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Talks at Twelve: Heather Derry and Elizabeth Luth, Wednesday, May 2, 2018

 
portraits of Heather Derry and Elizabeth Luth

Two talks by Behavioral Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine postdocs
Heather Derry and Elizabeth Luth, Behavioral Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine Weill Cornell Medical College

Wednesday, May 2, 2018
12:00-1:15 PM
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room



Stress and Cognition in Clinical Discussions:  Exploring the Impact on Prognostic Understanding for Advanced Cancer Patients
Heather Derry, PhD, T32 Postdoctoral Fellow, Behavioral Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College

For patients with advanced cancer, clinical discussions about prognosis can be stressful.  In addition, patients’ prognostic understanding is often limited, which presents challenges for informed decision-making.  Laboratory-based research provides insight into the ways that stress influences our physical, emotional, and cognitive responses.  Heather will discuss how these responses may interface with clinical discussions in the context of advanced cancer, and future studies to assess the impact of stress and emotion on patients’ understanding of their illness.

Understanding Race Disparities in End-of-Life Care for Patients Living with Dementia
Elizabeth Luth, PhD, T32 Postdoctoral Fellow, Behavioral Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College

Research documents racial and ethnic disparities in end-of-life (EOL) care, where patients from racial and ethnic minority groups receive more aggressive, burdensome care, and have less access to quality-of-life promoting care at EOL. However, disparities in EOL care are not well understood for the growing population of patients with dementia. Elizabeth will share results from two recent studies of race, dementia, advance care planning, and assessments of EOL care quality and how those findings link to her current research on racial and ethnic differences in terminal hospital care and unfavorable hospice outcomes for patients with dementia.

portrait of Heather DerryHeather Derry is a T32 postdoctoral associate in Behavioral Geriatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine’s Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine.  She completed her PhD in psychology at the Ohio State University, where her dissertation work evaluated how physical fitness impacts cognitive function among post-surgery breast cancer survivors.  She also completed a clinical health psychology internship at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA, with training emphases in geropsychology, primary care mental health integration, and women's addictions treatment.  Heather’s graduate-level research focused on the behavioral and physiological connections between stress, lifestyle factors, and health.  Her current work aims to assess mental health symptoms in seriously ill medical patients during and following hospital discharge, with the goal of enhancing post-discharge mental and physical health.

portrait of Elizabeth LuthElizabeth Luth is a T32 postdoctoral associate in Behavioral Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. She completed her PhD in sociology at Rutgers University.  Elizabeth's graduate research focused on social and demographic disparities in assessments of end-of-life care quality for deceased older adults. At Weill Cornell, she is extending this work by investigating racial and ethnic disparities in quality of care for patients with advanced dementia near the end of life.


Lunch will be served. Metered parking is available in the Botanic Gardens lot across the road from Beebe Hall. No registration or RSVP required except for groups of 5 or more. We ask that larger groups email Lori Biechele at lb274@cornell.edu letting us know of your plans to attend so that we can order enough lunch.

(1) Comment.  |   Tags: aging    BCTR Talks at Twelve    gerontology    health    healthcare    mental health    race    Weill Cornell   

Spring 2017 Talks at Twelve


This semester we welcome speakers from across campus and across the U.S. for our spring 2017 Talks at Twelve series. Talks at Twelve are held in the Beebe Hall second floor conference room and lunch is served. These talks are free and open to all. No RSVP or registration is required, but notice is appreciated if a larger group is planning to attend (email pmt6@cornell.edu).

Wednesday, February 22, 12:00-1:00pm
Mental and Behavioral Health Facilities: Critical Research and Design Recommendations
Mardelle M. Shepley, Design and Environmental Analysis, Cornell University

comfortTuesday, March 7, 12:00-1:00pm
Beyond the Peer-Reviewed Article: Making Research Relevant for Community Stakeholders and Policymakers
Megan Comfort, Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Research Division, Research Triangle Institute

Thursday, March 16, 12:00-1:00pm
Pain and Presence: The Clinical Use of Media
Andrea Stevenson Won, Communication, Cornell University

