Dean Goldschmidt Honored at United HomeCare Annual Dinner

Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., was honored with the Education/Advocacy Award at the 2015 United HomeCare Annual Dinner on May 14. The award is one of the Claude Pepper Awards — named for the late U.S. Senator from Florida who fought for the rights and the welfare of the elderly and the poor — given out each year to celebrate the achievements of exceptional individuals who exemplify Pepper’s spirit and ideals.

“As you know, Senator Claude Pepper was a tireless advocate for the elderly throughout his public service career,” Goldschmidt said. “He understood that health care in the home and community is indispensable to the well-being of older Americans. The ideals he stood for mirror our common purpose at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

“We strive to provide our students with the most advanced information on evidence-based medicine and technologies. But we also teach them that there is much more to the art of medicine than technology. Above all, we urge our students to be guided by humanistic qualities that come from the heart — compassion, kindness, sensitivity and always advocating for what is best for the patient.

“As Dean of the Miller School of Medicine, these are ideals that I am proud to support, and that I know have been a driving force at United HomeCare for more than 40 years, in the spirit of Senator Pepper’s lifelong dedication to protecting our senior citizens.”

Goldschmidt, who is also Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and CEO of UHealth, recognized Thelma Gibson, a UM trustee who is also a United HomeCare board member. He was given the award in recognition of the Miller School of Medicine Center on Aging’s participation in Community REACH (Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregivers Health) II, a Miami demonstration site project under the leadership of Sara J. Czaja, Ph.D., Leonard M. Miller Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and the Center’s Scientific Director.

“Dean Goldschmidt has overseen tremendous growth at the medical campus and spearheaded new global health clinical and research initiatives, including a first-of-its-kind partnership with United HomeCare to implement a community model for assisting caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s,” said Carlos L. Martinez, interim President and CEO of United HomeCare. “We are proud to partner with and honor Dean Goldschmidt for his pioneering work to support our community’s most vulnerable and develop future health professionals through the Miller School of Medicine.”

Funded by a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Administration on Aging to the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, the project’s first objective was to utilize evidence-based intervention components to create a community-based program in Miami-Dade County. Other objectives included:

• Demonstrate significant differences in modifiable risk factors in five caregiver measures

• Partner with original researchers in translating REACH II into widespread community adoption, implementation and maintenance

• Create a final report describing key findings and “lessons learned,” a replication manual and cost-benefit analysis.

The expected outcomes of the program were:

• Reduced caregiver distress and depression

• Improved caregiver self-care and healthy behaviors

• Enhanced caregiver social support

• Reduced problem behaviors exhibited by persons with Alzheimer’s disease

• Delayed nursing home placement of minority and low-income persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.

United HomeCare, which partnered with the Miller School and other organizations, was the first home health agency in the U.S. to collaborate with national researchers in this project. The nonprofit organization, which has served South Florida since 1974, assists elderly and disabled people who wish to live at home by providing them with services that enable them to continue doing so.

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