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TechVibe Radio

Aug 2, 2021

This episode's host Mildred Morrison is a member of the Board of Health Careers Futures, an operating arm of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. She is the past administrator of the Allegheny County Area Agency on Aging and the YWCA Retirement Fund in New York City.

She is joined by an esteemed panel of three Pittsburgh-based geriatricians, Dr. Emily Jaffe,  Dr.  Eric Rodriguez and Dr. Judy Black. All three are actively involved with Jewish Healthcare Foundation on Boards, committees and as advisors.

Emily Jaffe is the Vice President and Executive Medical Director for Highmark Home and Community Services with clinical expertise in nursing facilities, palliative and hospice care as well as in the home. She is a fellowship trained Geriatrician with board certification in Internal Medicine, Geriatrics and Hospice and Palliative Care. Dr. Jaffe received her medical degree at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons and attended the University of Chicago for a Geriatrics Fellowship.

Eric Rodriguez is an Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Medicine’s Division of Geriatric Medicine, where his research focuses on Alzheimer’s Disease in older adults. He serves as a geriatrics medical consultant at the UPMC Senior Care-Benedum Center at UPMC Montefiore Hospital and his primary expertise is in the care of patients with multiple diseases needing multiple medications, especially those suffering from dementia.

Judy Black is a geriatrician who served for 17 years as the Medical Director for Senior Markets at Highmark, Inc., where she helped enhance and coordinate the care of older adults. She presently serves as a Medical Advisor for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. She also serves as a leader for National POLST, a nonprofit that organizes the use of a standard end-of-life medical tool. Dr. Black is recognized locally and nationally for her advocacy on behalf on the senior population and for improving end of life care.

This past year we all experienced a horrific pandemic that took the lives of over 600,000 individuals in our country. And while the daily numbers are declining the cumulative total is beyond any of our imaginations. The pandemic disproportionately affected seniors and those in long-term care facilities. 

While only half of 1% of people in this country live in skilled nursing facilities, long-term care accounted for more than 60% of all the deaths. Many families did not see their loved ones in person for over a year. In some families, mom or dad came home to live with them to stay safe.

This has been a year when we all questioned what our care models could be doing to assure the safety and wellbeing of the eldest and frailest among us. Telehealth, remote family visits, and remote monitoring became commonplace out of necessity.

This episode will explore how high tech can enhance high touch when it comes to caring for our frail seniors, and what we would like to see going forward.