Conference draws engaged discussions, provocative posters

More than 220 people probed the challenges of global aging at the Heartland Global Health Consortium’s third annual conference at Des Moines University on Oct. 12.

Speakers included Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, former president of Des Moines University; Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie; Donna Harvey, director of the Iowa Department on Aging; and Robert Wallace, director of the Center on Aging at the University of Iowa. Numerous other presenters discussed topics such as brain wellness, longevity and global aging, and the World Health Organization’s global network of age-friendly cities.

The conference also featured a poster competition for students of the consortium’s member institutions, with cash prizes provided by a $10,000 grant from Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business. The grant also funded student travel to and participation in the conference. Thirty-two students from five HGHC institutions presented 20 posters; winners were selected in three categories, noted below.

Best focus on conference theme:

  • Undergraduate: Anna Colgan and Amanda Tower, Central College, “Factors Affecting Levels of Hospice and Palliative Care for the Elderly in the United States, United Kingdom, Asia, and Africa”
  • Graduate: Caitlin Molsberry, Des Moines University, “Hypertension, Salt Consumption and Aging: Major Concerns throughout the Americas”

Best focus on benefits at the community level:

  • Undergraduate: Deanna Chapline and Megan Kittleson, Central College, “The Global Necessity for Improved Elderly Healthcare in Rural Communities: A Comparative Look at the United States and Select Latin American, Asian, and African Countries”
  • Graduate: Hiral Patel, Abigail Koker and Alexis Beinlich, DMU, “The Global Health Learning Collaboration: “A Bilateral Exchange” 

Open category:

  • Undergraduate: Jean Bikomeye, Emmanuel Hakizimana and Janet Ewart, William Penn University, “Comparison of Effectiveness of Different Insecticides on Anopheles Mosquitos in Rwanda”
  • Graduate: Matthew Abendroth, DMU, “Entomophagy for Dietary Iron in Developing Countries”
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