The Columbia School of Social Work has announced that Dr. Martha B. Peláez, who for nine years served as the regional advisor on aging to the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization, will serve as speaker for this year’s graduation ceremony, to be held on Wednesday May 20 at 2:00 p.m. at Beacon Theatre, on Broadway and 72nd Street.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), founded in 1902, is the world’s oldest international public health agency. It provides technical cooperation and mobilizes partnerships to improve health and quality of life in the countries of the Americas.

PAHO currently serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO) and is a member of the United Nations system.

In her work for the PAHO/WHO, Dr. Peláez focused on building the knowledge base for health and aging in seven major areas of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and on creating policies and tools for developing primary health care services in 28 LAC countries catering to the needs of older adults, including preventive medicine and community-based rehabilitation programs. She coordinated with the WHO Global Program on Aging and Health in Geneva and with the United Nations Program on Aging on several international projects and in resource mobilization to implement the International Plan on Aging.

Dr. Peláez currently runs her own consultancy for network development and operations at Florida Health Networks, LLC, and for the past five years she has led the Healthy Aging Regional Collaborative (HARC) of the Health Foundation of South Florida, which serves as the backbone organization supporting aging service providers to deliver evidence-based health and wellness programs to over 38,000 individuals in that part of the state.

Her previous jobs include directing education and training at the Center on Aging at Florida International University, where she developed education and training programs as well as providing technical assistance for aging services providers in South Florida.

Dr. Peláez has written numerous publications on health and aging and has served on the boards of various organizations focused on heath and aging, such as the American Society on Aging, the National Hispanic Council on Aging, and the National Council on Aging.

She received a B.A from Manhattanville College, an M.A. in Theological Studies from Boston University, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Tulane University.

– See more at: http://socialwork.columbia.edu/news-events/dr-martha-pel-ez-serve-2015-graduation-speaker#sthash.d1Uzpd5G.dpuf

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