at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

Anna is an associate professor at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. She supervises multiple research teams and works with partners in academic, community, and non-profit organizations across the country. She is a faculty Fellow with the Center for Program Design and Evaluation (CPDE) and a program member of the Cancer Control Research Program at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. She also teaches at The Dartmouth Institute and co-directs the capstone course in the on-campus MPH program. Adachi-Mejia’s research leverages her multidisciplinary training and collaborations to apply novel strategies to measure both human behavior and health outcomes. She has developed innovative approaches to data collection from humans (youth and adult) to determine the influence of the micro (e.g., bedroom) and macro (e.g., community) environment on health behaviors. The long-term goal of her research is to inform interventions to promote healthy living in healthy environments.

Sajay Arthanat, PhD
Associate Professor, Occupational Therapy, Telehealth Practice Center, University of New Hampshire College of Health and Human Services

Professor Arthanat teaches coursework in the occupational therapy program related to neurologically-based function and dysfunction, provision of assistive technology services, technology design for disability, and research engagement. His research interests include optimizing interaction of people with disabilities and assistive technology (AT) in wide ranging contexts, measuring outcomes of assistive technology interventions, usability testing of AT, and consumer product designs for persons with disabilities, cross-cultural models of disability, and community based rehabilitation. He has authored and presented many research papers highlighting his work in these interests. His clinical areas of expertise include neuro-rehabilitation and application of assistive technology including wheelchair seating and positioning, computer access, and information communication technology.

Jason Aziz, PhD Candidate
Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University; Nutrition, Exercise, Physiology, and Sarcopenia Research Laboratory

Jason’s research interests include 25-hydroxyvitamin D and its role in sarcopenia (the age-associated decline in muscle mass and function) & mobility disability in older adults. He has extensive experience creating multi-nomial risk models using large, population-based data sets such as NHANES and BRFSS. Some of the outcomes Jason has worked with are: diabetes and prediabetes risk, obesity and overweightedness, clinically-relevant muscle weakness, slow gait speed and sarcopenia.

Lynn A. Bond, PhD
Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychological Science, The University of Vermont

Lynn enjoyed an almost four-decade career as a tenured professor at the Univeristy of Vermont, becoming the first female psychology professor to earn tenure, receiving two teaching awards and having the UVM Engaged Outstanding Service-Learning Faculty Award renamed in her honor. She retired in 2014. The focus of Bond’s work, which includes numerous publications, was on ways to promote healthy human development. She gravitated to social psychology and then the emerging field of community psychology. Bond chaired the Vermont Conference for Primary Prevention and served in various capacities at UVM including Dean of the Graduate School, Director of Graduate Training in Psychology, and Director of the Undergraduate Program in Psychology.

Mary Branagan, MBA
Director of Program & Partner Affairs at Associates For Training & Development (A4TD)

Mary earned her MBA from Northeastern University, was recognized by Vermont Business Magazine as a “Rising Star” in 2013, and was named Vermont’s Young Professional of the Year in 2014. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). She enjoys barre fitness, and she works hard so her cats can have a good life.

Anne Cardale
Program Coordinator, Maine Senior College Network

Learn for fun with Maine’s 17 Senior Colleges! No tests, no papers, and no grades. Each Senior College provides a range of exciting learning opportunities for adults aged 50 and above. Senior Colleges are predominantly peer driven and peer led with volunteer boards and instructors planning enjoyable and stimulating classes.