Thursday, April 13, 12:00-1:00pm
Healthy Base Initiative: Evaluating Programs to Encourage Healthy Eating, Active Lifestyles, and Tobacco-Free Living
Marney Thomas, BCTR, Cornell University

Thursday, April 20, 12:00-1:00pm
Data Driven Policy-Making in Child Welfare
Dana Weiner, Chapin Hall Center for Children, University of Chicago

Tuesday, April 25, 12:00-1:00pm
Weill Cornell Behavioral Geriatrics: Cognitive Impairment in Hospitalized Adults & Palliative & Mental Health Care
Elissa Kozlov and Keiko Kurita, Weill Cornell Medical College

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NYC high schoolers discover opportunity at Big Red STEM Day


By Jamie Black for the Cornell Chronicle

Anasia Brewster, left, and Alondra Vences, right, students at the High School of Sports Management in Brooklyn, learn how to use electroplating to make a silver penny and a copper nickel, while Cornell University graduate student Arianna Gagnon looks on.

Anasia Brewster (l) and Alondra Vences (r) of the High School of Sports Management in Brooklyn learn how to use electroplating to make a silver penny and a copper nickel, while Cornell University graduate student Arianna Gagnon looks on.

While many New York City high school students might have spent the first Saturday in November playing Pokémon GO, some of their peers were creating their own games using a JavaScript-based code that doesn’t require any prior programming knowledge.

Part of the first Big Red STEM Day, Nov. 5, it was just one of the workshop activities designed to expose high school students from communities underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to educational and career opportunities in those fields.

Held on the Weill Cornell Medicine campus, Big Red STEM Day is a collaborative effort run by students, faculty and staff across Cornell campuses and the New York City Department of Education. While Cornell Tech representatives taught student attendees to create their own Pokémon GO games and SnapChat filters, graduate and undergraduate students from the Ithaca campus showed teens how to use electroplating to make a silver penny and a copper nickel. Medical and biomedical doctoral students taught them how to use staining methods to differentiate bacteria from soil, yogurt and even their mouths, and a Cornell Cooperative Extension associate engaged them in cartography and mapping activities to create their own collaborative design for a neighborhood park.

“Being here today really opened my eyes to the world of science and technology,” said Tamia Phoenix, a junior at Excelsior Preparatory High School in Queens. She was one of 60 students from 10 high schools in Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx to attend the daylong event. Her classmate, Maurice Watson, said, “We got to choose two activities for the day: one that we were potentially interested in for a career and one workshop we may have never considered.”

Organizers hope that attending the college-level STEM program prompts the students to pursue higher education in science and medicine.

“Exposure to STEM is critical for high school students,” said Marcus Lambert, director of diversity and student services at the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences and a STEM Day discussion panel moderator. “It’s that spark, the discovery of what science and technology have to offer them in the future.”

Fatou Waggeh, a high school student at the Manhattan Center for Math and Science, learns how to use staining methods to differentiate bacteria from soil, yogurt and even their mouth.

Fatou Waggeh, a high school student at the Manhattan Center for Math and Science, learns how to use staining methods to differentiate bacteria from soil, yogurt and even someone's mouth.

Not only did Big Red STEM Day immerse the high school students in problem-solving and community-building STEM exercises, it also allowed high school students to network with faculty and undergraduate, graduate and medical students.

“The collaboration among Cornell campuses and the Cooperative Extension office enabled the research that’s being conducted by faculty and graduate students on campus to be translated into an educational opportunity for the underrepresented youth in New York City,” Lambert said.

Jennifer Tiffany, executive director of Cornell University Cooperative Extension-New York City programs, was encouraged by the students’ enthusiasm. “We saw a tremendous response from the students,” she said. “There was so much intensity in their questions, a real interest in expanding their knowledge of STEM.”

The New York City Department of Education urged students to encourage their friends to consider studying STEM courses in college and pursue careers in these fields. “These students will feed the field of research for science, technology and medicine,” Tiffany added. “They are the future.”

