UNR Med expert on aging will testify to U.S. Senate group

Peter Reed will talk to senators about Nevada efforts to curb social isolation and loneliness during the pandemic

Peter Reed Ph.D., MPH. Director, Sanford Center for Aging.

Peter Reed Ph.D., MPH, Director, Sanford Center for Aging. Photo by Brin Reynolds/UNR Med.

Peter Reed, Ph.D., director of the Sanford Center for Aging at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, will testify Thursday before a U.S. Senate group on older adults and COVID-19.

Reed will discuss social isolation and loneliness of elders during the pandemic before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging.

"As a public health gerontologist, I find the COVID-19 disaster absolutely stunning," Reed says. "Among the many potential challenges during this time for elders, the risk of social isolation and a variety of mental health concerns are very prominent."

Reed will talk to senators about the Nevada COVID-19 Aging Network (Nevada CAN), with a special emphasis on the NEST Collaborative. Nevada CAN began mobilizing in March to ensure that every elder Nevadan has access to medical, social and daily essentials in their home, thus reducing COVID-19 exposure and impact.

The NEST (Nevada Ensures Support Together) Collaborative works to relieve social isolation during this time of physical separation. NEST provides virtual social visits to older adults who are practicing social distancing during the pandemic. The program is led by Dr. Jennifer Carson, Director of the Dementia Engagement, Education and Research Program in the UNR School of Community Health Sciences.

The "Combating Social Isolation and Loneliness" hearing begins at 6:30 a.m. Pacific time on Thursday, June 11. It will be streamed online from a link at https://www.aging.senate.gov. Other panelists include Carla Perissinotto, MD, from the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine; Betsy Sawyer-Manter, CEO of SeniorsPlus in Maine; and Najja Orr, CEO of the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging.

Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., is one of the 15 members of the Senate Committee on Aging.
Read more about the Thursday hearing: https://www.aging.senate.gov/hearings/combating-social-isolation-and-loneliness-during-the-covid-19-pandemic

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The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, Nevada's first public medical school, is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision for a healthy Nevada. Established in 1969, UNR Med is improving the health and well-being of all Nevadans and their communities through excellence in student education, postgraduate training and clinical care, research with local, national and global impact and a culture of diversity and inclusion.