July 26, 2017
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -
Mount Saint Mary College’s Center on Aging and Policy (CAP) was
recently awarded a $600,000 grant to launch the ProActive Caring
initiative for families of individuals with disabilities.
The grant was secured by Lawrence T. Force and Jeffery S.
Kahana, CAP co-directors and longtime professors of the social
sciences at the Mount.
Awarded by the New York State Developmental Disabilities
Planning Council over the course of three years, the grant will be
used to provide 1,000 family caregivers of individuals with
intellectual, developmental, and other disabilities with continued
support and training. Participants will include those aiding
individuals across the lifespan, from birth to end-of-life.
CAP will collaborate with Access: Supports for Living in
Middletown, N.Y. and Independent Living, Inc. in Newburgh, N.Y. to
build the infrastructure to educate caregivers, who will be
immersed in two evidence-based training models – Mindfulness Based
Stress Reduction and Positive Adult Development.
“There is a growing need nationwide to address the stress that
caregivers face day-in and day-out when helping with loved family
members who experience disability,” said Kahana. “We hope the
training will assist family caregivers, and position the college as
a valuable community resource.”
Force and Kahana have already begun the planning and
implementation of the project, with a full launch planned for early
fall 2017. They intend to create a program model that could be
“We are so pleased and honored,” said Force. “Not only is this a
tremendous opportunity for the community, but also for our
students, the Center on Aging and Policy, and the Mount.”
Force and Kahana look forward to utilizing the skills of Mount
Saint Mary College students in the ProActive Caring intuitive,
creating experiential learning opportunities in both research and
hands-on care. The scholars will be culled from the college’s
Division of Social Sciences, the student-run civic engagement
organization Aging United, and those who wish to serve the
“That’s the nature of our students – they’re driven by
compassion, heart, and knowledge,” Force explained.
Force and Kahana thanked their Mount colleagues for their
support with the ProActive Caring project: David Kennett, Mount
president; Michael Olivette, vice president for Academic Affairs;
Arthur Glass, vice president for Finance and administration; Joseph
Valenti, vice president of Advancement; Carolyn Quoma, director of
research and grants; Elaine Sproat, CAP grant writer; Yasmine
Kalkstein, assistant professor of psychology; Nancy Mazza,
controller; Debbie Meissner, Division of Social Sciences
administrative assistant; and more.
In addition to their work with CAP and ProActive Caring, both
Force and Kahana have published books related to caregiving in the
last year: The Detoxing of Caregivers: Key Tips for Survival,
Strength, and Patience by Force and Disability and Aging: Learning
from Both to Empower the Lives of Older Adults by Kahana.
Force, a gerontologist, has worked in the field of aging and
disabilities for more than three decades as an administrator,
clinician, and educator.
Kahana, in addition to teaching at the Mount and working with
the Center on Aging and Policy, is a prolific author on subjects
ranging from academics to social issues in the United States.