Guests were welcomed from across the globe to gather in Los Angeles recently for the first annual USC Judith D. Tamkin International Symposium on Elder Abuse. In bringing together stakeholders interested in creating a safe and healthy environment for all older adults, this symposium focused on solving dilemmas in research methods in order to move the field forward.
The symposium, held Sept. 15-16, welcomed the first Tamkin Scholar Award winners, each of whom is in a graduate school pursuing an MD or PhD: Elizabeth Bloeman, MPH; João F. Fundinho, MS; and Katelyn Jetelina, MPH. Each scholar is committed to pursuing a career that expands the knowledge in how to prevent and detect elder abuse. At a luncheon on the second day, Georgia J. Anetzberger, PhD, was honored for her lifetime of work, innovation and inspiration in the field of elder abuse.
During the entire symposium, the meeting rooms were alive with ideas and thought-provoking conversations from the 125 registered participants.
“We want people to contribute and think about these topics and we have just the right people in this room to be working on these issues,” said Laura Mosqueda, MD, chair and professor of clinical family medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, in her opening address. “We are going to be asking people to work hard in the next few days. This is about solving problems and moving toward solutions.”
The world-renowned speakers inspired the audience through thoughtful discussions that addressed pertinent issues in elder abuse research.
“This and future symposiums will serve as a catalyst for critically needed research in the areas of elder abuse interventions and prevention,” said Julie Schoen, JD, deputy director of the National Center on Elder Abuse. “Having national leadership speak concerning the issues made me more hopeful that the future will hold thoughtful work to impact the abuse and suffering of older adults, both in the U.S. and abroad.”
The Elder Justice Foundation has contributed funds that will allow the publication and dissemination of a white paper that summarizes the symposium, due out in January 2017. Through the generosity of Judith D. Tamkin, the next symposium will be held in 2018.
— Claire Norman