November 5, 2014

Inaugural, UAMS-Sponsored Senior Expo Draws More Than 1,000


Jeanne Wei, M.D., Ph.D., and Don Bodenner, M.D., Ph.D., address the topic of healthy hearts in a panel discussion.

Panel moderator Craig O’Neill (left) conducts a discussion on brain health with Mark Pippengar, M.D., Shelia Cassidy, Ph.D., and Beth Allen.

Medical student Cody Rogers answers attendees’ questions on memory.

Melanie Pilcher, Pharm.D. and Wei pause a moment to pose during the Senior Expo.

Nov. 5, 2014 | More than 1,000 seniors from throughout Arkansas attended the inaugural Senior Expo, sponsored by UAMS and presented by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

The expo was held Sept. 27 at the Statehouse Convention Center in downtown Little Rock and included health screenings, demonstrations, seminars and panel discussions with medical professionals.

“As a leader in clinical geriatric care and research, UAMS was determined to participate in this inaugural Senior Expo not simply on the sidelines as a named sponsor but actively engaged in every aspect of the event,” said Jeanne Wei, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the UAMS College of Medicine’s Reynolds Department of Geriatrics and director of the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging.

Participation was a team effort, noted Gohar Azhar, M.D., UAMS associate professor of geriatrics.

“Both faculty and staff were involved in presentations and panel discussions, and many medical, pharmacy, graduate students and research assistants worked really hard preparing for this health fair. The different screening measures conducted by the students included blood pressure, glucose, medication review, body composition, functional and nutritional evaluation, and memory, gait and balance tests,” she said. There were also short, private consultations by geriatricians to answer specific age-related questions. Volunteers also worked with seniors to provide individually tailored nutritional counseling. Doctors from UAMS gave presentations on maintaining a healthy heart and brain. SeniorNet, a nonprofit promoting computer literacy for seniors at the UAMS Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, offered a technology primer, and Betsy Day with UAMS Weight Loss and Metabolic Control taught healthy cooking.

Other volunteers included:

  • Faculty and staff: Jeanne Wei, M.D., Ph.D.; Don Bodenner, M.D., Ph.D.; Mark Pippenger, M.D.; Shelia Cassidy, Ph.D.; Beth Allen; Xiaomin Zhang, M.D., Ph.D.; Gohar Azhar, M.D.; Emilie York; Kellie Coleman; Leslie Warford, Pharm.D.; Melanie Pilcher, Pharm.D.; Ann Riggs, M.D.; Farnia Amirnia, M.D.; Pryia Mendiratta, M.D.; Burcu Ozdemir, M.D.; Sakeena Raza, M.D., Mohammad Khan, M.D.; Jasmine Brathwaite, M.D.; Manuel Heredia, A.P.N.; and Gail Edelmann.
  • Medical, pharmacy, graduate, post-graduate and other students: Stephen Foster, Dominic Picetti, Steven Rogers, Wei Gong, Cody Rogers, Emmanuel Williams, Ashad Abid, Christine Hoang, Amanda Pangle, Misty Blanchard, Holly Rowton, Eric Escue, Chintan Patel, Whitney Collins, Zhou Ni, Amanda Kurck, Megan Chapman, Haleigh Winnon and Ben Jarvis.

Expo attendees also were treated to presentations on topics from gardening to weather to navigating Medicaid and Medicare. An Elvis impersonator offered live entertainment and dozens of vendors set up booths demonstrating their products and services.

“We were very pleased with the success of the event and are already looking forward to participating again next year,” said Wei.