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The mission of the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington is to provide quality care that respects Jewish values, particularly to those in greatest need. We are a local not-for-profit organization, and our doors are open to all in the community.

The mission of the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington is to provide quality care that respects Jewish values, particularly to those in greatest need. We are a local not-for-profit organization, and our doors are open to all in the community.
Sara and Samuel J. Lessans Annual Healthcare Symposium

Mental Health Crisis in a Geriatric Population: Strategies for Clinicians and Caregivers
Friday, May 5, 2017, Woodmont Country Club

Our seventh annual educational symposium focuses on the latest research regarding mental illness in the geriatric population. Leading experts in the field will review clinical research on the types of mental illness, unique issues facing older adults, and treatments available in the local area. Discussion will also center on the long-term effects of mental illness in the expanding geriatric population particularly as life expectancy continues to increase. Experts will discuss services available to help increase the quality of life of older adults, programs offered in our area, and what we can do to help those with mental illness.

The symposium is designed for physicians, nurses, nursing home administrators, social workers, physical therapists, and other healthcare professionals, and offers CME credit and CEU credit and contact hours for nurses. Get more information.

Learning Objectives:

  • Hear about the latest research surrounding mental illness and the geriatric population. 
  • Gain insight into the factors causing this crisis and how this ties into other public health issues. 
  • Understand the factors surrounding mental illness in older adults and what services are available. 
  • Learn about the unique dangers confronting older adults with mental illness.

Keynote Speaker: Steven S. Sharfstein, MD
President Emeritus, Sheppard Pratt Health System 

Topic: Geriatric Mental Health: Challenges for the 21st Century

Dr. Steven Sharfstein recently retired as president and chief executive officer of the Sheppard Pratt Health System, where he worked for 30 years. A practicing clinician for more than 45 years, Sharfstein is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the University of Maryland and is best known for his research and writing on the economics of practice and public mental health policy. He has held a variety of positions at the National Institute of Mental Health, including Director of Mental Health Service Programs.

6:45 a.m.
Early check-in and registration

7:00 a.m.
Early Morning Session - Clinical Update on Late-Life Depression
Continental breakfast will be available during this session.
Susan Lehman, MD -
Late-Life Depression: Overcoming Challenges in Diagnosis and Management
Matthew V. Rudorfer, MD
From Rome to Rockville: Eight Decades of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) 

Elisa Gil-Pires
VP Medical Affairs/Medical Director at Charles E. Smith Life Communities

Susan Lehman, MD
Clinical Director, Division of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neuropsychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital

Matthew V. Rudorfer, MD Associate Director for Treatment Research, Division of Services and Intervention Research at the National Institute of Mental Health

7:30 a.m. General check-in and registration  
7:30 –
8:15 a.m.
Continental Breakfast & Networking 
8:15 –
10 a.m.
Keynote: Geriatric Mental Health: 
Challenges for the 21st Century

Learning Objectives:

Define and describe the five major psychiatric syndromes in the elderly: depression, anxiety, psychosis, deliriumand dementia.

Evaluate the benefits and risks of the use of antipsychotic medications to treat agitation in patients withdementia.

Examine the options for finding the personnel and financial resources to care for an ever expanding populationin need.
Steven S. Sharfstein, MD, MPA President Emeritus, Sheppard Pratt Health System
10:00  –
10:30 a.m.
10:30  –
12:30 p.m.
Concurrent Educational Tracks
Track I:  Older Adults and Mental Health:
the Unique Nature of Mental Illness

Learning Objectives:

Provide a more thorough understanding of the unique nature of mental illness in the geriatric population.

Provide information on effective treatments and resources available.

Nicholas Schor
Describe the typical issues that present to the Geriatric Psychiatrist related to patients with Dementia.

Describe various community resources for management of issues related to patients with Dementia.

Describe medical resources for patients with Dementia and mental health diagnoses/ issues.

Tamela McCLam
Traumatic Stress Disorders in The Geriatric Population: Primary Focus on Reemergence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms in Patients with Any Early Life Trauma

 Learning Objectives:

Definition of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder According to DSM 5 and how this is different from Acute Stress Disorder (ASD)

Most common causes of early life trauma in current geriatric population.

Clinical Presentation of Reemergent PTSD.

Possible Long-term sequelae of chronic PTSD.

Archana G. Leon-Guerrero, MD
WORKFORCE SHORTAGE SOLUTIONS: How to Simulate a Geriatric Psychiatrist When You Don’t Have One in Your Facility

Review the extent of geriatric psychiatric shortage and impact on public health.

Review practical steps on how to help the (nongeriatric) psychiatrists or psychiatric NPs that you do have available.

Review new service delivery models. 

Jean Kim,
Geriatric Psychiatrist, MedOptions;

Medical Officer, Division of Psychiatry Products, Food and Drug Administration (FDA);

Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at George Washington University

Nicholas Schor
, MD
Psychiatrist, Olney Psychiatry

Tamela McClam, MD
Geriatric Psychiatrist, Psychiatric Institute of Washington

Archana G. Leon-Guerrero, MD Psychiatrist, MedOptions, and
LG Health Solutions LLC
10:30 a.m. –
12:30 p.m.

Track II:  Nonpharmacological Considerations: Practical Approaches

Learning Objectives:

Identify behavioral and psychological symptoms that often accompany dementia.

Identify advantages of non-pharmacologic approaches to managing behavioral and psychological disturbances.

Describe the 4D approach to distinguishing among different clinical problems in order to guide the development of appropriate interventions and improve outcomes.

Distinguish between age-appropriate fear and false beliefs or paranoia in the elderly.

Identify co-morbid issues for Hoarding Disorder.

Describe signs often seen with hoarding cases among the elderly.


Carolyn Eichberg, PhD
Clinical Psychologist, Charles E. Smith Life Communities

Elspeth N. Bell
, PhD
Psychologist, Bell Center for Anxiety and Depression

Susan Webb, LCSW-C
Director, Behavioral Health Crisis and Outpatient Services, Suburban Hospital, Johns Hopkins Medicine 
12:30 –
2:00 p.m.
Luncheon Panel Discussion

Learning Objectives:

Through a case study, provide a broad understanding about the issues surrounding mental illness as they relate to physical issues.

Learn about the competing problems that arise when mental illness complicates physical issues and suggested treatment.
Understand the complications and complexities of providing appropriate care for older adults who are suffering from mental illness. 


Previous Symposiums
  • 2016: On the Horizon: New Approaches in Alzheimer's Prevention, Treatment, and Research
  • 2015: Whole-istic Care for Seniors 
  • 2014: Palliative Care: Yesterday's Promises, Today's Challenges and Solutions
  • 2013: Care Coordination for Your Older Patients
  • 2012: Transitions in Care: Perspectives for Clinicians and Caregivers
  • 2010: New Frontiers in Dementia Care: Perspectives for Clinicians and Caregivers
    2017 September Lifetimes
    2015 CESLC Campus Video - Graphic
    2015 Post-Acute Care video - graphic



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U.S. News Names Hebrew Home of Greater Washington a U.S. News 2017-2018 Best Nursing Home.
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