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News Briefs

For immediate use

Oct. 16, 2006 -- No. 485


Duke-Carolina initiative aims to
improve care of elderly

A joint initiative between the schools of nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University aims to improve the quality of care for North Carolina's elderly population.

A highlight of the three-day initiative-the Duke-Carolina Visiting Professorship in Geriatric Nursing-is a free public lecture. This year, the universities will welcome Dr. Patricia G. Archbold, director of the John A. Hartford Foundation's Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity, today (October 16). Archbold will discuss ways that nurses can help families better care for their frail elderly loved ones. The lecture begins at 3 p.m. at the Carolina Club in the George Watts Hill Alumni Center on the UNC campus. Nurses who register for credit from the American Nurses Credential Center will be charged $10.

"Few nurses are formally trained in geriatric nursing," said Dr. Mary H. Palmer, UNC Upmhlet Distinguished Professor in Aging. Yet with the nation facing a national nursing shortage and a rapidly growing aging population, most nurses today are, by default, geriatric nurses, according to experts.

The Duke-Carolina Visiting Professorship in Geriatric Nursing is supported by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. The BCBSNC gift counts toward the Carolina First campaign goal of $2 billion. Carolina First is a comprehensive, multi-year private fund-raising campaign to support Carolina's vision of becoming the nation's leading public university.


Mental health reform in N.C.
topic of advocacy workshop

A workshop sponsored by the UNC School of Social Work will examine the state of mental health reform in North Carolina. The workshop will be held Nov. 3 from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Tate-Turner-Kuralt building's auditorium on the UNC campus. A panel of leaders from the N.C. General Assembly and from the fields of social work, psychology and psychiatry will discuss challenges with the state's mental health reform implementation and identify key areas for collaboration among community members to improve services to people with mental illness.

Panel members are Anna Scheyett, clinical associate professor in the School of Social Work and member of the N.C. Commission for Mental Health; John Tote, executive director of the Mental Health Association of North Carolina; Beth Melcher, clinical director of The Durham Center and director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness North Carolina; Jeffrey Chambers, a private practice psychiatrist and former president of the N.C. Mental Health Coalition; and Rep. Verla Insko of Chapel Hill, co-chair of the state's Legislative Oversight Committee on Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse.

The workshop is the first of a two-part series on mental health issues. Admission to the workshop is $30 and requires advanced registration. A reception will follow the workshop. For more information or to register, visit Direct inquiries can be made to Deborah Barrett (919) 843-5818 or


Simpson's cemetery walk Oct. 30
to bring university history to life

UNC associate professor Bland Simpson, who has written several books about North Carolina, will lead a walking tour of the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery Oct. 30 at 11 a.m. The cemetery is at the intersection of Country Club and South roads.

Simpson's free public tour will begin, rain or shine, at the gazebo on the cemetery's west side. It will last 35-45 minutes and include a variety of university history and lore. Participants are encouraged to wear good walking shoes.

Graves to be visited include those of university notables Wilson Caldwell, Cornelia Phillips Spencer, Edward Kidder Graham, Horace Williams, Charles Kuralt and Frank Porter Graham and Marian Drane Graham. The university, which had owned the tract on which the cemetery is located since the 1770s, gave it in 1989 to the Town of Chapel Hill, which already had been maintaining it.

Simpson, director of the creative writing program in the English department, has been leading the pre-Halloween tour for several years. He began the tradition for an American studies class on the history and role of the university in the state and the nation.

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School of Nursing contact: Amanda P. Meyers, 919-966-4619 or
School of Social Work contact: Krystie Grubb, (919) 962-6540 or
News Services contacts: Becky Oskin, (919) 962-8596 or; L.J. Toler, (919) 962-8589