In response to the ever-widening gap between our growing aging population, particularly those with dementia and mental health problems, and the supply of qualified clinicians and researchers to respond to these needs, the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence (NHCGNE) is convening a two-day international state of the future and leadership conference on global issues in aging, dementia and mental health. While sponsored research involving aging, dementia and mental health is growing, there are few opportunities to bring together patient-oriented interdisciplinary scientists, educators, and clinicians to address boundary-spanning issues in research, practice, leadership, education and policy. This will be a unique and innovative international aging conference focused specifically on bridging leadership, science, practice and policy in aging, dementia and mental health.
This proposal requests partial support for a unique and innovative international aging conference focused on bridging interdisciplinary leadership, science, practice and policy in aging, dementia and mental health. The goals of this conference are to: actively engage key patient-oriented interdisciplinary stakeholders in aging, dementia and mental health; evolve a research agenda and priority actions; provide national and international guidance to disseminate best practices for curricular innovations; identify primary practice roles for the future; and foster the development of leadership skills in the next generation of national and international academic and clinical leaders in this field. These goals will be achieved through knowledge dissemination and interdisciplinary engagement in plenary sessions, peer-reviewed abstracts, commissioned white papers, discussant reports, panel discussions, poster sessions, consensus development, and leadership workshops. We have also strategically integrated a mentoring theme throughout the structure, planning, and programming of the conference to stimulate input from and promote the leadership pipeline of the “next generation” of patient-oriented interdisciplinary researchers and scholars in the field. The specific conference objectives are as follows: 1) summarize the state of knowledge about national and international aging, dementia and mental health interventions, curricular innovations, models of care and health policies; 2) identify key patient-oriented research issues of special focus for aging, dementia and mental health scholars over the next 5 years. 3) identify and disseminate key practice roles, interventions, models of care and health policies in aging, dementia and mental health; 4) develop leadership skills to influence research direction, education, practice and policy in aging, dementia and mental health; and 5) assist attendees in orchestrating full careers, particularly full academic careers, in the field. The conference is sponsored by the National Hartford Center of Geronotological Nursing Excellence (NHCGNE) which is only able to provide partial support ($60,000). The conference will be held immediately prior to the 21st World Congress of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) conference in 2017 in order to maximize exposure to and attendance by diverse interdisciplinary scientists and trainees in both domestic and international communities. The conference venue, San Francisco Marriott Marquis, is the IAGG Conference Headquarter hotel and is readily accessible from the San Francisco International Airport (20-25 minutes by ground transportation), which in turn is readily accessible to domestic and international participants by most major airlines. In sum, there are few meetings specifically related to aging, dementia and mental health and none that specifically bring together patient-oriented interdisciplinary scientists, educators, and clinicians to address boundary-spanning issues in leadership, research, practice, education and policy. As such, this conference fills a very important and vital role in the scientific and leadership evolution of the field.