Astra Chang Schwertschkow, PhD
MAINAH Project Manager, Northern Light Health Clinical Research Center

Dr. Astra Chang-Schwertschkow has a background in biomedical science have earned her Ph.D. from the University of California Davis in Pathology with expertise in stem cells, translational research and oncology. She has published research in peer-reviewed journals and chapters in two medical science textbooks. Astra has worked in the academic field, and biotechnology industry including her own startup biotech company based on IP created through her doctoral work with renowned stem cell researcher Dr. Jan Nolta. She is currently a Clinical Research Project Manager at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center and the Northern Light Acadia Alzheimer’s Research Program, and Adjunct Faculty at Husson University. Astra resides in Maine with two adorable toddlers and her husband and enjoys embracing the beauty and opportunities of living in Maine. #loveMaine #MAINAH

Jennifer Crittenden, PhD
Associate Director, Maine Center on Aging

Jennifer has over fifteen years of experience in professional and community education, program evaluation and program planning. Nearly all research projects and grant-funded programs under her management entail the translation of academic research into professional and public education programs, events and dissemination activities. Dr. Crittenden has been involved in implementing and evaluating a wide range of research, training, and community service initiatives including serving as the Program Manager for Encore Leadership Corps, an innovative volunteer leadership program for Mainers 50+ and serving as Project Manager for the National Institutes of Health-funded Balancing Act Clinical Trial, a research study testing a falls prevention program among older adults with visual impairments. Dr. Crittenden has also served at the lead evaluator for the MOTIVATE oral health training program, an interprofessional training effort implemented in long-term care settings across Maine, aimed at improving oral health care provided to older adults. Her current research, funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, focuses on how older adults manage multiple life roles in addition to their formal volunteer work. Her research has identified strategies that both older adults and volunteer managers use to reduce role conflict and promote civic engagement among older adults, particularly those older adults who are employed or who are serving as caregivers.  In addition to her professional work, she is a member of a number of organizations and professional groups including the Maine Gerontological Society, the Scholars Strategy Network, and the Gerontological Society of America where she has served as the co-chair of the Rural Aging Interest Group. Dr. Crittenden also serves as a social work field instructor for the Center on Aging for both BSW and MSW interns. She also currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Tri-State Learning Collaborative on Aging.

Piali De, PhD
Co-founder and CEO, Senscio Systems

Piali De is the co-inventor of Senscio’s patented Scio™ framework, the artificially intelligent inference engine that contextualizes data in any domain into actionable intelligence.  Built upon Scio, Senscio Systems’ Ibis Health Program is a complex chronic care management system designed to improve self-management for patients with complex chronic conditions designed to enable coordination with multiple care team members resulting in early intervention to avoid complications. It provides the perfect balance between technology and the right touch for individuals with complex health needs, resulting in fewer avoidable hospital admissions and improved health outcomes.  Piali De is the author of many publications, three patents, and one pending patent. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi and Sigma Pi Sigma honor societies and is the recipient of the National Women of Color’s 2009 Technology Innovation award. In 2005, Piali received the Raytheon CEO Award, Raytheon IDS President’s Award and Raytheon Business Development Excellence Award, for her work on profiling Marine Corps missions.  A recognized thought leader in digital health innovation, Piali is a frequent and eloquent speaker and guest lecturer at digital health summits and health care conferences, including HFMA, HIMSS, The MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge , Medical Development Group, MedSpeaks, and Health Innovators. Prior to Senscio Systems, Piali De was an Engineering Fellow at Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems. At Raytheon, she developed a system called Confluence™, designed to deliver knowledge-based decision support for public safety missions, pandemic crisis, natural disaster responses, military missions, and situations that require multiple organizations to analyze data simultaneously and respond in immediate unison. Piali grew up in Calcutta, India. In 1982, she graduated Summa Cum Laude, from Hunter College of the City University of New York, with Bachelors and Masters degrees in Physics. In 1987, Piali completed the doctoral program in Physics at Brown University. She and her husband Hugh Stoddart have two sons: Keiron and Brenton; all four share a passion for traveling.

