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President's Message

IPA Bulletin: VOLUME 35, NO. 4 • DECEMBER 2018

Mary Sano, IPA President

Dear IPA members,
The past two months have seen great activities by our IPA members which highlight the important mission of geriatric mental health care worldwide. In September I joined IPA member Dr. Maria Lapid, MD in Manila, Philippines where we were invited to address the First International Symposium in Geriatric Medicine entitled "Integrating Geriatric Care from Hospital to Home" hosted by St. Luke’s Medical Center BGC Geriatric Medicine staff, including Drs. Earleen Seno-Ong, Jose Leo Jiloca, Miguel Ramos Jr., and Mark Henry Joven. Dr. Lapid and I were joined by other eminent geriatrician speakers: Professors Leon Flicker from the University of Western Australia, Philip Poi from Sunway Medical Centre Malaysia, and Kaysar Mamun from Singapore General Hospital.

This conference demonstrated the incredible growth of the caring industry in the Philippines and highlighted the many training programs and service models they have developed across the spectrum delivery points. However, they had a real thirst for education and advice on the mental health needs of aging populations. Dr. Lapid described the full range of geriatric depression and the multi-modal approaches to treatment. The audience eagerly awaited their chance to ask her for further advice and guidance both in diagnostics and management. Equally impressive was her presentation of Behavioral and Psychiatric Symptoms of Dementia. This presentation carefully aligned with and shared the IPA knowledge base of care. It highlighted our perspective on individualizing interventions to identify specific patient needs, to evaluate the environment and to address those symptoms which impair the person’s quality of life and safety.

I provided a background on the diagnosis of dementia and of Mild Cognitive Impairment. As the aging populations gains better health care, the loss of cognitive abilities becomes a serious global threat to autonomy and independence. New understandings about the biomarkers and nascent neuropathological indicators can provide earlier opportunities for diagnosis and hopefully targets for better treatments. In the meantime, the breadth of behavioral and environmental interventions in this area are also important. Our geriatric medicine providers in the Philippines seem eager to grow their ties with IPA in the hope of strengthening geriatric psychiatry expertise in their country and we look forward to working with them closely.

The latest initiative that I am so proud of is the IPA Disaster Medicine Initiative. Led by Drs. Craig Katz and Amy Aloysi from Icahn School of Medicine in NYC, we will be reaching out to all those who share our commitment to better mental health for older persons. We ask all of you to share your experiences of the needs of older person following a disaster. The impact of a disaster whether natural, man-made, social or political can be associated with wide ranges of psychological distress as well as expressions of resilience. We want to hear from both members and nonmembers, as professionals committed to the wellbeing of aging persons.. Tell us about your experiences; tell us how to help. IPA will gather the information, share it broadly and initiate an evidence-based approach to assessing needs and proposing solutions. Please go to the IPA website and share your knowledge and experience.

Finally, I want to challenge us all to spread the word about IPA by increasing our membership. We are one of the least expensive geriatric health provider professional organizations. Our commitment is to address the needs of our rapidly growing aging populations by supporting those who work in geriatric mental health across all disciplines. There is strength in numbers and there is increased opportunity to share our knowledge and resources when our membership is active, strong and increasing. Please join me in a re-commitment to IPA membership. Pay your dues. Introduce a friend or colleague to IPA. Share the experience of getting our world class Journal, this Bulletin, plus the digital resources available on the IPA website. Join our special interest groups. If we each commit to signing on just one additional person we will double the size of IPA. The challenge is on: Share your personal successful membership drive. Let us know how many you signed on. Tell us what makes one hesitate or not join. What can we do to make this the most valuable organization for those caring for the mental health of aging adults? Please tell us what you think.

Till next time,
Mary Sano, PhD


Acadia Pharmaceuticals Otsuka Pharmaceuticals Cambridge University Press Avanir Pharmaceuticals


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