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(0) Comments.  |   Tags: CUCE-NYC    education    Jennifer Tiffany    media mention    STEM    Weill Cornell   

Experts address elder financial abuse as global problem


From the Weill Cornell Newsroom:

Clockwise from left: Karl Pillemer, Bridget Penhale, Nelida Redondo, Kendon Conrad, Mark Lachs and Peter Lloyd-Sherlock. Photo: Ira Fox

Clockwise from left: Karl Pillemer, Bridget Penhale, Nelida Redondo, Kendon Conrad, Mark Lachs and Peter Lloyd-Sherlock.
Photo: Ira Fox

Financial exploitation of older people by those who should be protecting them results in devastating health, emotional and psychological consequences. A group of international elder abuse experts met in June at Weill Cornell Medicine to map out a strategy for conducting research on this problem in low and middle income countries.

The meeting, organized by Dr. Mark Lachs, co-chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine and the Irene F. and I. Roy Psaty Distinguished Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, and Dr. Karl Pillemer, director of the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research and the Hazel E. Reed Professor in the Department of Human Development at Cornell University, brought together experts from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Argentina.

"Over the last few years, studies have found financial abuse and exploitation of older people to be extremely prevalent and extremely harmful for older people," said Dr. Pillemer, who is also a professor of gerontology in medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. "These studies have mostly been done in the United States, England, and other high income countries, but very little is known about how this problem plays out in low-income countries. Our goal was to bring together research internationally and comparatively to try to understand this problem."

"This issue is an interesting integration of sociology, medicine, economics and geopolitics," said Dr. Lachs, who is director of Weill Cornell Medicine's Center for Aging Research and Clinical Care and director of geriatrics for the New York-Presbyterian Health System. "There has been growing interest here in the United States on financial vulnerability of older people, but I'm unaware of an international group that is focused on this."

One consequence of older people who are being financially exploited is that they cannot meet their own health needs. There are also psychological and emotional consequences because some older people live in fear of relatives who may be exploiting them and may give away much needed pensions to spouses, adult children, and other extended family members.

According to Dr. Pillemer, based on available evidence, 5 to 10 percent of older people globally may experience some kind of financial exploitation. Exploitation can take different forms. In high-income countries, like the United States, the abuse may encompass theft, misuse of power of attorney or denying access to funds. In low-income regions, financial exploitation results from abuse of local laws and cultural norms. For example, in some South American countries, the law requires that children receive the parents’ dwelling, resulting in children moving parents into nursing homes in order to obtain the house. In parts of sub-Saharan Africa, women may be accused of witchcraft in order to seize their property or gain access to their funds.

Government pensions in low-income countries have become a source of income for older people, which puts them at risk for financial exploitation. However, researchers need to be sensitive to local cultural norms in their conduct of research and analysis of data so governments are not hesitant to provide much needed income to older people, according to Dr. Lachs.

"In some of the countries there's a cultural expectation that if the older person has a pension it will be shared with other family members," Dr. Lachs said. "Whereas in my practice, if a patient tells me that a child is asking for some of their pension, it raises the specter of the potential for financial exploitation."

The group, Dr. Pillemer said, concluded that there's a desperate need for new scientific knowledge about the extent, causes and consequences of this problem, as well as a need to understand how the problem of financial exploitation is the same across countries, and how it differs. The group is now working on a white paper to make the case for comparative research on financial exploitation of older people.

"That's important for a very critical reason: By looking at the dynamics of financial abuse in different countries, we can understand how policies affect both how much abuse occurs and how to deal with it," Dr. Pillemer said.

Top (from left): Chelsie Burchett, Bridget Penhale, Karl Pillemer, Janey Peterson, Kendon Conrad, Mark Lachs, Natal Ayiga, Steve Gresham. Bottom (from left): Peter Lloyd-Sherlock, David Burnes, Nelida Redondo. Photo: Ira Fox

Top (from left): Chelsie Burchett, Bridget Penhale, Karl Pillemer, Janey Peterson, Kendon Conrad, Mark Lachs, Natal Ayiga, Steve Gresham. Bottom (from left): Peter Lloyd-Sherlock, David Burnes, Nelida Redondo.
Photo: Ira Fox

In addition to Dr. Pillemer and Dr. Lachs, attendees of the meeting were:

