AU alum is featured speaker for State of Health Breakfast

Wed, 2013-01-16 08:00 -- univcomm
Dr. Robert Knight
January 16, 2013

The Madison County Community Health Center (MCCHC) has announced that Dr. Robert Knight will be the featured speaker at its annual State of Health Breakfast, slated for January 22 at 7 a.m. Dr. James L. Edwards, president of Anderson University, serves as the honorary chair for the 2013 edition.

Knight is a 1972 graduate of Anderson University. He received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Indiana University in 1979. He is currently a professor of gerontology and psychology at the University of Southern California’s Davis School of Gerontology.

Later in the day, Knight will present "The Search for Cultural Difference in Understanding Family Caregiver Distress" at Anderson University at 3 p.m. in Decker 133.

The focus of Knight’s presentation during the State of Health Breakfast will be the relationship between mental health and physical health, and how each can impact the other. There will also be some consideration of how stress can make people ill.

The response will be presented by Dr. Sharon McNeany, Ph.D., director of the center's behavioral health department. McNeany will discuss the role that primary care, and MCCHC specifically, has in responding to behavioral health issues.

"This event and theme is very timely considering the national attention to mental health care and the growing recognition nationally of the challenges primary health care providers are facing with the many complexities of treating chronic care disease,” said MCCHC President and CEO Anthony Malone. "According to national data, as much as 40 percent of deaths, and most chronic illnesses in the United States, are linked to behavioral risks associated with the lack of effective primary care and behavioral care intervention.”

The annual State of Health event began as a luncheon in 2000 with Indiana’s first state of health message. The inaugural presentation brought together community leaders and served as the impetus for the emergence of the MCCHC. The health center now provides medical, dental, and behavioral care to more than 1,000 patients a month.

Knight said he is looking forward to returning to his alma mater.

“Anderson University was Anderson College then,” said Knight. “It provided me with a solid liberal arts education that I value to this day, a good background in psychology, and a level of access to faculty that was a real advantage over fellow grad students who had gone to larger institutions for undergrad work. It also was a warm community that enabled me to pursue other interests that I think would not have been open to me in a larger school, such as writing a column for the college paper, and drama, which included writing a couple of plays that got performed.”

Knight also warmly recalls his experience in the Anderson community, and working with Malone while both were at the Urban League.

“I think of Anderson fondly for a number of reasons. Working with Tony Malone, then at the Urban League, was the best job I had before becoming a psychologist,” said Knight. “Tony taught me much of what I know about running nonprofit services and about community organizing. He also got me started in what has turned into a life-long career of working with older adults.”

The “Hope-Trust-Healing Award” will also be presented at the breakfast. The award is given annually to someone in Madison County who plays a critical role in the support of the health center. The breakfast will be held on the MCCHC campus located at 1547 Ohio Avenue in Anderson. Registration for the event is $30 per person. Reservations can be made by calling the health center at (765) 641-0255, extension 224, or via email at l.hildreth@mcchc.org.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of about 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.