Friday Faculty Focus: Julie Masters

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February 17th, 2017

Dr. Julie Masters (Photo by Brandon McDermott)

On this week’s episode of Friday Faculty Focus, KVNO’s Brandon McDermott talks to Department Chair of the Department of Gerontology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Dr. Julie Masters.


Brandon: Dr. Julie Masters, thanks for joining me.

Dr. Masters: Thank you.

Brandon: Talk about the upcoming conference – Aging with Passion and Purpose – which is happening next month here at UNO.

Dr. Masters:  We are absolutely delighted to be offering the community, once again, the Aging with Passion and Purpose conference here on the UNO campus. The focus of the conference is thinking about next generation services. Those services that have the potential and ability to give us a different perspective on what is effective and quality service and care for an aging population.

Brandon: Why is this conference important for say health care officials to attend?

Dr. Masters:  Anyone that’s working with an aging population finds that they have to be really smart. They have to be really smart because, we know that as people age, the challenges or the issues that they might face tend to be a little more complicated. This conference is going to give health care professionals and even people in the business community – I don’t think anyone’s exempt from attending – but that it will give them a little more insight into what’s available today and really what will be available in the future.

It’s been our history, Brandon that we’ve tended always to be somewhat one step ahead with these conferences. We had a conference on gerontechnology, as an example. We had another conference on caregiving. But this conference is relevant to people today. While it’s cutting edge in terms of its orientation – it is relevant today – anyone who has an interest in what aging services will look like for older adults and health care services in particular would benefit.

Brandon: You alluded to this already, but talk about the growth this conference has had over the years.

Dr. Masters: This is the sixth biennial, the conference first started in 2007. Every other year we have offered the community and the professional community – the aging community – programming that will help them do their job smarter and better. So, topics such as we’ve already alluded to, such as gerontechnology, caregiving but also other things like creativity, thinking about workforce issues and that was our last conference on generations working together – the idea of giving people the information that they can use and take back into their workplace.

Brandon: This year’s theme is Next Generation Services – what will the focus or the emphasis be this year?

Dr. Masters: Next Generation Services is going to include a myriad of topics ranging from Glenn van Ekeren is going to kick off the conference and he is president of Vetter Health Services serving five states. He has a different appreciation of what long term care support services are like. He’s going to kick it off with – how can we imagine long term care for the future, with an emphasis on dignity in life, an emphasis on providing people a supportive environment that allows them to thrive, despite maybe some physical limitations because of aging issues. The idea is what we can do to help them really enjoy a quality of life?

Brandon: Is there something else you’d like to add or something and talk about or a topic that you’d like to cover before we go?

Dr. Masters: The conference will be offering, again, continuing education credit. We are partners with Nebraska Methodist College. They’re the ones who make the continuing education credit happen. Credit will be available to nurses, social workers and physicians. The other thing I just want to mention is our appreciation to our planning partners. We’ve had truly the luxury and privilege to have this conference on the UNO campus – but it would not be possible without our partners for the Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska, Care Consultants for the Aging, Immanuel, Nebraska Methodist College Professional Development, The UNO Center for Public Affairs Research, the UNO Department of Gerontology and the UNO Grace Abbott School of Social Work.

Brandon: Dr. Julie Masters thanks again for coming on the show.

Dr. Masters: Brandon, thank you very much.

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