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Vietnam — changes, elderly, orphans — subject of March 8 lecture

Feb 26th, 2016 | By | Category: Lead Article, News

Dr. Peggy McFarland, Elizabethtown College professor of social work, spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar in Vietnam, evaluating, researching and teaching about concerns related to the country’s aging population. She advocated for the utilization of medical social workers in hospitals and caregiver support for individuals with dementia.

As her time in Vietnam coincided with the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, McFarland was deeply aware of changes in relationships with the United States that have occurred over the years.

On Tuesday, March 8, McFarland will share her reflections on these changes and on the country’s orphanages and the work of Brittney’s Hope, a non-government organization based in Elizabethtown that provides humanitarian aid to children worldwide.

Her President’s Community Enrichment Series lecture, “Healing and Hope: Forty Years after the Vietnam War—Where are we now?” takes place at noon in the College’s Susquehanna Room of Myer Hall. Cost of the lunchtime lecture is $18; pre-registration is required at

During her time in Vietnam, McFarland utilized her role as a board member for Brittany’s Hope to support the humanitarian work of this organization as it related to the needs of the orphans. In her lecture, she will describe several of the projects that have been started to help the children in Vietnam.

In addition, to teaching social work courses, McFarland serves as the director of field instruction at Elizabethtown. She is a licensed clinical social worker and co-founder of Senior Management Services, a firm that has provided eldercare management and direction since 1990. The practicing geriatric social worker has experience in adult day care, home health care, corporate elder care and dementia care.

She earned her master’s degree in social work from Marywood College and her doctoral degree in social work from the University of Maryland at Baltimore.

McFarland has lead student groups on short-term service learning trips to the country; this was her fifth trip.

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