Ebony Dukes, CNA
University of New England | Class of 2020 Health Wellness and Occupational Studies Major, Intergenerational Living Student

Kenneth Elliott, PhD
Professor of Psychology, University of Maine at Augusta

After obtaining his first degree from Wesleyan University (BA Honors in Sociology) in Connecticut he participated in the Peace Corps before becoming a special education teacher in Haverstraw, New York. He obtained his master’s degree (Cognitive Psychology) from the New School for Social Research and his Ph.D. in 1976 from Alliant University in San Diego. Subsequently he accepted a position at the University of Toronto where he taught within the Faculty of Medicine and practiced clinically for ten years. In 1987 he returned to the US and migrated to Maine and worked at the Augusta Mental Health Institute. Later he served as the Assistant Director of the Child Abuse Unit at Kennebec Valley Mental Health Center before returning as a full time faculty member at UMA in 1991. He is currently a Professor of Psychology and maintains a small practice as a clinical consultant specializing in the assessment of learning disabilities of college students.

Jason Garbarino, DNP, RN-BC, CNL
Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Vermont Department of Nursing

Jason Garbarino completed his D.N.P. in the Executive Nurse Leader track in 2016 with a focus on increasing utilization of the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) role across the State of Vermont. He serves as a CNL program liaison between UVM and several Vermont health care organizations and develops collaborative partnerships between academic and practice settings. Dr. Garbarino also maintains a clinical practice at the University of Vermont Medical Center and serves as a resource nurse in thirteen clinical practice areas. He specializes in gerontological nursing and has developed innovative service-learning opportunities for undergraduate nursing students with older adults in community settings. Dr. Garbarino enjoys traveling to explore health care systems outside of the United States and has visited Bangladesh, Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, England and the Dominican Republic.

Nancy Gell, PT, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Department of Rehabilitation and Movement Science, University of Vermont

Dr Gell’s work in research and teaching focuses on healthy aging, with an emphasis on environmental and technological influences on physical activity, exercise adherence, and fall prevention. Her current research agenda includes developing and testing interventions to support physical activity and exercise adherence among people aging with chronic disease, including individuals with cancer and osteoarthritis, and examining factors associated with rehabilitation services use and fall risk in older adults. The breadth of her teaching and scholarship activity is a reflection of more than 25 years of clinical experience as a physical therapist in addition to the education and training she received in physical therapy, public health, exercise science, and healthy aging.

Marie Hayes, PhD
Professor of Psychology, University of Maine Orono

Marie Hayes is leading research about a home-based sleep monitoring invention developed by University of Maine researchers that has the potential to help detect early symptoms of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease in elders. Hayes’ longitudinal sleep research with the role of high-frequency sleep movements in individuals affected by neurological and brain injury began with high-risk newborns affected by prematurity, pharmacological treatment for apnea, opioid and alcohol exposures prenatally and consequences such as neonatal abstinence syndrome. She has established the role of psychiatric alleles of COMT and OPRM1 in severity of neonatal abstinence and plans to examine genetic corollary especially in MCI disease progression in the ongoing study. Hayes also is a faculty member in the UMaine Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering.

Lenard Kaye, PhD, DSW
Professor of Social Work, University of Maine Orono
Director, Maine Center on Aging

A prolific writer in the field of health care and aging, Lenard has published more than 150 journal articles and book chapters and 14 books on specialized topics in aging including home health care, productive aging, rural practice, family caregiving, controversial issues in aging, support groups for older women, social isolation, rural aging, and congregate housing. His pioneering research and writing on older men’s caregiving experiences and help-seeking behaviors, is widely recognized and frequently cited. His most recent co-authored book is A Man’s Guide to Healthy Aging: Stay Smart, Strong, and Active, John’s Hopkins University Press (2013). Dr. Kaye is the director of the Encore Leadership Corps (ENCorps), Maine’s statewide, older adult volunteer service and community revitalization program, Co-Director of Evaluation of the Penquis Regional Linking Project, a federally-funded regional partnership grant working to build a trauma-informed system-of-care network for families affected by substance abuse in Penobscot and Piscataquis Counties and Co-Principal Investigator of the NIH-funded research project: Balancing Act: Impact on Falls in Older Adults with Vision Impairment. Dr. Kaye is also the lead organizer of the International Symposium on Safe Medicine, and a founding board member of the International Institute for Pharmaceutical Safety. He has managed a series of John Hartford Foundation-funded gerontological social work education programs at the University of Maine. Dr. Kaye, the 2010 recipient of the Career Achievement Award of the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGESW), he has served on the National Advisory Committee for Rural Health and Human Services of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service as well as the advisory boards of a wide range of national and local health and human service programs serving older adults. He is a National Research Mentor for the Hartford Geriatric Social Work Scholars Program, a Research Scientist at Eastern Maine Medical Center, and Past President of both the Maine and New York State Gerontological Societies. He is the Past Chair of the National Association of Social Worker’s Section on Aging, sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of Gerontological Social Work and Geriatric Care Management Journal, and is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America.

