Keynote Speakers

Irish Gerontological Society Annual and Scientific Meeting

70 Years of Change 1951-2021

#igs2021 @irishgerontsoc

18th November 2021


Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Dr. Donna Marie Fick

Donna Marie Fick is a Distinguished Professor at The Pennsylvania State University College of Nursing, Elouise Ross Eberly Professor of Nursing and Director of the Penn State Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence.

Dr. Fick is nationally and internationally recognized as a leading expert in geriatrics and is best known for her work on delirium superimposed on dementia. She co-authored the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) executive summary for early detection of cognitive impairment, led two Choosing Wisely statements for the AAN and served on the panel for the AGS Guideline for Postoperative Delirium in Older Adults that was published in 2014. She recently completed two randomized intervention R01 level studies to decrease the duration and severity of delirium superimposed on dementia. These studies were funded by the National Institute of Health and together have generated more than 13 publications. Her current NIH study is an MPI study funded by the NIA with MPI Edward Marcantonio, MD with the Harvard School of Medicine that is testing an ultra-brief screening tool (UB-2) and two step delirium identification process for delirium with clinicians and over 450 older adults.

Her area of research has focused on two critical issues in the care of older adults, medication use in older adults and delirium superimposed on dementia (DSD). She is a member of the interdisciplinary panel for the American Geriatrics Society Beers Criteria (AGS) for inappropriate medication use in older adults, and serves on the American Geriatrics Society Board. She has co-chaired the Beers Criteria since 2001. This criteria for drugs to avoid in older adults is widely used in practice and the 2003 release has been cited over 2,700 times. The criteria were recently updated in 2018 and she once again served as Co-Chair on this update with Todd Semla and Mike Steinman. She also serves as an expert faculty member and coach on ‘Creating an Age Friendly Health System Initiative’ funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation and led by the Institute of Healthcare Improvement. Dr. Fick was a past member of the NAS/IOM Committee on the Public Health Dimensions of Cognitive Aging, which released a report in 2015 on Cognitive Aging, and she currently serves on the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Forum on Aging, Disability and Independence.

Dr. Fick widely disseminates her work through over 100 publications, national media coverage, national and international presentations, as well as through her work with the John A. Hartford Foundation. She has been Editor of the ‘Journal of Gerontological Nursing’ since 2011. Dr. Fick received her BSN from Berea College, her MSN from the University of Cincinnati, and her PhD from the University of California, San Francisco. She served as a Visiting Professor at the Aging Brain Center, Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife, and an affiliate of Harvard Medical School from 2013-2014. She is ANCC board certified as a Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist through 2019 and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

Dr. Joe Verghese

Dr. Verghese is Professor of Neurology and Medicine, Murray D. Gross Memorial Faculty Scholar in Gerontology, and Director, Resnick Gerontology Center at Einstein. He is the Chief of the Integrated Divisions of Cognitive and Motor Aging (Neurology) and Geriatrics (Medicine).

His area of research is disease and aging on gait and cognition in older adults; influence of cognitively stimulating activities on reducing risk of dementia and mobility loss, cognitive control of mobility, and global health

Dr. Joe Verghese graduated from St. Johns Medical College, Bangalore, India in 1989. He did his postgraduate training in internal medicine and Neurology in United Kingdom. He completed his Neurology residency at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY in 1998. He did his fellowship training in Neurophysiology as well as Aging & Dementia in 1999 at the same institution. He received a Master of Science degree in Clinical Research Methods with Distinction in 2001. Dr Verghese is board-Certified in Neurology.

Dr. Verghese is a recipient of the Beeson award from the National institute on Aging and the Outstanding Scientific Achievement for Clinical Investigation Award from the American Geriatrics Society. His research interest is the effects of disease and aging on mobility and cognition in older adults. He has over 200 peer-reviewed publications and several federally funded grants in this area. His current projects include studying the influence of cognitively stimulating activities on reducing risk of dementia, the role of divided attention tasks such as walking while talking in predicting outcomes such as disability and cognitive decline, cognitive interventions, and global health.