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Pamela Elfenbein

Pamela Elfenbein is the director of Education and Training at the Center on Aging at Florida International University in Miami.  She has a BA from Fairleigh Dickenson University, an MSW from Barry College, and a PhD from the University of Miami.  She has additional training in advanced bio-ethics from Georgetown University.  She serves on a host of aging-related agencies and organizations in the Miami area.  Dr. Elfenbein's missions for FAVACA have included Trinidad & Tobago, where she presented on aging issues and religion and aging at the Caribbean Symposium on Popular Ageing, organized by the University of West Indies (UWI) Trinidad campus, the Division for Ageing of the Ministry of Social Planning and Development, and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.  In Jamaica, she participated with UWI's Jamaica campus in the development of an online course on gerontology.  On three occasions, Dr. Elfenbein demonstrated FAVACA's long-term commitment to short-term assistance by consulting in St. Kitts and Nevis, providing best care practices and tips on how to strengthen care-givers' skills to mitigate problems of seniors who are disproportionately vulnerable to physical and emotional ailments.  

Projects:

BELIZE HEALTH CARE WORKERS RECEIVE VALUABLE TRAINING AND ASSISTANCE IN CARING FOR OLDER PERSONS AND IMPROVING NATIONAL CONDITIONS -  The National Council on Aging, under the leadership of Ms. Lindy Jeffery, Executive Director, requested assistance from FAVACA for conducting regional workshops on issues affecting the elderly population in Belize.  As part of a national plan of action, the Council aimed at training persons who care for senior citizens in their homes since the availability of trained healthcare professionals and facilities for the older persons is extremely limited. More than 80 participants received training on home nursing care, nutrition, health promotion and disease prevention including exposure to specific health issues such as Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, and Diabetes. The workshops were held on November 5-13, 2006 in Belize City and the Toledo District. Miamian volunteers making up the interdisciplinary training team included: Dr. Pamela Elfenbein, Director of Education and Training, The Center on Aging; Dr. Helen Cornely, Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy; Dr. Yvonne Parchment, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, and Dr. Nancy Wellman, Professor, Department of Dietetics and Nutrition and Director National Policy and Resource Center on Nutrition and Aging.

SENIOR SERVICES IMPROVED IN ST. KITTS & NEVIS.  Elders are disproportionately vulnerable to physical and emotional ailments.  Elder service experts sharing  best care practices and how to support care-givers are important to upgrading senior services.  With that in mind, Jovil Martin, Director of Community and Social Development, St. Kitts & Nevis Ministry of Social Development, Community and Gender Affairs, hosted follow-up training for 25 staff of the Social Assistance Unit, May 1-8, 2005 .  Dr. Pamela Elfenbein, the Center on Aging, Florida International University;  Yvonne Parchment, Clinical Professor, School of Nursing, Florida International University; and Helen Cornely, Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Miami provided workshops including: Care of the Elderly, Diabetes and the Care of Diabetics, Psychology of Aging, Physical Therapy, Nutrition, Blood Pressure Monitoring, Dealing with Alzheimer's, and Support for Providers. 

FAVACA VOLUNTEER REACHES CARIBBEAN PROFESSIONALS AT REGIONAL MEETING ON AGING.  In the face of an aging population around the Caribbean the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus; the Division for Ageing of the Ministry of Social Planning and Development, Trinidad and Tobago; and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs came together to host the Caribbean Symposium on Population Ageing.  The symposium aimed to share national best practices, produce strategy guidelines to mainstream ageing issues, establish contacts at the national and regional level and consolidate the Caribbean's position on aging.  FAVACA volunteer Dr. Pamela Elfenbein, Miami, was invited to make presentations on aging issues and religion and aging.  Elfenbein is a faculty member of Florida International University's Southeast Center on Aging.  She traveled to Port of Spain, Trinidad, November 6-11, 2004, to attend the symposium and also consult with faculty and experts at UWI.  The UN and UWI provided financial support for Dr. Elfenbein's travel.

UNIVERSITY IN JAMAICA TO PARTNER WITH FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY TO DEVELOP ON-LINE COURSES IN GERONTOLOGY.  Dr. Denise Eldemire, Director PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center for Aging and Health, Department of Community Health & Psychiatry, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, requested assistance in developing an on-line course in gerontology.  FAVACA volunteer Pamela Elfenbein, Ph.D., Director of Education and Training for The Center on Aging at Florida International University, has provided extensive training throughout the region on aging issues and has volunteered with FAVACA to work with the University of the West Indies in St. Kitts.  Elfenbein traveled to Kingston, Jamaica June 27-July 2, 2004, for consultations with Eldemire and her colleagues.  Elfenbein worked with Dr. Eldemire to draft the curriculum and will provide ongoing assistance to fine-tune the material for on-line access.

UWI EXPLORES CERTIFICATE PROGRAM IN GERONTOLOGY. As follow-up to a training workshop in March of this year in St. Kitts, Mrs. Ann Wigley, director of Elder Affairs, Ministry of Community, Social Development and Gender Affairs and Dr. Edgecombe-Howell with the University of the West Indies-School of Continuing Studies requested assistance in the development of an undergraduate certificate in gerontology with practical experience and training. St. Kitts currently has Home Health Officers (HHO) who are responsible for providing basic in-home care to the elderly throughout the island.  In addition to the officers, local volunteers assist in the care to the elderly.  November 10-19, 2002, Veteran volunteers and Florida International University faculty Pamela Elfenbein, PhD, MSW, director of education and training at the Center on Aging, Yvonne Parchment, ARNP, assistant professor in the School of Nursing and Helen Cornely, MS, associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, returned to St. Kitts with graduate students Lori Purcell, and Patricia Chavarria, to continue  training HHO's and participate in the home visits.  In addition, Dr. Elfenbein worked with Ms. Edgecombe-Howell to develop the gerontology curriculum based on St. Kitts' needs.  Together the team consulted with 60 members of the community.

HOME HEALTH OFFICERS IN ST. KITTS AUGMENT THEIR SKILLS.  Mrs. Ann Wigley, Director of Elder Affairs under the Ministry of Community, Social Development, & Gender Affairs in St. Kitts requested training for Home Health Officers.  St. Kitts currently has Home Health Officers who are responsible for providing basic in-home care to the elderly throughout the island.  In addition to the officers, local volunteers assist in the care to the elderly.  Training to 38 participants covered a range of topics including basic care,  therapeutic exercises, mental health, and support for the officers.  The FAVA/CA volunteers also took part in home visits to better understand and assist the officers. Pamela Elfenbein, PhD, MSW, Director of Education and Training at the Center on Aging at Florida International University (FIU); Yvonne Parchment, ARNP, Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at FIU; and Helen Cornely, MS, PT, Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at FIU traveled to St. Kitts March 17-23, 2002.  The training for 38 participants covered a range of topics including basic care,  therapeutic exercises, mental health, and support for the officers.  The FAVA/CA volunteers also took part in home visits to better understand and assist the officers.

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