Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving hosting 30th annual summit in Americus

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter greets guests from the Chatham County Health Department at a networking reception in Americus proceeding the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving’s 29th annual summit. The 30th annual event is scheduled for later this month. (Special Photo)

AMERICUS — The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI) will host a 30th anniversary summit that, while still more than two weeks out, already has attracted more enthusiasm than ever before.

The summit, scheduled for later this month at the Rosalynn Carter Health and Human Sciences Complex at Georgia Southwestern State University, has sold out after experiencing record registrations numbers, but there is still a chance to get into the gala that will conclude the weekend on Oct. 27.

This event is meant to provide an opportunity for caregivers of individuals with chronic illnesses and/or disabilities to connect with leaders who facilitate caregiver support. A broad range of panel discussions is expected to raise the visibility of caregiver needs, stimulate connections among key individuals and drive conversations to address caregiver solutions.

“For 30 years, the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving has been dedicated to supporting the caregiver,” Leisa Easom, executive director for the institute, said. “It has done something others have not done.”

Officials said the overall goal is to lead to discovery of the realities facing caregivers, learn about the ongoing national advocacy efforts in support of caregivers, hear from the original research teams that led to RCI’s evidence-based programs and learn about RCI’s caregiver programs including Operation Family Caregiver, RCI REACH, BRI Care Consultation and Dealing with Dementia.

The dementia program is one Easom said is about to be going national. The overall summit, she said, is expected to be filled with many having an interest in caregiver support who are looking to get similar efforts started in their respective areas.

Easom said this can make a difference in that it engages people in offering a network and seamless referral system to caregivers who believe they are in it alone and have little hope for relief.

“Everything is on a much larger scale this year (for the summit),” the executive director said. “It is amazing we can have such a large convening. I think it will be an open environment for the exchange of ideas.

“(Former First Lady Rosalynn) Carter brought together the caregivers who thought they were doing that alone.”

Carter and GSW President Neal Weaver will give remarks, and CBS This Morning reporter and Bob Woodruff Foundation Co-Founder Lee Woodruff will be speaking. The panel of speakers will include representatives from RCI, Georgia Division of Aging Services, AARP, Department of Veterans Affairs, ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center, NYU School of Medicine and Riverside Center for Excellence in Aging and Lifelong Health, among others.

Workshops will be conducted with representatives from entities including RCI, Florida State University College of Social Work, Georgia Office of the Child Advocate, Mercer University School of Medicine, Georgia Tech Scheller School of Business, St. Joseph’s Candler Hospital, Phoebe Rural Health Clinic and Maven Messaging and Communications.

Theevents will start with “A Journey with Rosalynn Carter” starring Cathy Kaemmerlen at the Rylander Theatre at 8 p.m. on Oct. 25. An evening networking reception will be at the Lee Council House on Oct. 26, and a shuttle bus tour the next day will take attendees into historic Plains, Andersonville National Historic Site and downtown Americus.

Later on Oct. 27 will be the gala awards banquet at the GSW Storm Dome. This portion will kick off with a 6:30 p.m. cocktail hour followed by a program including tribute speakers, live entertainment and caregiver awards before the evening wraps up at 9 p.m.

For more information, visit or call (229) 928-1234.

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Staff Writer

I'm a 2007 graduate of Georgia Southern University, and I've been a reporter for The Albany Herald since 2008. I cover news related to health care, Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany, SOWEGA Council on Aging and other areas as assigned.

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