Center on Aging Hosts Beers Fund in Geriatrics Lecture on “Caring for the Caregiver”

July 31, 2018 by Jennifer Nachbur

The University of Vermont Center on Aging and UVM Geriatric Medicine program will host a presentation, titled “Caring for Caregivers and Transitions from Hospital to Home,” by international experts Horst Vollmar, M.D., M.P.H., and Mary Austrom, Ph.D., on August 3, 2018.

The University of Vermont Center on Aging and UVM Geriatric Medicine program hosted a presentation, titled “Caring for Caregivers and Transitions from Hospital to Home,” by international experts Horst Vollmar, M.D., M.P.H., and Mary Austrom, Ph.D., on August 3, 2018. Three dozen UVM and Burlington-area community members and health professionals attended the session.

The lecture was supported by the Mark H. Beers, M.D.’82 Fund in Geriatrics. A Class of 1982 graduate of the UVM Larner College of Medicine, Beers, who passed away from diabetes-related complications in 2009, had an impressive career in geriatrics at the University of Miami. He is best known for establishing the “Beers Criteria,” the definitive list of medications that elderly patients should avoid, and his role as editor-in-chief of the Merck Manuals. The Beers Fund was established by his husband, Stephen Urice, to honor Beers’ legacy and remarkable commitment to easing the health burdens of the elderly.

Currently head of the Institute of General Practice and Family Medicine at Ruhr-University-Bochum in Germany, Vollmar is lead author of the dementia guideline of the German Society of General Practice and Family Medicine (DEGAM). He received his medical degree from Heinrich-Heine-University Dusseldorf, completed a Master in Public Health (MPH) degree in Dusseldorf in 2005 and completed his habilitation procedure (similar to doctoral dissertation and required for professorship) and received the venia legendi for family medicine and health sciences at Witten/Herdecke University in 2011. His work in the field of health services research and outcome research focuses on examining how evidence-based and action-relevant knowledge about dementia can be sustainably conveyed to different target groups (patients, doctors, nurses, policy makers), for which he utilizes quantitative and qualitative research methods, and applies methods such as scientific foresight. His work over the past 17 years has included: research at Witten/Herdecke University, which led to the development and implementation of guidelines and education on new media for general practitioners, and earned him and his colleagues the Richard Merten Prize – Germany‘s most respected prize for quality assurance in  the field of medicine; research at the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) in Karlsruhe; leadership of the working group on knowledge circulation and implementation research at the DZNE (German of Neurodegenerative Diseases) in Witten; research speaker on “Dealing with Healthiness and Illness in Older age” at the Institute of General Practice at Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf; professor for health services research at Jena University Hospital; and interim head of the Institute of General Practice and Family Medicine at Ruhr-University Bochum.

Austrom is the Wesley P. Martin Professor of Alzheimer’s Education in the Department of Psychiatry and Associate Dean for Diversity Affairs at the Indiana University School of Medicine and an expert in aging and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). She received her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from York University, Toronto, Canada. Her clinical and research interests include developing non-pharmacological interventions for patients and families providing care for AD patients in the home and in institutional settings. Austrom, who completed an 8-year term on the Board of Directors of the National Alzheimer’s Association, is actively involved with other local and national organizations devoted to issues affecting the elderly, such as the American Geriatrics Society, the Gerontological Society of America, the American Society on Aging and the International Psychogeriatric Association. She regularly speaks to groups nationally and internationally about her work, and is the author of more than 150 articles, book chapters and abstracts. In addition, she played a leadership role in developing IU’s curriculum on Alzheimer’s disease and aging for medical students, residents and fellows and serves as an adjunct professor at the IU School of Nursing and an affiliated scientist at the Indiana University Center for Aging Research.


About the Center on Aging at UVM

Established in 2008 with support from a generous endowment from Vermont philanthropist Lois McClure, the Center on Aging at UVM has a mission to forge an ongoing collaboration among faculty, students, staff and programs within the UVM, UVM Medical Center, and the Vermont community to promote a sense of wellbeing and a high quality of life for older adults.


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