MDT Project: Expert Panel

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Risa Breckman, LCSW


Risa Breckman, is the Director, New York City Elder Abuse Center (NYCEAC), housed within Weill Cornell Medicine’s Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine. Since 1982, she has been at the forefront of developing innovative responses to elder mistreatment, including developing MDTs in NYC and providing technical assistance to nascent and established MDTs around the country. She also writes articles, educational materials and thought pieces for the elder justice field, including co-authoring the Elder Justice Roadmap Report and Elder Abuse Multidisciplinary Teams: Planning for the Future, which provides recommendations from a 2014 symposium NYCEAC co-sponsored on MDT replication, sustainability and research.

Shelly Carlson, MPA


Shelly Carlson is the Criminal Justice Systems Manager for the Minnesota Elder Justice Center. During her 22-year career, Ms. Carlson has worked in the non-profit and government sectors as well as in a university setting as: Victim/Witness Director, Crisis Intake Coordinator, Campus Violence Prevention Program Coordinator, Criminal Justice Systems Advocate and Training & Development Specialist. In her position at the ND Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault coalition she developed model policies for ND Law Enforcement on Domestic Violence Response and Officer Involved Domestic Violence. She also helped establish four Safety and Accountability Audit Sites in ND. Most recently, Ms. Carlson coordinated two separate federal elder abuse grants which created systemic and sustainable change in the Fargo, ND / Moorhead, MN communities. Ms. Carlson has trained nationally for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the National Sheriff’s Association and the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life as well as internationally (Serbia, Latvia and Lithuania) for the Advocates for Human Rights and Global Rights for Women. Ms. Carlson earned both her Master’s Degree in Public Administration and her Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Assistance from Minnesota State University – Moorhead, where she has been adjunct faculty. Ms. Carlson is also a 2001 graduate from the National Victim Assistance Academy.

MT Connolly, JD


Marie-Therese Connolly received a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University where, while taking an undergraduate course in mental health law, MT shifted from a medical focus to a focus on elder justice issues of abuse, neglect and exploitation. Since receiving a J.D. from Northeastern University Law School, she has devoted her career to the largely hidden but immense problem of elder abuse and mistreatment. Connolly was instrumental in the drafting and passage of the Elder Justice Act, the first piece of federal legislation to address the issue specifically.
As director of the Department of Justice’s Elder Justice and Nursing Home Initiative, MT developed new legal theories of liability, investigation and litigation strategies that overcame loopholes in federal statutes. She has brought together various stakeholders in the fragmented elder justice field — including researchers, law enforcement officials, social workers, advocates, legislators, and clinicians to advocate for, detect, and intervene in the mistreatment of older adults.
Although Congress has passed major comprehensive laws relating to child abuse, no similar elder abuse law exists. However, MT was fortunate to work with the Senate Special Committee on Aging, to draft the Elder Justice Act, the first comprehensive bill to address elder abuse. The Elder Justice Act was first introduced in 2002 and eventually rolled into the Affordable Care Act. MT is currently working to finish a book that elder abuse that aims to propel change by raising public awareness and serve as a resource and catalyst for policy-makers, researchers, practitioners and the public.

Detective Adam Gibson


Detective Gibson is a 19-year veteran of the Quincy, Illinois Police Department. Detective Gibson received his training from the University of Illinois Police Training Institute. He has served the department as a motorcycle officer, narcotics officer, canine handler, and since 2013 have been assigned to the detective division. While assigned to detectives his primary area of responsibility are crimes against the elderly, however he has extensive experience handling homicides, sexual cases and all other areas of general criminal investigations.
Currently detective Gibson’s primary focus is the area of suspected elder abuse cases such as financial exploitation and fraud. Detective Gibson also conducts training to the community on prevention of financial elder abuse.

Sheri Gibson, PhD


Dr. Gibson received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2013 with a curricular emphasis in Geropsychology from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS). She completed her internship at the V.A. Palo Alto Healthcare System and her post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and at Rocky Mountain PACE. Dr. Gibson is currently employed as Director of Behavioral Health Services for Rocky Mountain PACE and BrainCare programs. She is faculty affiliate with the UCCS Gerontology Center as an instructor for integrated care in geriatric clinical settings. Dr. Gibson has published works in the area of elder financial abuse for which she has received national recognition for her research and has presented lectures at national, local, and regional conferences. She serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, is Chairperson for the Colorado Coalition for Elder Rights and Abuse Prevention (CCERAP), and has volunteered for the Pikes Peak Elder Abuse Coalition (PPEAC) since 2007. She is the 2015 Business Professional recipient of the Senior Resource Counsel’s Joe Henjum Award for her commitment to improving the lives of older adults in the Pikes Peak Region.

