Weill Cornell Medical Center's Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology: Planning for a NYC Elder Abuse Center

Weill Cornell Medical College has been awarded $80,000 to study the creation of a NYC-based Elder Abuse Center, in collaboration with the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Center for Elder Abuse Prevention at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale and the New York City Elder Abuse Network.

Funded by the Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, with matching funds from a donor identified by the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, the new financial support will help advance the goals of preventing abuse and helping victims achieve a life without mistreatment. Each year, as many as 10 percent of older Americans are injured physically, debilitated psychologically and exploited financially, often by an adult child or other family relative.

The new Center will build on the work of the New York City Elder Abuse Case Coordination and Review Team - a multidisciplinary group of more than 40 physicians, social workers, attorneys, psychiatrists and other professionals that has been meeting monthly since 2006 to discuss cases of elder abuse and formulate strategies to improve intervention and prevention.

Many significant organizations and city government departments are on the Advisory Council for this planning project, including NYC Department for the Aging, the Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence, NYC Adult Protective Services, the Manhattan DA's Office, the Carter Burden Center for the Aging, the Jewish Association for Services for the Elderly, the New York Legal Assistance Group and the New York Bankers Association, among others.

The first step of the planning project is to create a vision for the Center. We are engaging a broad spectrum of stakeholders in this planning process through a method called concept mapping. (For more information on this consensus-building process, see: http://www.conceptsystems.com/ConceptMapping/ConceptMapping.php). Concept mapping takes the unique ideas and perspectives of individuals on a given topic and combines them to form a framework of visual images, or "maps". Using this framework, stakeholders can rapidly explore the relative importance and feasibility of ideas in order to set priorities and take action. To participate, please take a few moments to complete the brainstorming prompt and submit your ideas-by July 15, 2008-to the project's Senior Planner, Beth Rosenthal, by email at [email protected] or by fax at 212-746-4888. If you have any questions, please call her at 212-746-4194.

It is anticipated the planning process will be completed by November 2008. At that time we will have a blueprint for the Center to share with stakeholders and we will begin moving forward with the Center's development.

For more information about this project, contact Beth Rosenthal at [email protected] or Risa Breckman at [email protected]

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