Special State Tribute Honors Expert in Aging and Dementia

February 16, 2009

Peter Lichtenberg
Peter Lichtenberg, Ph.D., director of the Institute of Gerontology and a professor at Wayne State University received a special tribute and citation from Gov. Jennifer Granholm for his 10 years of exceptional service to the Michigan Dementia Coalition and to the health and well-being of others, especially older adults. The tribute was delivered at the recent announcement of the coalition's strategic plan for 2009-2011. Dr. Lichtenberg co-chaired this ambitious three-year plan as well as the group's previous strategy.

"It is gratifying to know that our state leaders understand and appreciate the impact of dementia," Dr. Lichtenberg said, "and the need to make diagnosis and treatment available to everyone."

As chair of the Michigan Dementia Coalition since 1999, Dr. Lichtenberg has expanded membership, increased statewide collaborations, and developed a statewide needs assessment and strategic plan for the treatment of dementia. The MDC is now a multi-disciplinary, collaborative body of academic, government and community organizations committed to improving the lives of all persons afflicted with significant memory loss. Alzheimer's disease and other dementias affect approximately 240,000 individuals in Michigan alone, and more than 5 million persons in the United States.

Dr. Lichtenberg is widely regarded as one of the country's foremost experts on aging, dementia and depression. Author of five books and more than 125 peer reviewed scientific articles, he has held numerous leadership roles in both the American Psychological Association and the Gerontological Society of America. In 2006, he received the prestigious Harry Kelly Award for outstanding leadership in gerontology. His most recent research interests include the affects of gambling on older adults, and innovative training methods to help healthcare professionals recognize depression and dementia in older patients.