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GSA showcases groundbreaking aging research slated for Atlanta meeting

America's foremost authorities on aging will share the latest information on "death panels," anti-aging medicine, health care reform, and other current topics at The Gerontological Society of America's upcoming 62nd Annual Scientific Meeting. This four day event the country's largest interdisciplinary conference in the field of aging will take place from November 18 to 22 in Atlanta, GA. Media representatives can register free of charge.

All sessions will be held at the Hilton Atlanta and Atlanta Marriott Marquis. An estimated 3,500 professionals are expected to attend the four-day gathering, which includes more than 400 scientific sessions featuring research presented for the first time. The overall meeting theme is "Creative Approaches to Healthy Aging." The complete conference program, including a searchable abstract listing, is available at Below are selected highlights:

An Obama Effect? Examining Changes in Participation, Engagement, and Politics
Time: Thursday, November 19, 12:30 to 2 p.m.
Location: Atlanta Marriott Marquis International Salon 9 and 10
This symposium will examine the extent to which the campaign and election of Barack Obama affected voting patterns and political participation among older Americans in comparison to younger age groups and whether the politics of aging has been altered. The speakers include Fay Lomax Cook, PhD, of Northwestern University; Robert Hudson, PhD, of Boston University; Larry Polivka, PhD, of the Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging; and Robert Binstock, PhD, of Case Western Reserve University.

The Search for Anti-Aging Medicines
Time: Thursday, November 19, 8 to 9:30 a.m.
Location: Hilton Atlanta Grand Salon C
The scientific search for effective anti-aging medications has to tread the narrow path between the hype of hucksters and the pessimism of most scientists and expert commentators. The panelists will discuss successful calorie restriction experiments in rodents, as well as research to discover pharmaceuticals that could create similar effects in humans. The speakers include Richard Miller, MD, PhD, of the University of Michigan; Roger McCarter, PhD, of the Pennsylvania State University; Matt Kaeberlein, PhD, of the University of Washington; and David Allison, PhD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Health Care Reform What Happened, What Did We Learn, and How Will It Impact Older Adults?
Time: Friday, November 21, at 5:15 to 6:45 p.m.
Location: Atlanta Marriott Marquis Marquis Salon A
During this interactive forum, policy experts will provide their views on how health care reform efforts will and won't shape the future of Medicare, Medicaid, long-term care, and retiree health coverage. The session will also include discussions of how key aging provisions are expected to fare. The speakers include John Rother, JD, of AARP; Gretchen Alkema, PhD, LCSW, of the Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program; and Toni Miles, MD, PhD, also of the Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program.

"Death Panels?" Euthanasia?: The Real Story On End of Life and Palliative Care Issues in 2009
Time: Saturday, November 21, 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Location: Atlanta Marriott Marquis International Salon 7
A group of panelists will cut through the media hype and bring attendees up to date on how health care reform and state policy and practice may alter the way Americans deal with end of life issues. They will discuss how advance care planning and palliative care have evolved in the last few years, as well as the key challenges that lie immediately ahead. The speakers include Harry "Rick" Moody, PhD, of AARP; Charles Sabatino, JD, of the American Bar Association's Commission on Law and Aging; and Diane Meier, MD, of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Promoting Prevention for Adults 50 to 64 Clinical and Community Partnerships
Time: Thursday, November 19, at 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Location: Atlanta Marriott Marquis International Salon 9 and 10
GSA's meeting will host the release of "Promoting Preventive Services for Adults 50-64: Community and Clinical Partnerships," a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), AARP, and the American Medical Association (AMA). Building on this new resource, CDC's Lynda Anderson, PhD, will chair a debate and dialogue session to emphasize the importance of using community as a platform for increasing access to and use of clinical preventive services, building bridges between community and clinical settings, and health reform. Other speakers include Bill Benson of Health Benefits ABCs; Terrie Wetle, PhD, of Brown University; Cheryl Matheis, JD, of AARP; and Edward Langston, MD, RPh, ABFM, of the AMA Board of Trustees.

Business Forum: Aging Means Business in Atlanta
Friday, November 20, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Atlanta Marriott Marquis Atrium A704
GSA will provide a rare venue for leading authorities on economics, gerontology, and consumer behavior to engage in dialogue with Atlanta business leaders interested in understanding, attracting, and capitalizing on a growing senior market. Noteworthy presenters include Glenn Ruffenach, editor of The Wall Street Journal's "Encore" report; Joseph Coughlin, PhD, founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's AgeLab; and Mary Furlong, EdD, president and CEO of Mary Furlong & Associates.

The online conference program lists many other sessions with content relevant to today's older Americans. Among these subjects are intergenerational issues, driving and transportation issues, nursing home culture change, minority issues, aging around the globe, and the need for an adequately trained workforce to care for the country's booming senior population.

GSA will also offer reporters direct access to the field's most prominent experts through a series of press briefings. A special notice will be issued shortly when the schedule is finalized; currently confirmed topics include health care gaps among ethnic elders, breakthroughs in vitamin D research, caloric restriction in humans, and the aforementioned CDC/AARP/AMA report on preventive services.

The complimentary media registration allows access to all sessions (with the exception of ticketed events and pre-conference workshops) and the Exhibit Hall. Badges and printed program materials can be picked up from the meeting registration area of the Hilton. The Press Room will be located in room 213 of the Hilton, where GSA will also host a special networking reception for journalists on the evening of Wednesday, November 18.


Contact: Todd Kluss
The Gerontological Society of America

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