Chae Man (Jay) Lee, PhD
Post-Doc Fellowship, Department of Gerontology at UMASS Boston

Jay’s research was focused on senior transportation, older driver safety, and healthy aging data reporting for Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. His doctoral dissertation entitled, “Understanding the role of driver, vehicle, environment, and policy factors in crash injury severity among older adults in the United States” investigated how individual characteristics, vehicle elements, environmental elements, and driving licensing policy were associated with level of injury severity, from no injury to fatal injury resulting from car crashes. He was a co-researcher, with Beth Dugan and Frank Porell, on the 2019 New Hampshire Healthy Aging Data Report, which is designed to help advocates and leaders across the state understand more about the health of older people throughout the state. The report includes 244 Community Profiles —one for every city and town in New Hampshire, plus neighborhoods in Nashua and Manchester. Each Community Profile includes 166 indicators of health as well as state averages.

Jessica Maurer, Esq
Executive Director of the Maine Council on Aging

The Maine Council on Aging is a broad, multidisciplinary network of over 95 organizations, businesses and older community members working to promote the safety, independence and well-being of all older adults in Maine. As Executive Director of MCOA, Jess advances statewide public policy initiatives that support the health and economic security of older Mainers and provides leadership within Maine’s aging network. She is the co-author of a report entitled Building a Collaborative Community Response to Aging in Place and Maine’s Blueprint for Action on Aging. She leads the Maine Aging Initiative and the Tri-State Learning Collaborative on Aging and annually organizes statewide and regional events that advance aging policy.  A licensed Maine attorney, Jess worked for nearly 17 years in the Maine Office of the Attorney General.  In her last 7 years in the Office, she served as a Special Assistant Attorney General, implementing public policy and legislative initiatives for the Attorney General. She is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Thomas Meuser, PhD
Professor & Director, Center for Excellence in Aging & Health, University of New England

Tom joined the faculty of UNE in Fall, 2018, as a Professor of Social Work in the Westbrook College of Health Professions and as the Founding Director of the new university-wide Center for Excellence in Aging & Health (CEAH). The UNE Legacy Scholars Program is the signature program of the new center and engages interested adults, aged 60+ years, in support of research and scholarship on healthful aging.  Dr. Tom Meuser is a clinical psychologist with specialized training and experience in narrative gerontology, the neuropsychology of dementing disorders, and psychosocial intervention approaches to enhance well-being in older adults.  Tom is on the Editorial Board for the peer-reviewed journal, Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, and he was named a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America in 2011. Tom was born and raised on the Connecticut coast, where he attended Fairfield College Preparatory School (“”Prep”) and later earned his undergraduate degree in Psychology from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. Tom earned his MA and PhD degrees in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis on aging from the University of Missouri – St. Louis (1992, 1997), and he completed a post-doctoral fellowship in clinical geropsychology practice at the Center for Healthy Aging in Akron, OH, in 1998. His fellowship training emphasized practice in nursing home and assisted living settings – important settings for thoughtful, person-centered intervention today. The next decade of his professional career was spent in medical school settings where he honed his skills as a researcher and translational educator. He served as the Administrative Director for the Alzheimer’s Disease Brain Bank at Saint Louis University School of Medicine in 1998-99. He then transitioned to the Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) at Washington University of School of Medicine (1999-2007) where he served as a center co-investigator and core leader on a “P50” center grant from the National Institute on Aging.  Just before coming to UNE, Tom served as an Interim Associate Dean for the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, where is also directed the Gerontology Program starting in 2007. Tom is known for his work loss and grief in dementia caregiving (including a widely used measure – the MM Caregiver Grief Inventory), older driver fitness, and reminiscence and life review. His latest research focuses on legacy beliefs in older adults and cross-generational communication about what matters most in life. He spoke on the TED Stage about this work in 2017.

