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Date(s) - 06/12/2018
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Category(ies) No Categories

Elder Abuse and Social Connections: National Elder Mistreatment Study 8-year Follow-up

In support of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Center for Victim Research will host an interactive webinar on “Elder Abuse and Social Connections” on June 12, from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EDT. This webinar is geared toward:

  • Service providers working with older adults
  • Researchers studying abuse prevention and social connections
  • Those who want to learn about the largest, longitudinal study of elder mistreatment

Join Dr. Ron Acierno and Dr. Melba Hernandez-Tejada in a discussion on key findings from the National Elder Mistreatment Study, the first nationally representative study focused on elder abuse, and their recently released 8-year follow-up results. The webinar will focus on social support as key to protecting older adults and building resiliency after experiences of elder abuse.


Dr. Ron Acierno is a Professor and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Nursing and a Senior Clinical Research Scientist at the Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center, MUSC’s Consortium VA partner. Finally, he is the Clinical Training Director and Board Member of the non-profit Veterans on Deck, an organization he founded that uses sailing to impart socialization, teambuilding and personal growth in veterans recovering from PTSD, substance use, and who have been victims of Military Sexual Trauma.

In addition to his clinical work with older adult crime victims and younger veterans, Dr. Acierno has two related but distinct research foci: epidemiological studies of elder mistreatment and treatment outcome studies, focusing on using home based telemedicine for treatment delivery, with victims of trauma, disaster, combat or loss. He is PI on a Department of Defense grant to study behavioral activation and therapeutic exposure delivered via home-based telemedicine for PTSD in active duty service personnel and veterans.


Dr. Melba A. Hernandez-Tejada is a Research Associate Professor in the MUSC College of Nursing, and a Research Scientist at the Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Hernandez-Tejada holds doctoral degrees in Health Administration and Clinical & Health Psychology, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Health Disparities at MUSC. Her past research focused on physiological and psychological aspects of stress reactions in chronic diseases such as Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes. This background informed her current work on access and engagement with services for both physical and mental health conditions.Her work employs innovative use of social support and telehealth, particularly among minority and vulnerable groups. She has also applied this focus to work with veterans, most specifically those with a mental health condition such as depression, and PTSD. She has engaged in practice ! level efforts involving raising awareness among providers regarding adequate screening, identification, diagnosis and referral of elder mistreatment survivors, and treatment options for elder abuse victims. She is currently interested in increasing collaborative efforts through inter-professional approaches to treating both Veterans and Older Adults for mental and physical health conditions in diverse populations.