Caregiving Atlanta

January 6, 2014

Feb. 12, 8:30 – 11:00 a.m. Event canceled due to weather | W Hotel Atlanta Midtown

Caring for elderly family members, friends and neighbors — often while working full time and raising children — is the new normal for tens of millions of Americans. As The Washington Post continues its series of caregiving forums around the country, we will gather policymakers, health experts and others to offer strategies for easing the emotional and financial toll of caregiving.


Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, an advocate for mental health, caregiving, early childhood immunization, human rights and conflict resolution, has worked for more than four decades on issues aimed at improving the quality of life for people around the world. With her husband President Jimmy Carter, she co-founded The Carter Center in Atlanta, Ga. She also founded and serves as president of the board of directors for the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving in Americus, Ga. Through research, education and training, the RCI promotes the mental health and well-being of individuals, families, and professional caregivers, builds public awareness of caregiving needs, and advances effective caregiving practices policies that enhance caring communities.

Jovita Moore

Anchor, WSB-TV

Jovita Moore is a senior anchor at WSB-TV in Atlanta, Ga. Currently, she anchors the 5 p.m., 6p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts. Moore joined WSB-TV in 1998. Her previous stations include WMC-TV in Memphis, Tenn. and KFSM in Fayetteville and Fort Smith, Ark. Moore is the mother of three children, as well a caregiver for her own mother.

Mary Lou Vergara

Caregiving Program Specialist, Atlanta Regional Commission

Mary Lou Vergara is the caregiver program specialist for the Atlanta Regional Commission, the Area Agency on Aging for the Atlanta region. Vergara works with caregivers and service providers across the 10-county Atlanta region to offer education, support and advocacy for family and professional caregivers.


David Paul Pollan

Attorney At Law, The Pollan Law Firm

David Paul Pollan is an attorney in private practice in Atlanta, serving the legal needs of both the elder and younger disabilities communities since 1990. Pollan concentrates his practice in elder and special needs law, including government benefits counseling, Medicaid planning for all classes of Medicaid including Nursing Home Medicaid, Medicaid waiver programs, SSI Medicaid, estate planning and special needs planning for the individual with disabilities, Medicaid litigation, special needs trusts, nursing home and assisted living issues, child and adult guardianship, and estate planning.


Monica W. Parker, MD

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Emory University

Dr. Monica W. Parker is a family physician and assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology at Emory University. Through the Emory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center registry, she has organized and developed community educational events on  healthful aging and brain health. She is a member of the primary care team in the Emory Clinic at Wesley Woods and the Education Core of the Emory ADRC, and also provides staff training on aging and dementia for the Arbor Corporation, assisted living facilities and Gentiva home health care.


Deborah Rucker-Turner

Co-founder, CareGivers’ HOPE, Inc.

Deborah Rucker-Turner is the co-founder, president and CEO of CareGivers’ Hope, Inc., a faith based non-profit organization founded in 2004 and based in Atlanta, Ga. She developed and implemented programming that provides caregivers with education and support aimed to reduce stress and burnout, and prolong care in the home. Previously Rucker-Turner worked with senior management as a corporate educational consultant and training facilitator, before leaving in 2002 to care for her mother who had Alzheimer’s.

Laura Bauer

Director of National Initiatives, Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving

Laura Bauer is a co-author of the RCI’s signature training program, Caring for You, Caring for Me — Education and Support for Family and Professional Caregivers, Second Edition. She is a certified trainer in five evidence-based caregiving interventions, teaches 3 courses in the RCI’s Certificate in Caregiving Program at Georgia Southwestern, and also holds a Certificate in Gerontology. Bauer previously worked as a counselor for at-risk youth at an outdoor therapeutic program and as a child abuse investigator.


Rev. Dennis Mitchell

Senior Pastor, Greenforest Community Baptist Church

Rev. Dennis W. Mitchell is senior pastor at the Greenforest Community Baptist Church in Decatur, Ga. He has served as a Christian education director at the “Exciting” Singing Hills Baptist Church in Dallas, Tex., a Sunday school growth consultant with the Baptist General Convention of Texas, and a Black Church Extension associate director with the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Cyndi Burke

Program Coordinator, Atlanta Community-based Care Transitions Program

Cyndi Burke is Atlanta Regional Commission’s Atlanta-based Community Care Transitions program coordinator. She is a member of the American, New Hampshire and Georgia Public Health Associations and recently completed a certificate in Care Management in Aging from Boston University. Previously, Cyndi was the lead community outreach educator at Exeter Hospital, a 100-bed Accountable Care Organization in Exeter, N.H. with an emphasis on disease prevention programs, early detection education and access to services for all ages.

Caregiving Atlanta Program Agenda

9:00 a.m. | Opening Remarks

  • Meg Brennan, General Manager, Washington Post Live
  • Kevin Donnellan, Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, AARP

9:05 a.m. | Doctor, Nurse, Lawyer: A Caregiver’s Many Roles

  • Dr. Monica Parker, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Emory University
  • David Paul Pollan, Elder Law Specialist, The Pollan Law Firm
  • Cyndi Burke, Program Coordinator, Atlanta Community-based Care Transitions Program

9:35 a.m. | Community Support for Caregivers

  • Mary Lou Vergara, Caregiving Program Specialist, Atlanta Regional Commission
  • Deborah Rucker-Turner, Co-founder, CareGivers’ HOPE, Inc.
  • Rev. Dennis W. Mitchell, Senior Pastor, Greenforest Community Baptist Church

10:00 a.m. | Break

10:15 a.m. | A Conversation with Jovita Moore

  • Jovita Moore, Anchor, WSB-TV

10:30 a.m. | Caregiving in America: A Conversation with Rosalynn Carter

  • Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter
  • Laura Bauer, Director of National Initiatives, Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving

11:00 a.m. | Forum Ends


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