Mid-America Institute on Aging and Wellness returns to USI August 10-12 – University of Southern Indiana

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The University of Southern Indiana and SWIRCA and More, a local agency on aging, will present the 15th annual Mid-America Institute on Aging and Wellness (MAIA) on the USI campus on August 11 and 12, with a pre-conference workshop on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care scheduled for August 10. 

MAIA is a two-day gerontology conference for healthcare and social service professionals, healthcare administrators, clinicians, older adults or retirees, family members providing care for a loved one, students and anyone who wants to learn tips for leading a healthier life. Each year, national and local speakers provide practical tools and groundbreaking information related to successful aging and wellness. 

The 2022 conference will feature four keynote speakers: Dr. Gregory Jicha, MD, PhD, of the University of Kentucky; Erin Ramsey, MPA, inspirational speaker and author; Dr. Pauline Boss, PhD, of the University of Minnesota; and Heidi L. Holt, MPA, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA, will facilitate the pre-conference workshop, which is sponsored this year by the USI Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP). 

Dr. Gregory Jicha, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Neurology with University of Kentucky HealthCare. He received his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York. He then completed a fellowship at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. He is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. 

Erin Ramsey, MPA, has worked in the nonprofit sector for 30 years as an executive, trainer and community organizer. She has an undergraduate degree in child development and psychology from California State University at Sacramento. She earned a Master of Science in public service administration from the University of Evansville. Ramsey is the author of Be Amazing: Tools for Living Inspired and Inspired Work: Showing Up & Shining Bright. She resides with her family in Kentucky where they own a lavender farm called Big Roots. Their goal is to grow peace and provide a place for inspiration and rejuvenation for the well-being of others. 

Dr. Pauline Boss, PhD, coined the term ambiguous loss in the 1970s and has since developed and tested the theory of ambiguous loss, a guide for working with families of the missing, physically or psychologically. Her books include the widely acclaimed Ambiguous Loss: Learning to Live with Unresolved Grief; Loss, Trauma, and Resilience: Therapeutic Work with Ambiguous Loss; and Loving Someone Who Has Dementia: How to Find Hope While Coping with Stress and Grief. Her most recent book is The Myth of Closure: Ambiguous Loss in a Time of Pandemic and Change. In her keynote, Boss will share her stress-based approach to finding meaning and new hope in caregiving and its ambiguous loss. 

Heidi L. Holt, MPA, is a Public Health Advisor in the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Healthy Aging Branch. She coordinates support to state, local and tribal public health departments in implementing public health approaches to addressing brain health, including Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and elevating dementia caregiving as a public health priority. She also has expertise in addressing policy and partnership solutions to various issues, as well as a passion for program and strategic development in a career spanning almost three decades in international and domestic public health. 

Teepa Snow returns to lead a special pre-conference workshop on dementia for direct care providers on Wednesday, August 10. As one of America’s leading educators on dementia, Snow’s philosophy is reflective of her education, work experience, available medical research and first-hand caregiving interactions. Working as a registered occupational therapist for over 35 years, her wealth of experience has led her to develop Positive Approach® to Care techniques and training models that now are used by families and professionals working or living with dementia or other brain changes throughout the world. 

Break-out session topics for conference attendees over the two-day event include a variety of health topics plus exercise, elder abuse, dementia care, Medicare coverage, chronic disease management and mental health. 

The USI GWEP is offering free registration and transportation to the conference for retirees and family caregivers from rural areas. For more information about this opportunity, call 812-465-1103 or visit USI.edu/rural-maia. 

The deadline for a reduced registration fee is August 1, 2022. There is a discounted rate for students and retirees. More information about registering is online at www.USI.edu/maia or by calling 812-461-5217. 

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