Kristen Porter, PhD, MAc, LAc
Founder/CEO: The Zen Executive, LLC
AHA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

Kristen celebrates thirty years of leadership, advocacy, and service in the HIV/LGBTQ healthcare field as a clinician, nonprofit executive director, and researcher. More recently, her gerontological research on resilience in sexual minority older adults, transgender and gender nonconforming older adults, and those aging with HIV has been published in numerous journals and presented nationally and internationally.  She served a three year term as national Chair of the Emerging Scholars and Professional Organization (ESPO) for the Gerontological Society of America (GSA).  Currently, she is working with the New Hampshire Alliance on Healthy Aging’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee to raise awareness of the LGBT aging experience in New Hampshire.

Jennifer Pratt, PhD
Research Analyst, Population Health and Health Policy and Disability and Aging Programs at the Cutler Institute at University of Southern Maine

Jennifer has worked for the Cutler Institute and Muskie School since 2001 conducting quantitative and qualitative research across a range of topical areas. Ms. Pratt has strong organizational skills, which impact a variety of environments in her role, as she guides process flow for several inter-disciplinary teams. In addition she develops and facilitates the design of databases and database management systems, including computer assisted quantitative and qualitative data analysis tools. She provides technical support and assistance in performance quality improvement (QI) tools that streamline agency processes, improve customer service and enhance agency efficiency and effectiveness.

Betsey Rhynhart, PhD
Vice President, Population Health, Concord Hospital & Executive Director, NH Accountable Care Partners (Medicare ACO)

Bernie Seifert, LICSW
Director of Adult Services, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Northern New England Geriatric Education Center of Dartmouth Medical School

Clifford Singer, MD
Psychiatrist and Geriatrician

Cliff has been a physician, teacher and researcher for more than thirty years and currently serves as Chief of Geriatric Mental Health and Neuropsychiatry at Northern Light Acadia Hospital and Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maine. He leads a multidisciplinary team in the Mood and Memory Clinic at Acadia Hospital and is principal investigator for the Acadia/Eastern Maine Medical Center’s Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials program. He was the founding president of the Oregon Geriatric Society and is now president of the Dirigo Maine Geriatric Society. He was named “Teacher of the Year” by the EMMC Family Medicine residents in 2016. In 2018, he was named Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a Fellow of the American Geriatric Society. He received the Eastern Maine Medical Center Annual Award for Clinical Research for his achievements in improving the care of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and their families in Maine through research and clinical work. He has made national and regional television and radio appearances speaking on topics related to aging. He has published 38 papers and 19 book chapters and given more than 330 presentations at regional and national meetings. He has been selected by peers to “Best Doctors in America” every year since 2004.

Keliane Totten, M.Ed., CHES
Vice President of Community Engagement at Concord Regional VNA

Keliane plans, develops, coordinates, and oversees our agency’s community benefit, business development, and philanthropy operations and initiatives. Totten also leads collaborative initiatives with partners involved in community health, home health, and hospice. Totten is an active member of many community based organizations such as the Public Health Advisory Council of the Capital Area Public Health Network, Granite State Health Care Coalition, Tri-State Learning Collaborative for Aging, NH Alliance for Healthy Aging’s Re-Framing Aging Strategy Team, Legislative Committee of the Home Care, Hospice and Palliative Care Alliance of NH, and the NH Falls Task Force. She is a graduate of the Leadership NH Class of 2014.  Totten received a bachelor’s degree in health education, wellness management from Plymouth State University in Plymouth, N.H. She also obtained a master’s degree in health education, alternative health and healing from Plymouth State University. Totten is a Certified Health Education Specialist.

