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November 15, 2022

The Commission on Law and Aging Welcomes Three New Commissioners

The pdf for the issue in which this article appears is available for download: Bifocal, Vol. 42, Issue 1.)

The ABA Commission on Law and Aging welcomes three new appointments for the 2020-2021 term. We are thankful for the contributions of those whose terms have ended, and we look forward to continuing and advanc-ing meaningful work with our new and current commissioners. We'd like our readers to get to know our new commissioners: Lisa P. Gwyther, Martin A. Hewitt and Catherine Bree Johnston.  

Lisa P. Gwyther is a clinical social worker with over forty years of experience in aging and dementia-specific services.  She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University’s School of Medicine and a Senior Fellow of Duke University’s Center for Aging in Durham, North Carolina. She founded the Duke Dementia Family Support Program in 1980 and she was principal investigator for education, minority engagement and outreach for an NIA Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Duke from 1985-2011. The Duke Dementia Family Support Program has been continuously funded since 1984 by the North Carolina Division of Aging as a resource for individuals living with dementia, their families and agencies and professionals serving them.  All Program services are community-based and not limited to Duke patients.  Ms Gwyther’s 150 peer-reviewed research articles, books, award-winning documentary films and book chapters focus on developing and testing effective educational and support strategies targeting individuals living with dementia and their families to improve the quality of care and decision-making for individuals while reducing the negative health, emotional and financial consequences for families providing that care. Ms. Gwyther served on two recent ABA panels representing interests of families of persons living with dementia. She was a consensus panelist on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) 2016 report, Families Caring for an Aging America, and she co-chaired the North Carolina 2016 Dementia-Capable NC state plan. In 1999, she founded and still provides individualized services for the Duke Employee Elder Care Consultation Service offering 34,000 Duke employees free confidential individual/family consultations regarding older adult decision making. Ms. Gwyther was the first John Heinz Congressional Fellow in Health and Aging, and she served for nine years on the first U.S. federal Alzheimer’s Advisory Panel. Ms. Gwyther was recently named the 2019 NC Pioneer in Aging by the NC Coalition on Aging representing all state aging services, policy and advocacy organizations.

Martin Hewitt was in the securities industry in various capacities including assistant trader and compliance before he entered Seton Hall Law School where he graduated in 1999. Upon graduation, Martin joined Simpson Thacher and Bartlett LLP. His areas of practice included state securities law and what was then NASD (now FINRA) corporate finance compliance.  Then, after working at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP and Alston & Bird LLP, Mr. Hewitt went out on his own as a solo practitioner in 2011 and, after 8 years joined Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, LLP as Special Counsel concentrating in state securities laws and FINRA corporate compliance. Martin has been involved in the ABA since law school, particularly in the Business Law Section.  He held several positions, including editor of the Blue Sky Bugle (the newsletter of the ABA Committee on the State Regulation of Securities); Vice Chair of the ABA Committee on the State Regulation of Securities; Chair of the ABA Committee on the State Regulation of Securities; Vice Chair of the ABA Private Placement Task Force; Chair of the ABA Private Placement Task Force; Vice Chair of the ABA Task Force on Offering and Trading of Tokenized Securities; and Liaison to the Commission on Law and Aging from the Business Law Section of the ABA. As liaison Martin worked with the North American Securities Administrators Association as they rolled out their model rule to their 50 state and four territory membership relating to financial elder abuse by informing the Business Law Section of the ABA about the model rule and its positive impact on the business community. Mr. Hewitt’s other activities include two performances at Carnegie Hall as a violinist in the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony; marathon runner in the Bermuda, Boston, Los Angeles, and New York marathons; President of Temple B’nai Shalom in East Brunswick, NJ; and candidate for U.S. Congress in the 11th Congressional District of New Jersey during the midterm election of 2018.

Catherine Bree Johnston has been with The University of Arizona and Banner University Medical Center since February of 2017.  She is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Medicine, Geriatrics, and Palliative Medicine. She is Director of the Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program and the Palliative Medicine service at the University of Arizona, Tucson. She spends the majority of her time teaching on the inpatient palliative care service at Banner University Medical Center in Tucson, and also works with the Arizona Center on Aging.  Dr. Johnston received her education and training from UC Santa Cruz (BA), UC Berkeley (MPH), UC San Francisco (MD), UC Davis (primary care internal medicine residency), and Stanford University (geriatric fellowship).  From 1996 to 2011, Dr. Johnston was the Director of Geriatrics Education at UC San Francisco, where she also served as the Director of the Geriatric Fellowship Program. From 2011-2016, She was the Director of Palliative Care at PeaceHealth Medical System, serving hospitals in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska.  She was also Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington at that time.   She is the author of numerous book chapters and journal articles, and has spoken extensively on numerous geriatrics and palliative care topics. She is the past Chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine geriatrics exam writing committee.  She splits her time between Tucson, Arizona and Bellingham, Washington.