WESLACO The diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's and helping caregivers cope with stress are the focus of a free half-day educational summit featuring two of the nation's leading experts on caregiving and stress.

Social workers and family caregivers are welcome at the event on Friday, Nov. 18 at the Knapp Medical Center, 1401 E. 8th Street in Weslaco. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the summit will be from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Snacks and beverages will be provided.

The event is co-sponsored by the Rio Grande Valley Alzheimer's Association and Caregiver SOS by WellMed Charitable Foundation resource centers in Edinburg and Harlingen, in partnership with the Lower Rio Grande Valley Area Agency on Aging. Social workers may earn 3.5 Continue Education Units (CEUs) at no cost.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. For information on registration and sponsorship, please call the Alzheimer's Association at 1-800-272-3900 or local Caregiver SOS centers at 956-683-7190 (Edinburg) and 956-238-0754 (Harlingen).

Featured speakers are:

James "Dr. Jamie" Huysman, Psy.D., LCSW, CAP - Dr. Huysman has appeared as an expert counselor on several TV talk shows including "The Geraldo Show," "The Montel Williams Show," and "The Leeza Show." Dr. Jamie is a psychologist and Board Certified Licensed Social Worker. He is an official spokesperson for the National Association of Social Workers and serves on the NASW committee to establish national protocols for certification and standardization of caregiving practices. A regular contributor to Today's Caregiver Magazine, Dr. Jamie co-authored "Take Your Oxygen First - Protecting Your Health & Happiness While Caring for a Loved One with Memory Loss" with Leeza Gibbons and geriatrician Dr. Rosemary Laird.

Sharon Lewis, Ph.D., RN, FAAN - Dr. Sharon Lewis is a Professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in both the School of Nursing and in the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology in the Division of Medicine. She has conducted studies and written journal articles on subject including blood, renal and dialysis issues. She has also presented on topics such as stress and health problems faced by family caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's Disease. She led creation of a curriculum called the Stress-Busting Program for Family Caregivers, a nine-week course to help caregivers cope with stress that is being offered in several Texas communities. Dr. Lewis has been recognized as a Distinguished Writer and Lecturer by Sigma Theta Tau and was a fellow with the American Academy of Nursing in 1992, among other honors.

Caregiver SOS by WellMed Charitable Foundation offers complimentary programs designed to support family caregivers in their caregiving role, including one-on-one assistance, education, wellness activities and more. Caregiver SOS centers commonly serve caregivers with loved ones impacted by Alzheimer's disease and other chronic conditions such as stroke, cancer, diabetes, chronic lung disease and heart disease.

The WellMed Charitable Foundation (www.wellmedgives.org) is a non-profit 501(C)3 organization that supports seniors and their caregivers in our community with special emphasis on wellness, prevention and living with chronic illness. Established in 2006 by Dr. George M. Rapier III, a noted geriatrician and the Chairman of the Board, the Foundation has contributed more than $3 million to Texas-based non-profit groups.