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Dyer, Burnett honored for lifelong contributions combatting elder mistreatment

Jason Burnett, PhD, is pictured accepting the award.
Jason Burnett, PhD, and Carmel Dyer, MD, were honored by the National Adult Protective Services Association for their work in the field of elder mistreatment. Burnett is pictured with Joe Snyder, NAPSA public policy chair. (Photo by Paul Needham/NAPSA)
Photo of Carmel Bitondo Dyer, MD. (Photo by UTHealth Houston)
Carmel Bitondo Dyer, MD. (Photo by UTHealth Houston)

Jason Burnett, PhD, and the late Carmel Bitondo Dyer, MD, were recognized nationally for their contributions to the field of elder mistreatment and Adult Protective Services practice by the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA).

Burnett is co-director of the Texas Elder Abuse and Mistreatment Institute (TEAM) within the UTHealth Houston Consortium on Aging as well as an associate professor of geriatrics in the Joan and Sanford Alexander Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine at McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth Houston).

Burnet also accepted an honor on Dyer’s behalf. The internationally renowned geriatrician and former executive director and founder of the Consortium on Aging, and medical director of the UT Physicians Center for Healthy Aging, died on May 4, 2021. 

Burnett was honored with the prestigious Rosalie Wolf Memorial Award for his years of dedicated research to the prevention of elder abuse and improvement of Adult Protective Services practice. The award is presented annually at the NAPSA conference to a person who demonstrates dedication and commitment in preventing instances of elder mistreatment through research, education, policy, practice, and public awareness.

Over the past decade, Burnett has played key roles in pivotal elder mistreatment studies and authored multiple publications that supported research, education, clinical care, and public awareness efforts that aim to improve the lives of vulnerable older adults who experience abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

Dyer was honored with a Special Board Award for her lifelong contributions to the field of elder abuse, adult protective services and the care of vulnerable older adults. NAPSA recognized Dyer’s lifelong contributions as a champion who worked tirelessly to improve conditions of vulnerable older adults by advocating for specialized geriatric care and improved Adult Protective Services practice.

"The greatest honors come unexpectedly,” Burnett said. “Receiving the Rosalie Wolf Award is truly a great honor to me, but even more so was to be recognized along with my late mentor and unwavering friend, Dr. Carmel Dyer, who taught me through instruction and observation that when doing work that serves others, the only approach is to put your head down and get it done. Find reward in the process, and you will make a difference. NAPSA recognized the lasting difference Dr. Carmel Dyer made to the field of elder abuse."  

Dyer’s influence in the development of multidisciplinary teams to combat elder mistreatment and provide enhanced services gained national recognition and brought attention to the issue. NAPSA leadership spoke of Dyer’s collaborative nature, generous spirit, and unequalled passion that made her a leader in the field.

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