The 2017 Oscar-nominated documentary Edith+Eddie tells the story of Edith Hill and Eddie Harrison, who marry in their mid-90s and become known online as "America’s oldest interracial couple". More than an inspiring love story, theirs also is a cautionary and heart-breaking tale about the state of elder justice and guardianship in the US as Hill's daughters battle over her care and the wishes of the couple to remain together. More →
In September 2014, elder justice experts, funders and other stakeholders gathered in New York City for a day long symposium, Elder Abuse Multidisciplinary Teams: Planning for the Future, to explore the value of multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) and plan for sustaining this important model.
At the end of this day-long event, participants identified four recommended priorities for the field with respect to sustaining and replicating MDTs. The details of these recommendations have been collected, along with background information and additional commentary on MDTs, into a monograph, which can be downloaded here.
A Brief Overview of MDTs
MDTs bring together groups of professionals serving victims of elder abuse – such as geriatricians, prosecutors, Adult Protective Services caseworkers, law enforcement officers and social workers, aging network providers – in varying configurations to provide a collaborative response to complex cases of elder abuse. This model allows the unique knowledge, experience and perspectives of different professionals to combine into a united front to tackle the intricate, often convoluted circumstances of abuse. A video demonstrating how an MDT responds to a case of elder abuse can be viewed here, and more information about the NYC Elder Abuse Center MDT’s can be found here.
Planning for the Future of MDTs: Four Priorities
While MDTs are recognized as effective and efficient, there are several challenges to replicating and sustaining teams. The professionals assembled for the historic symposium, “Elder Abuse MDTs: Planning for the Future,” explored these challenges and established the following four priorities for the field:
- Create a compelling body of evidence demonstrating the value of MDTs.
- Become more vocal and persuasive advocates for MDTs as part of a broader movement for elder justice.
- Cultivate funding for MDTs to achieve sustainability.
- Provide resources and technical assistance to guide the start-up of MDTs nationally and refine practice.
Further information about the recommendations can be found within the monograph.
Addressing each of these priorities will require substantial effort, but the symposium participants are confident that the importance of MDTs warrants the attention and investment. In fact, sustaining and replicating MDTs was identified by elder justice professionals across the country as a priority for the field in the Elder Justice Roadmap Project.
Symposium participants spent the day learning from experts in the field and brainstorming collaboratively with peers from a wide array of disciplines. View the slideshow below for a peak into events of the day.
The September 2014 symposium was hosted by the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging at Hunter College, the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Center for Elder Abuse Prevention at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale and the NYC Elder Abuse Center. These organizations are deeply grateful for the time, energy and commitment contributed to this event by all of those who attended as participants, panelists and speakers:
Symposium Presenters & Facilitators:
MARIE-THERESE CONNOLLY, JD Senior Scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
DEBORAH HOLT-KNIGHT Executive Director of Operations, NYC HRA Adult Protective Services
MARK LACHS, MD, MPH Co-Chief of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College; Director of Geriatrics, New York Presbyterian Health System; Medical Director, NYC Elder Abuse Center
LAURA MOSQUEDA, MD Associate Dean of Primary Care, Chair and Professor of Family Medicine and Geriatrics, Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California; Director, National Center on Elder Abuse
ADRIA E. NAVARRO, PHD, LCSW Assistant Professor, Azusa Pacific University
KARL PILLEMER, PHD Hazel E. Reid Professor of Human Development at Cornell University; Professor of Gerontology in Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College
ROBIN ROBERTS, LCSW Multidisciplinary Team Coordinator, NYC Elder Abuse Center
SIDNEY STAHL, PHD Expert Consultant to the Department of Justice on Elder Abuse
AUDREY STONE, JD Westchester County District Attorney’s Office
KRISTA ASHBERY New York City Police Department
BONNIE BRANDL National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life
GARY BROWN New York State Attorney General’s Office
DAVID BURNES University of Toronto
PAUL CACCAMISE Lifespan of Greater Rochester Inc.
CATHERINE CHRISTIAN New York County District Attorney’s Office
DONNA CORRADO New York City Department for the Aging
DONNA DOUGHERTY JASA
JENNY HICKS Vera House Inc.
SHELLY JACKSON Office for Victims of Crime US Dept of Justice
NAOMI KARP Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
EVELYN LAUREANO Neighborhood Self Help for Older Persons Project Inc.
ALAN LAWITZ New York State Office of Children and Family Services
NOREEN LAZARUS New York City Police Department
LIZ LOEWY EverSafe
SALLY MACNICHOL CONNECT
MICHAEL MARCUS The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation Inc.
PATRICK MULCAHY New York City Police Department
HECTOR ORTIZ Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
KATHLEEN OTTE Administration for Community Living
KATHLEEN QUINN National Adult Protective Services Association
MILDRED RAMIREZ Hebrew Home at Riverdale – Research Division
DANIEL REINGOLD The Hebrew Home at Riverdale
ANTHONY ROSEN NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
JENNIFER ROSENBAUM New York State Office for the Aging
LIN SABERSKI NYC HRA Adult Protective Services
AURORA SALAMONE New York City Department for the Aging
NANCY SHEA Safe Horizon
NANCY SIGLER Westchester County Protective Services for Adults
PAM TEASTER Virginia Tech
JEANNE TERESI Hebrew Home at Riverdale – Research Division
DANIEL TIETZ New York City Human Resources Administration
MARY TWOMEY Consultant
JULIO URBINA The Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation
FRAN WINTER New York City Department for the Aging
Thank you to the following colleagues for generously contributing their time and talents to the MDT Symposium: Pam Ansell, Elizabeth Bloemen, Sarah Dion, Madeleine Epstein, Paul Fleischmann, Angela Ghesquiere, Cara Kenien, Allison Lasky, Malya Levin, Cynthia Lien, Randy Lin, Lauren Meador, Glendalee Olivera, Geoffrey Rogers, Raquel Romanick, Jose Tobge, and Jennifer Trone.