2020 Forum on Aging 

Event Details

Forum on Aging is attended by hundreds of professionals from southwest Ohio and northern Kentucky. The two-day event provides up to 12 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for professionals in the fields of aging and disability services, making it one of the most popular conferences for social workers, nurses, nursing home administrators and activity professionals in our region.

Save the Date
March 10 - 11, 2020

Sharonville Convention Center
11355 Chester Road
Cincinnati, OH 45246-4002
(513) 771-7744

Conference Fees
One Day - $95 (Tuesday or Wednesday)
Two Days - $160
Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon - $25 (Wednesday)

Conference Contact
Amy Leonhardt 

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Conference Schedule

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

7:30 -- 8:30 a.m.           Registration, Breakfast, Networking and Exhibit Hall
8:30 -- 11:30 a.m. 3-hour Intensive Workshops
11:30 -- 12:30 p.m.          Buffet Lunch, Networking and Exhibit Hall
12:30 -- 1:45 p.m.

Welcome & Opening Keynote
Impact of Physical, Mental, and Social Activity on Cognitive Aging

1:45 -- 2:00 p.m. Break 
2:00 -- 4:00 p.m. Concurrent Breakout Workshops

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

7:30 -- 8:30 a.m.          Registration, Breakfast, Networking and Exhibit Hall
8:30 -- 9:30 a.m.

Welcome & Keynote 
Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s

9:30 -- 9:45 a.m. Break
9:45 -- 11:45 a.m. Concurrent Breakout Workshops
11:45 -- 12:45 p.m.          Buffet Lunch, Networking and Exhibit Hall 
COA Annual Meeting and Awards
1:00 -- 2:00 p.m.

Closing Keynote 
If I had a Magic Wand…

2:00 -- 2:15 p.m Break
2:15 -- 4:15 p.m. Concurrent Breakout Workshops 

Forum on Aging Keynotes

Tuesday Opening Keynote - Impact of Physical, Mental, and Social Activity on Cognitive Aging

Amy Jak, Ph.D. Amy Jak

Join Dr. Jak for this keynote where she will explore the relationship between lifestyle factors: such as exercise, cognitively stimulating activities and social connection on cognitive functioning and brain changes over time.  She will provide detail scientific support for the best ways to improve neurocognitive disorders and reduce risk for cognitive decline over time. This session will deliver an understanding of practical recommendations regarding use of physical activity, cognitively stimulating activities, and other lifestyle factors to maintain or improve cognitive functioning.

Amy Jak, PhD is a clinical neuropsychologist specializing in disorders of aging as well as traumatic brain injury.  She earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from Miami University and her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Cincinnati.  She is currently a staff neuropsychologist and and Director of the Cognitive Rehabilitation Clinic at the VA San Diego Healthcare system where she provides neuropsychological assessment as well as psychoeducation and training in compensatory strategies to Veterans with mild cognitive disorders  She is also an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).  Dr. Jak’s research interests are in cognitive aging and mild cognitive impairment and her work has been funded by VA, DoD, NIA, and/or the Alzheimer’s Association since 2007. 


Wednesday AM Keynote - Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s

Greg O’BrienGreg Obrien

Join veteran journalist Greg O’Brien for his talk about his internationally award-winning book, On Pluto: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s. Mr. O’Brien lost his maternal grandfather, mother and paternal uncles to Alzheimer’s, and before his father’s death, his dad, too, was diagnosed with dementia. Now Alzheimer’s has come for O’Brien, diagnosed several years ago with Early Onset Alzheimer’s; he also carried the Alzheimer’s marker gene, APOE-4. On Pluto is the first book written by an investigative reporter embedded inside the mind of Alzheimer’s, chronicling the progression of his own disease.

Greg O’Brien is award-winning career journalist. He has more than 40 years of newspaper and magazine experience, regionally and nationally, as a writer, editor, investigative reporter, and publisher. 

Over the years, O’Brien has contributed, among other publications to: Huffington Post, Psychology Today, Associated Press, UPI, USA Today, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Denver Post, The Arizona Republic, Runner’s World, Reader’s Digest, Boston Herald American, Boston Herald, Boston Metro, New York Metro, Philadelphia Metro, The Providence Journal, Cape Cod Times, Boston Irish Reporter, and Boston Magazine, in addition to contributions to National Public Radio (NPR), PBS/NOVA, and other national media, including CBS News, NBC news, and Fox News. O’Brien is the author/editor of several books, and over the years has published more than a dozen books by other authors.

O’Brien also is a board member of the distinguished UsAgainstAlzheimer’s in Washington, DC, is an advocate for the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund of Boston, and has served on the national Alzheimer’s Association Early Onset Advisory Board, headquartered in Chicago.


Wednesday Closing Keynote - If I had a Magic Wand…

Dr. Dawn Gross, MD, PhDDawn Gross

Join Dr Gross for this keynote where she will teach us how to initiate and facilitate un-intimidating and highly productive advance care planning conversations.

What do a stethoscope and magic wand have in common? Both listen carefully to the heart. The first time Dr. Gross offered a magic wand, asking her terminally ill patient what they wished for, she was stunned to discover it was not to be cured. When caring for critically ill patients, fear can stop us from asking the questions that really matter. However, by breaking from the usual medical dialogue and simply asking what people wish, we may discover we have gifts to offer more powerful than any medicine or surgical procedure. Perhaps then, the stethoscope can become a wand. When auscultation reveals sacred stories as well as second heart sounds, providing healthcare centered on making wishes come true is nothing short of…magic.

Dawn Gross, MD. PhD. is a palliative medicine physician dedicated to transforming end of life conversations. Earning her BA from USC and a combined MD and PhD from Tufts University School of Medicine, Dawn completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Tufts, followed by fellowship training in Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplant at Stanford and post-doctoral research at UCSF.  

Considered a national thought leader on end of life care, her work has been featured in Science, JAMA and the New York Times. An invited speaker nationally and internationally, Dawn founded a first-of-its-kind live, call-in radio program, Dying To Talk, produced at San Francisco’s National Public Radio station.



Registration will open in Mid-January

Registration Fees
One Day - $95 (Tuesday or Wednesday)
Two Days - $160
Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon - $25 (Wednesday)

Continuing Education Credits

Twelve clock hours will be available to the following professions:

  • Social Workers 
  • Nursing Home Administrators 
  • Nurses*
  • Activity Professionals

Please include your license number in the space(s) provided on the online registration form. Continuing Education Credit Certificates will be mailed to attendees of the Forum on Aging. Please allow for four weeks to process.

*Any continuing education activity that has been approved by Ohio Board of Social Workers is accepted by the Ohio Board of Nursing for all nurses in the State of Ohio.




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