Skip to main content
Add Me To Your Mailing List
HomeNN Speakers Series


Northampton Neighbors launched its Speaker Series in October 2018 with a talk by Steve Herrell, local ice cream legend, about his experiences as an ice cream visionary and entrepreneur. That talk was followed by many other well attended presentations, including those on sex and sleep, balloons and birds, memory and filing systems, Sojourner Truth and Duke Ellington, to name but a few. (See list of all previous and planned talks below).

All speaker events were – and still are – free and open to anyone who would like to attend.

Pre-COVID, we scheduled talks monthly between September and May; they were held at -- and co-sponsored -- by the Northampton Senior Center. Currently, we offer talks via ZOOM every other week and through the summer months.

We see these more frequent zoom talks as a way to entertain and educate ourselves and help members cope with the isolation and monotony of quarantine at a time when we have been unable to provide our usual services to our members. In upcoming talks, we are drawing on the incredible range of life experiences and expertise of our members. We are guided by a commitment to including topics of particular interest to older people and those intended for a broader audience.

We have already begun – and hope to continue – recording all talks during COVID-19 so they will be available for later viewing by those who could not attend the live event. Those videos are available in the links below.

So, we hope you’ll join us for future events in the Speaker Series. We have a great series planned for the rest of Summer 2020 and intend to continue offering lively, informative and entertaining talks remotely and, hopefully, at in-person events in the future.

We would like to hear your suggestions for speakers. Send your suggestions to


Northampton Neighbors Speaker Series Presents


“Being a Geriatrician: What I Do and Why I Do It”


by Dr. Rebecca Starr,

Medical Director of Geriatrics, Cooley Dickinson Health Care


“Health and well-being encompass more than just the medical management of diseases,” states Dr. Rebecca Starr about her philosophy as a geriatrician. “In my practice, I work to ensure that older adults are treated with respect and compassion, and to reframe a ‘geriatric patient’ as a ‘whole person,’ living their life in the community.”


Friday, August 14, 2020

3:00-4:00 PM via Zoom


How and why has geriatrics emerged as a field? Who benefits from a geriatric consultation? What can we expect from a geriatrician? Dr. Rebecca Starr, a geriatrician who has held multiple positions in clinical, academic and administrative leadership, will address these questions in her informative talk. She will tell us why she decided to become a geriatrician, how she now works to provide age-friendly health care, and what Cooley Dickinson Health Care is doing to become an age-friendly health care system. Attendees will learn how she is able to leverage Cooley Dickinson’s strong community ties, to address the psychosocial and environmental factors that impact people’s lives, and align medical decision-making with people’s goals for care. Her talk will conclude with the announcement of an important new collaboration between CDHC and Northampton Neighbors, the Pioneer Valley Memory Care Initiative, a partnership that trains NN volunteers to provide support for older adults with dementia and their caregivers.

Dr. Rebecca Starr
joined Cooley Dickinson Health Care in July 2019. Her leadership positions include two years as Medical Director of Medicare Advantage at Health New England in Springfield; Medical Director of the ACE (Acute Care for Elders) protocol pilot at Baystate Medical Center and Medical Director of PACE (Program for All-Inclusive Care of the Elderly) for Elder Service Plan in Cambridge. She is the recipient of several awards, grants, scholarships, and fellowships from SUNY-Downstate, Harvard Medical School, the Samuels Foundation/American Federation for Aging Research, Tufts University Medical School, Baystate Medical Center, and the American Geriatrics Society. She has also pioneered clinical innovations and quality improvement projects including efforts in fall prevention for low-income, at risk elders.



Join Zoom Meeting by clicking this link:


Or join with this information: Meeting ID: 993 6788 2715 Passcode: 591001

Dial in at +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)

One Tap Mobile +19294362866,,99367882715#,,,,,,0#,,591001# US (New York)


Anyone can join this meeting using Zoom mobile apps or desktop applications for Windows and Mac. 

Due to technical restrictions, this meeting is limited to 100 participants.
If you need help with Zoom, 
email NN by August 12, 2020

The presentation will be recorded and made available on


August 28th          Paul Shoul   Paul Shoul: Photos From Here & There
September 11th   Dr. Katherine Baker  Readings and discussion of
                            ‘My Journey: How One Woman Survived Stalin’s Gulag”  by Olga Sliozberg

Please click on the buttons below for recordings of our NN Speaker Series  
since May 2020 or visit our NN YouTube Channel.

Past Northampton Speakers Series: 

Live at the Northampton Sernior Center: 2018-February, 2020   

Steve Herrell-Ice Cream and Me

Brad Crenshaw-Aging and Memory

Nina Kleinberg-The Making of Casablanca: Film School in 90 Minutes

Greg Saulmon & Mark Karpel-Up in the Air: Adventures in Urban Bird-Watching and Cluster Ballooning

Rebecca Spencer-Sleep on It! Why We Sleep and How to Get More of It

John Sinton-A Walk and A Talk: Mill River and its role in the formation of Northampton

Mirabai Bush-Walking Each Other Home; Conversations on Loving and Dying

Jane Fleishman-I’ll Have What They’re Having: Sexuality and Aging

Wendy Sinton & Diane E. Liebert-Sojourner Truth in 19th Century Florence

Lu Stone-Over or Under? What Would Downtown Northampton Look Like Today if the City had Lost its Five-Year Battle with the Railroads in the 1890's

Jonah Keane-5 Years of Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary: A Natural Gem is Our Own Back Yard

Tom Reney-Why Duke Ellington Matters

Cheri Cross-Getting it Together

                                                  Zoom  talks since  May, 2020

Joan Marqusee-Q&A with the CDHC CEO

Ellen Meeropol-Her Sister's Tattoo

Gerald Epstein-The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Judy Cockerton-Intergenerational Living/The Treehouse Community

Dr. Mary Young- Aging on Your Own

Northampton Neighbors seeks to provide information and resources that help all our neighbors age well, in place, and with dignity. NN does not endorse nor recommend any commercial products, processes, or services.


The primary purpose of the Speaker Series is to educate, inform, and entertain. The views, information, or opinions expressed are those of the presenter and not necessarily those of Northampton Neighbors.