Tammy Vachon, LCSW
Program Manager,-Geriatric Programs, Partnership for Healthy Aging, Maine Health

Tammy has been working as a social worker for almost 20 years.  Her career has focused on the care of older adults in a variety of settings including Long Term Care, Home Health, and Community Based Organizations. Currently, Tammy is the Program Manager of Geriatrics for MaineHealth (MH), a non-profit integrated health system in Maine and New Hampshire.  Tammy’s primary focus is on the Post Acute Care setting, creating programs to ensure quality patient care during transitions between settings, to reduce readmissions and increase communication between providers.  Since 2018, Tammy has been the project leader for MaineHealth’s implementation of the IHI Collaborative’s Age Friendly Health System framework and is working to ensure all of MaineHealth is adopting this model.

Susan Wehry, MD
Chief of Geriatrics, University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine

Dr Susan Wehry is a nationally recognized keynote speaker and workshop facilitator on depression, dementia, and healthy aging.  Her presentations combine over 30 years experience with wisdom, compassion, and common sense, to engage attendees, help build skills, and use proven techniques. In 2002 and 2007, Susan helped the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) develop national programming on mental health and individualized care-planning in nursing homes. In 2009, she authored Oasis, an interdisciplinary person-centered curriculum that has helped transform dementia care, support mental health recovery, and reduce inappropriate antipsychotic use. She has actively partnered with CMS in the national initiative to improve dementia care.  During her tenure as Commissioner, the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living expanded home and community-based services (including the award-winning SASH program), and Vermont rose to number one in national AHRQ senior health rankings. Dr Wehry was honored to represent Vermont at the 2015 White House Conference on Aging. Since 2017, Susan Wehry MD is Chief of Geriatrics, University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Jacqueline Weinstock, PhD
Associate Professor in the Human Development & Family Studies Program, Univerity of Vermont

A lifespan developmental psychologist by training with a focus on adult development and aging, Jacqueline’s scholarship and teaching focus on the intersections of individual developmental factors and socio-cultural conditions as they affect life outcomes. Current areas of interest include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender development, relationships and communities; promoting healthy aging; evaluating social justice programs and trainings; and understanding and promoting college student development, especially critical thinking, connected knowing and community engagement through service learning.


1:00 – 2:00 A1. Dementia Research

In this session, we will discuss the relationship between the Cognitive Reserve and dementia, presenting non-invasive and easy ways to assess and increase, and discussing interventions. We will discuss the application of this tool both for prevention and as support in slowing down the progression of dementia. We will also present the use of transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (a non-invasive, painless, and relatively inexpensive treatment) as a new promising way to significantly slow down the progression of dementia.

Barbara Colombo, PhD. Associate Professor, Head of Neuroscience Lab, Champlain College
Marie Hayes, PhD. Professor of Psychology, University of Maine, Orono and CEO/CSO/co-founder Activas Diagnostics, LLC

A2. Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program: Making Healthcare Better by Engaging Patients and Family Members

The Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program provides funding to establish and operate geriatric education centers that will work to equip the primary care workforce and develop a healthcare workforce that maximizes patient and family engagement and improves health outcomes for older adults by integrating geriatrics and primary care. Special emphasis is on providing the primary care workforce with the knowledge and skills to care for older adults and partnering with community-based organizations to address gaps in healthcare for older adults, promote age-friendly health systems and dementia-friendly communities, and address the social determinants of health. Each site that receives the funding develops its own program. Join us to learn more about how we are implementing the program.