Aleen Langton, JD

Principal Deputy County Counsel, Los Angeles County
Aleen Langton was admitted to the California State Bar in 1994. She earned her J.D. at Glendale University, College of Law, where she was the Student Body President. She started her government career as an intern in the District Attorney’s Office. In 1996, she began earning her keep as a trial attorney in the Dependency Division of the Office of the County Counsel (the single greatest day of her father’s life). She remained in the Dependency Division for 12 years, working as a trial attorney, a lead attorney, and in the Appellate Section. In 2008, Aleen transferred to the Social Services Division and has remained there, since. She currently advises numerous County departments including, but not limited to, the Workforce Development, Aging, and Senior Services, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, and the Department of Children and Family Services. Aleen is also a full-time mother. She has three boys: 17-year-old identical twins, and a 12-year-old that runs circles around his big brothers. Aleen is happily married to Joseph Langton, also a Principal Deputy County Counsel, who advises the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Stacey Lindberg, MSW

Stacey Lindberg received her Masters in Social Work from California State University at Long Beach and her undergraduate degree from University of California – Los Angeles. She has worked for the County of Orange Social Services Agency since 1997 and since 2010; she has been the Program Manager for Adult Protective Services. Stacey co-chairs the County of Orange Financial Abuse Specialist Team (FAST) as well as co-chairs the California Welfare Director Association (CWDA) sub-committee Protective Services Operations Committee. Stacey has presented recently at the following conferences: 2016 CWDA annual conference, 2016 CDSS Elder Abuse Awareness Event, 2016 4th District World Elder Abuse Awareness conference and the California Narcotic Officers Association conference.

Veronica LoFaso, MD


Dr. LoFaso is the Director of Medical Education for the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. In this role, she is involved in the development and implementation of core didactic topics to medical students throughout the 4 years of training. She is an Associate Course Director for new the LEAP course, which pairs medical students with patients throughout their four years of medical school. She is also the director of the Geriatrics Area of Concentration, the Geriatrics Elective and the co-director of the Medical Student Summer Scholars Research program in Geriatrics. She has received several awards for excellence in teaching form the medical college.
Dr. LoFaso’s experience as a nurse practitioner before attending medical school gives her a broad and valuable range of experience in patient care. She founded the Division of Geriatrics House Call Program and served as it’s medical director for over a decade. In this role Dr. LoFaso mentored hundreds, residents and fellows in the art of the home visit, emphasizing humanistic and patient centered care. She is a two- time recipient of the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award.
Dr. LoFaso is also active in advancing research to protect older adults from abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. She is on the board of the New York City Elder Abuse Center and serves as the physician representative on two multidisciplinary teams meeting weekly to improve the delivery of services to vulnerable older adults. She is currently involved in research in the forensics of elder abuse with the hope of establishing a clinical decision tool that will help physicians and other health providers recognize elder abuse and neglect more easily. This work has led to lecturing across the country to train health care workers, law enforcement and prosecutors about this important topic.

Page Ulrey, JD


Page Ulrey is a Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney at the King County Prosecutor’s Office. She graduated from Amherst College and Northeastern University School of Law. Page was appointed to the newly-created position of elder abuse prosecutor in the Criminal Division of her office in 2001. In that position, she prosecuted cases of elder and vulnerable adult neglect, financial exploitation, sexual assault, physical assault, and homicide. She also founded and chaired the King County Elder Abuse Council and Criminal Mistreatment Review Panel. Since September, 2007, Page has been working as an elder abuse prosecutor in her office’s Economic Crimes Unit, where she specializes in the prosecution of cases of elder financial abuse and neglect. For the past seven years, she has worked on protocol development and been a member of the national training team on elder abuse investigation and prosecution for the Office on Violence Against Women. She has conducted trainings for the National District Attorneys Association, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the National Institute of Justice. She has testified before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, has spoken twice at White House conferences on Elder Justice, and is currently involved in the production of videos on elder abuse prosecution for the Department of Justice.

Special Thanks to Judith D. Tamkin

We are sincerely appreciative to Judith D. Tamkin for her gift to help establish the USC Center on Elder Mistreatment’s website. Her deep and personal commitment to eradicating elder abuse is helping to reshape our understanding of elder abuse and ultimately save innumerable older adults from abuse and neglect.