  • Bridget Penhale, Reader in Mental Health, University of East Anglia, UK;
  • Peter Lloyd-Sherlock, Professor of Social Policy and International Development, University of East Anglia, UK;
  • Steve Gresham, Executive Vice President, Private Client Group, Fidelity Investments, and Adjunct Lecturer in
  • International and Public Affairs, Watson Institute, Brown University;
  • David Burnes, Assistant Professor, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto;
  • Nelida Redondo, Senior Researcher, Universidad Isalud, Argentina;
  • Natal Ayiga, North-West University, South Africa;
  • Janey Peterson, Associate Professor of Clinical Epidemiology in Medicine, Integrative Medicine and Cardiothoracic Surgery, Weill Cornell Medicine; and
  • Ken Conrad, Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois at Chicago.

The meeting was supported by the Elbrun & Peter Kimmelman Family Foundation, Inc.

Experts Address Elder Financial Abuse as Global Problem - Weill Cornell Newsroom

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(0) Comments.  |   Tags: elder abuse    international    Karl Pillemer    NYC    Weill Cornell   

Networking event on pain in later life sparks new connections


TRIPLL co-director Elaine Wethington speaking with Information Sciences grad student Alex Adams (l) and Communications associate professor Jeff Niederdeppe (r)

TRIPLL co-director Elaine Wethington speaking with Information Sciences grad student Alex Adams (l) and Communications associate professor Jeff Niederdeppe (r)

On October 21st the Translational Research Institute on Pain in Later Life (TRIPLL) hosted a networking event for over 30 invited researchers at the Statler Hotel on Cornell campus.  TRIPLL, an NIH-funded Edward R. Roybal Center, fosters multidisciplinary collaborations among researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College, faculty at Cornell’s Ithaca Campus, Cornell Tech, and the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research (BCTR), with the goal of understanding and treating pain in older adults.

An introduction by TRIPLL director Cary Reid (Weill Cornell Medical College) noted key challenges in the field. “Up to half of all older adults live with chronic pain,” Reid said, “but diagnostic and treatment approaches have yet to catch up to this reality.” To address this concern, Reid highlighted a range of resources offered by TRIPLL to engage new researchers in the field, including pilot funding, webinars, feedback on project proposals, matchmaking with potential collaborators, and access to participant populations.

“Promising new approaches to treat pain may come from wide variety of fields,” said TRIPLL co-director and interim BCTR director Elaine Wethington. She continued, “for this event we reached out to researchers in social, behavioral, economic, environmental, biological, communication, and information sciences. Basic scientists can sometimes feel daunted when trying to extend their work to clinical settings and patient populations. TRIPLL provides the guidance and resources to help secure study participants.”

Current and past TRIPLL pilot investigators spoke about the support TRIPLL gave them, helping them secure local and federal support for their research.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: aging    Cary Reid    Cornell Tech    Elaine Wethington    TRIPLL    Weill Cornell   

TRIPLL Leads New York City Community Forum on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Pain and Pain Management

Tags: pain,   race,   TRIPLL,   Weill Cornell,  

TRIPLL New York City Community ForumOn October 12, 2011 the Translational Research Institute on Pain in Later Life (TRIPLL: Cornell’s Edward R. Roybal Center) led a community and researcher forum on developing innovative strategies to address racial and ethnic disparities in pain and pain management in later life. Carmen Green, MD, Professor of Health Management and Policy at University of Michigan Ann Arbor delivered the keynote at the event, “Pain and the Science of Inclusion.” Two panels led by community agency and research experts discussed the role of community-researcher partnerships in addressing health disparities. The event was attended by over 100 researchers, community practitioners, industry representatives, and funders. Next steps will include a dialogue between researchers and community practitioners to generate a collaborative research agenda that engages community practitioners and researchers as equal partners. TRIPLL is a unique collaboration of medical, social, behavioral, and health science researchers who collaborate with diverse agencies in New York City to translate research findings into practical solutions for older adults who suffer from persistent pain. The event was co-sponsored by the Weill Cornell Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTSC) and the Weill Comprehensive Center of Excellence in Disparities Research and Community Engagement (CEDREC).

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: pain    race    TRIPLL    Weill Cornell   
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