Confirmed Speakers 2021

Keynote: Innovation & Servant Leadership "Delivering With Dignity, A Case In Point" - Punam Mather
Keynote: Innovation & Servant Leadership "Delivering With Dignity, A Case In Point" - Punam Mather

Keynote: Innovation & Servant Leadership "Delivering With Dignity, A Case In Point" - Punam Mather

Punam Mathur currently operates her own business as a speaker, trainer and writer in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Punam also serves as Executive Director of the Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation and Board Member of The Moonridge Foundation.

Punam will inspire the Engaging with Aging 2021 audience with the remarkable story of Delivering with Dignity - an innovative program to bring prepared meals directly to the homes of our most vulnerable individuals keeping them and the community safe by reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Plenary Address: COVID-19, Washington, Nevada & Future of Aging Services - Robert Blancato
Plenary Address: COVID-19, Washington, Nevada & Future of Aging Services - Robert Blancato

Plenary Address: COVID-19, Washington, Nevada & Future of Aging Services
- Robert Blancato

Robert “Bob” Blancato is President of Matz, Blancato and Associates, a public and government relations firm. Bob spent 17 years on the staff of the U.S. House Select Committee on Aging and has participated in four White House Conferences on Aging, including as the Executive Director of the 1995 White House Conference on Aging. Bob resides in Virginia.

With over 30 years of deep experience in the field of aging and public service, Bob is Executive Director of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs, and the National Coordinator of the Elder Justice Coalition.

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Breakout Session 1D: Innovation: Responding to Social Isolation & Wellness - Dr. Jennifer Carson, PhD

Dr. Jennifer Carson, PhD, works to envision and develop opportunities for individual and collective growth to combat ageism and ableism, and improve the inclusion and well-being of elders, with a particular interest in persons living with dementia.

Jennifer is Director of the Dementia Engagement, Education and Research (DEER) Program in the School of Community Health Sciences at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR).

Recently, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jennifer has played a leadership role in the development, implementation and evaluation of the Nevada COVID-19 Aging Network rapid response, or Nevada CAN, led by ADSD.

In addition to serving as a co-lead for the overall initiative, she also leads Nevada CAN’s NEST Collaborative (NEST = Nevada Ensures Support Together), which provides volunteer-hosted virtual social support to homebound elders and adults living with disabilities who are sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jennifer will be leading a timely and topical morning breakout session entitled "Innovation: Responding to Social Isolation & Wellness" at the 2021 Engaging with Aging Virtual Conference.

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Breakout Session 2A: Meeting the COVID-19 Workforce Challenge: Solving the Resource Gap - Dr. Mary Tabor Griswold, PhD

From a background in developing information systems for medical insurance and other sectors of industry, Dr. Mary Tabor Griswold, PhD, Director at University of Nevada, Reno, Office of Statewide Initiative, brings a variety of skills aiding in the analysis, modeling, and data collection processes to the field of population health and its associated workforce.

These projects have resulting in many publications and the identification of gaps and areas for evaluation in population health and health workforce research. Tabor built access to data for multiple people with database collections, paper publications, and online visualization of population health data and associated indicators using geographical mapping. Her experiences with validating processes and systematic flow determining the accuracy of data have proven vital to the success of consortiums regarding population health endeavors.

Accountability is crucial to external organizations’ realization of successful outcomes from the tasks associated with the established goals of the planning grant.

Tabor is an expert in her field and will provide tremendous insights in her Engaging With Aging 2021 breakout session "Meeting the COVID-19 Workforce Challenge: Solving the Resource Gap".

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Breakout Session 1A: Sustaining Aging Services In Nevada - Dena Schmidt, Administrator Aging and Disability Services Division (ADSD), Nevada Department of Health and Human Services

Dena Schmidt serves as the Administrator for ADSD and is responsible for oversight of Lifespan Services to ensure the provision of effective supports and services to meet the needs of individuals and families. Dena began her career with the state in 2001.She has held various positions within the Department including Medicaid Program Specialist, during the implementation of the Health Care reform, Chief of Supportive Services for the Division of Aging and Disability Services, and Deputy Director where she was responsible for managing the Director’s office programs, Department legislative coordination and oversight of health policy and program coordination across the Department’s five divisions.

Dena is a fourth generation Nevadan and graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations. Dena serves as a member of Governor Sandoval’s Interagency Council on Homelessness, Council on Developmental Disabilities, and has been actively involved in creating the Health Information Technology and Data Analytics team to improve data driven decision making across the Department.

Dina's Engaging With Aging 2021 breakout session is entitled "Sustaining Aging Services In Nevada".

FULL LIST OF BREAKOUT SESSIONS

Session One (10:00 AM-10:45 AM PT)
• A - Sustaining Aging Services In Nevada
• B - Pandemic Safety: Best Practices
• C - Responding to Nevada's Food Insecurity in the COVID-19 Era
• D - Innovation: Responding to Social Isolation & Wellness

Session Two (11:00 AM-11:45 AM PT)
• A - Meeting the COVID-19 Workforce Challenge: Solving the Resource Gap
• B - Philanthropy & Aging in the COVID-19 Era
• C - Sustaining Mental Health in Nevada: Suicide & Elder Abuse
• D - Community Housing Solutions for the Vulnerable Nevadans