Ellen Flaherty,PhD, MSN, APRN,Director, Dartmouth Centers for Health & Aging
Bernie Seifert, LICSW, Older Adult Programs Director, National Alliance for Mental Health, NH
Clifford Singer, MD. Chief, Geriatric Mental Health and Neuropsychiatry Northern Light Health Acadia Hospital
Susan Wehry, MD. Chief of Geriatrics, Division of Geriatrics University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine

A3. Age-Friendly Healthcare

Age-Friendly Health Systems are changing what it means to age in northern New England with regard to healthcare by focusing on the domains most important to quality healthcare for older people. These include the “4Ms”: mobility, medications, mentation, and what matters. This means making sure older people have a mobility plan when receiving medical care or in long term care; reviewing medications regularly to minimize harm; addressing conditions that affect thinking and are common in older people such as dementia, depression and delirium; and incorporating what matter to the person, such as their values, goals and preferences, into all care plans. Join us to learn more about innovative solutions that emphasize the opinions, concerns, and values of older people and their care partners.

Betsey Rhynhart, Vice President, Population Health, Concord Hospital & Executive Director, NH Accountable Care Partners (Medicare ACO)
Keliane Totten, Vice-President of Community Engagement, Concord Regional Visiting Nurses Association
Tammy A. Vachon, LCSW.  Program Manager,-Geriatric Programs, Partnership for Healthy Aging, Maine Health

A4. Experiential Learning: Identifying opportunities and collaborators for service learning with students and older adults

In this presentation, we will provide guidance on developing partnerships between student programs, community organizations and key stakeholders for service-learning projects that serve the community while enhancing student learning. Considerations for multiple student levels (high school, college, and graduate) and short-term and sustainable projects will be discussed.

Ebony Dukes, CNA. University of New England | Class of 2020 Health Wellness and Occupational Studies Major, Intergenerational Living Student
Jason T. Garbarino DNP, RN-BC, CNL.Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Vermont Department of Nursing
Nancy Gell PT, PhD, MPH.Assistant Professor, Department of Rehabilitation and Movement Science, University of Vermont

A5. Using Qualitative Research to Understand Older People’s Quality of Life and Informal Caregiver Experiences

This is a session designed to engage participants in considering the utility of two qualitative research projects from universities in Vermont and Maine. Qualitative research involves methods that are designed to achieve deeper understanding of authentic experiences. In our case, the focus was on better understanding the authentic experiences of older people and caregivers in rural settings.
What Makes for Good Quality of Life at a Continuing Care Retirement Community?
The University of Vermont study examined the key elements of Quality of Life (QOL) and the main strategies supporting QOL among residents at an independent Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). This qualitative case study was conducted in collaboration with a team of older residents. Based on an analysis of the forty-five semi-structured interviews of residents and administrators and 109 resident survey responses collected, three key components of QOL were identified; six strategies were defined as key to promoting QOL; and four broad categories of challenges to CCRC success were identified. The identified strategies for promoting QOL are considered in terms of their ability to be incorporated into varied forms of congregate living facilities for older people. Meanwhile, the challenges of competing needs and priorities identified need to be honored and balanced to promote a positive community culture.
Informal Caregiving Experiences of Undergraduates
The University of Maine at Augusta study focused on informal care giving experiences of undergraduate students. National studies have investigated the investments, practices and consequences of informal caregivers of older people. This study addresses gaps in the understanding of informal caregiving on nontraditional undergraduate students in rural states. Survey and focal group data collected during 2016 – 2018 explored the following themes: intentionality and impact of undergraduate elder caregiving and their academic success.

Lynne A. Bond. Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychological Science, The University of Vermont
Kenneth Elliott. Professor of Psychology The University of Maine at Augusta
Jennifer Pratt. Research Analyst University Of Southern Maine, Muskie School Of Public Service, Cutler Institute
Jacqueline S. Weinstock. Associate Professor, Human Development and Family Studies Program, The University of Vermont


2:15-3:15 Breakout Session Two

B1. Engagement & Meaning-Making in Later Life: Opportunities in Work, Education and Research

This session will discuss communal engagement and meaning-making in three contexts: employment, lifelong learning, and applied research on healthful aging. The panelists will offer examples from their respective professional roles. Interactive components will demonstrate key concepts and provide  attendees with practical takeaways.

Mary Branagan
. Director of Program & Partner Affairs, Associates for Training and Development (A4TD)
Anne Cardale. Program Director, Maine Senior College Network
Tom Meuser, PhD. Professor & Director, Center for Excellence in Aging & Health
University of New England.

