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Weill Cornell receives funding to study creation of new elder abuse center

NEW YORK (May 6, 2008) -- Weill Cornell Medical College has been awarded $80,000 to study the creation of a Manhattan Elder Abuse Case Coordination and Review Center (EACCRC), in collaboration with the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Center for Elder Abuse Prevention at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale and the New York City Elder Abuse Network.

Funded by the Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, with matching funds from a donor identified by the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, the new financial support will go towards advancing the goals of preventing abuse and helping victims achieve a life without mistreatment. Each year, as many as 10 percent of older Americans are injured physically, debilitated psychologically and exploited financially, often by an adult child or other family relative.

The new Center would build on the work of the New York City Elder Abuse Network -- a multidisciplinary group of more than 40 physicians, social workers, attorneys, psychiatrists and other professionals that has been meeting monthly since 2006 to discuss cases of elder abuse and formulate strategies to improve intervention and prevention.

"With the number of older people on the rise, it is increasingly important to develop effective strategies for addressing elder abuse and neglect. This is a complex problem that requires a focused collaborative effort. This grant will provide the resources to take our work to another level," says Risa Breckman, L.C.S.W., director of social work education and programs in the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and a nationally renowned authority on elder abuse and neglect.

"We are very grateful to the Samuels Foundation and matching funds from the Hebrew Home at Riverdale donor for their support of this program, which will help transform what is currently an ad hoc group into a formal entity," adds Dr. Mark Lachs, co-chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology, director of the Center for Aging Research and Clinical Care, and the Irene F. and I. Roy Psaty Distinguished Professor of Clinical Medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. He is also director of geriatrics for the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System and Paul Beeson Physician Faculty Scholar from the American Federation for Aging Research through funding from the John A. Hartford Foundation.

Research by Dr. Lachs has identified such repercussions of elder abuse and neglect as overwhelming feelings of fear, isolation and anger, as well as depression, and links to decreased longevity.


Contact: Jonathan Weil
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College

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