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Talks at Twelve: Cary Reid, Kavita Ahluwalia, & Rachel Sherrow, Tuesday, May 21, 2013

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Using Community-Based Participatory Research to Address Oral Health in NYC Meals-on-Wheels Recipients
Cary Reid, Kavita Ahluwalia, & Rachel Sherrow

Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room

This talk is open to all. Lunch will be served. Metered parking is available in the Plantations lot across the road from Beebe Hall.

This is a BCTR Innovative Pilot Study Grant recipient talk.

Community-based senior services, such as case management, transportation, senior centers, etc., are designed to help the growing number of community-dwelling older adults maintain independence and prevent institutionalization. Meals-on-Wheels (MOW) is one such service, designed to provide food and nutrition for a particularly vulnerable subset of older adults -- those who are unable to prepare meals due to cognitive and/or physical impairments and who, without the service would be unable to remain in the community. Although MOW has frequent household contact with recipients, has been in existence for almost 40 years, and serves one million Americans daily, there has been little systematic examination of its potential utility to provide health promotion/disease prevention messages and/or interventions, which may prove to be critical for the prevention of future institutionalization. We have chosen to address oral health because it is central to food consumption, and is important to ensuring the MOW delivers meals recipients can actually eat. The goal of this on-going work is to bring together MOW stakeholders and researchers to collaborate on capacity-building and future funding initiatives to translate and integrate evidence-based oral health promotion and disease prevention into the MOW systems. This work, uses a community-academic partnership, and has resulted in the development of a number of policy changes that will be implemented city-wide. Pilot development, implementation and testing of health promotion/disease prevention interventions that target NYC meal recipients is underway, and the partnership is actively seeking additional funding to sustain and expand this work.

Cary Reid, Weill School of Graduate Medical Sciences, Cornell University
Kavita Ahluwalia, College of Dental Medicine, Columbia University
Rachel Sherrow, Citymeals-on-Wheels


Dr. Cary  Reid is an Associate Professor and Director of the Office of Geriatric Research in the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.  Dr. Reid obtained his medical degree from the University of South Carolina. He subsequently completed internship, residency, and chief-residency training at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire. He completed fellowship training in both clinical epidemiology and geriatric medicine at Yale University. Dr. Reid taught, conducted research at Yale University before joining the faculty at Weill Cornell Medical College in 2003.  Dr. Reid has received many research awards over the years, including a Robert Wood Johnson Generalist Physician Scholar Award and a highly coveted Paul Beeson Faculty Scholar on Aging Research Award. He is a section editor of the journal Pain Medicine and  currently directs an NIH-funded multi-institutional center called “The Translational Research Institute on Pain in Later Life” or TRIPLL. The center supports translational research on pain and aging in New York City. Institutional partners include Weill Cornell, Columbia University, Hospital for Special Surgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Cornell University (Ithaca campus), Council of Senior Centers & Service of NYC, Inc. and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. His research focuses on improving the management of pain among older persons. Current projects include testing non-pharmacologic strategies for pain among older persons in both clinical and non-clinical settings, identifying barriers to the use of self-management strategies for pain, and examining optimal strategies for managing pain across ethnically diverse populations of older persons. Additional areas of interest include the epidemiology and treatment of substance use disorders in older persons.

Kavita P. Ahluwalia is an Associate Professor of Clinical Dental Medicine at Columbia University’s College of Dental Medicine Dr. Ahluwalia is particularly interested in working with communities to address oral health in vulnerable populations. She has successfully used community-based participatory research principles to find creative and unexpected ways of integrating oral health and healthcare into existing care systems to develop sustainable programs that bridge the divide between dentistry and other health professions. Dr. Ahluwalia has received funding from the National Institute on Aging, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Cancer Institute, Federal Emergency Management Agency, American Legacy Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the New York State Department of Health. She is currently Principal Investigator on a study funded by the New York State Department of Health to assess oral care delivery for people with dementia, and was recently funded by the National Institute on Aging to address oral pain and ability to eat among older adults receiving Meals-on-Wheels in NYC. She is also working with Columbia University’s Earth Institute to address oral health among poor rural children in two districts in India. Dr. Ahluwalia, who is Director of the College’s DDS/MPH program, is an active member of Isabella Homecare’s Steering Committee and a member of the Harlem Health Promotion Center’s Health Advisory Board. She received a DDS and MPH from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and completed a residency in Dental Public Health at the VA in Perry Point, MD.

Rachel Sherrow is Chief Program Officer of City meals-on-Wheels where she works to provide a continuum of meals on wheels and companionship for home bound elderly throughout the year. Although the beginning of her career was spent working with youth, for the past fifteen years, she has advocated for the elderly of New York City at various not-for profits. Rachel has worked for The New York Foundation for Senior Citizens, The Educational Alliance, and the Henry Street Settlement. She received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Yeshiva University. She is currently working to prevent hunger among the most at risk clients Citymeals–on-Wheels serves.


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