B2. Empowering and enabling aging-in-place through digital technologies

Overcoming the digital divide is a fundamental prerequisite to implementation of digitally supported aging-in-place. The speakers will introduce two novel home-based digital programs that strengthen and augment aging-in-place. The first is an information communication technology training program to facilitate technology adoption and digital competence among older people. The second is a system that supports self-management of health though cueing, tracking and analyzing health at home with timely clinical support provided through telemedicine when needed. Demonstrations and hands-on experience with both programs will be provided. The speakers will include vignettes and role playing activities to stimulate discussion and audience engagement.

Sajay Arthanat
Ph.D., OTR/L., ATP. Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy
College of Health & Human Services, University of New Hampshire
Piali De, PhD.CEO Senscio Systems

B3. Engaging Older Adults in Research: Examples from the Field

This interactive session will provide an overview of three initiatives that have successfully engaged older adults in research and development (R&D) activities: the Maine Initiative for Neurologic Aging and Health (MAINAH), a rural New Hampshire sarcopenia study, and the UMaine Aging Initiative which engages older adults in both clinical and business R&D activities. Presenters will discuss principles of practice for maximizing meaningful engagement of older adults and other community partners in clinical, translational, and technology/product development research as well as the benefits that older adults derive from such participation. The session will conclude with a discussion of how the research community can best engage older adults who may be isolated or otherwise underrepresented in the aging research enterprise.

Jason Aziz, PhD Candidate. Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University; Nutrition, Exercise, Physiology, and Sarcopenia Research Laboratory
Jennifer Crittenden, PhD. Associate Director, University of Maine Center on Aging
Lenard Kaye, DSW/PhD. Director, University of Maine Center on Aging
Astra Chang Schwertschkow, PhD. MAINAH Project Manager, Northern Light Health Clinical Research Center
Cliff Singer, MD. Chief, Geriatric Neuropsychiatry, Northern Light Acadia Hospital

B4. Putting Data and Research to work

This workshop features two examples of putting research to work in the community to make all of our lives a little healthier and to allow us to enjoy the best possible quality of life.

NH Healthy Aging Data Report
The healthy aging data reports include community profiles reporting 120 to 179 indicators at the local and state level. Indicators include: population characteristics, wellness and prevention, nutrition and diet, chronic disease, behavioral health, disability, health services utilization and access, transportation and safety, and economic and housing. The aims of reports were to provide accessible, actionable information on healthy aging to policy makers, local stakeholders, senior service providers, health care providers, foundations, and older people in MA, NH, and RI. “The key effectiveness tool connecting stakeholders to communicates share ideas and resources and supporting to build age-friendly communities in New England states. Check the website of the healthy aging data reports (”
Risks and Resilience: LGBT Older Adults
What does the current gerontological research tell us about LGBT older adults? What is important to  know about how lesbians, gay men, bisexual people and transgender older adults differ? How can we  translate data to inform evidence-based practice and spur policy to advance equity in the field of healthy aging? Join the conversation.

Chae Man (Jay) Lee, PhD. Post-Doc Fellowship, Department of Gerontology at UMASS Boston
Kristen E. Porter, PhD, MA, MAc, LAc, JP.Founder/CEO: The Zen Executive, LLC & AHA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

B5. Hearing and Experiencing the Untold Story

Creative approaches to everyday technology tools for engaging the perspectives of a wide range of older adults. We will share our experiences of research studies that included older adults with cognitive impairment, older adults of color, and older adults of language minorities. Be ready to brainstorm, discuss, and try new things, including a virtual reality headset!

Anna Adachi-Mejia, PhD. Associate Professor, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth,
Pronouns: she, her, and hers
Susan Wehry, MD. Chief of Geriatrics, University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine

Photos from the Age of Possibilities Summit

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With Gratitude

The Tri-State Learning Collaborative on Aging wishes to thank our funders for their support of Age of Possibilities.