The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations in 1948 includes health care as one of our rights. Yet millions of people do not live in an environment that supports their basic survival needs. 


Twenty-first century technology offers important new ways to provide health care services.

For example, with telehealth people can receive medical information, mental health care, rehabilitation, assessment, and advocacy from anywhere in the world. 


Elder Voices assists people in learning how telehealth services can benefit their health care by offering interactive educational material and dynamic assessment methods.  These methods focus on learning problem-solving strategies that help create guidelines for health, not only for physical survival, but for choices of personal and humanitarian values.


Our projects explore different ways of representing and expressing information to bring the ideals of human rights to the complexity of a person’s daily life health circumstances.  We use simulated and virtual environs, community theater and story telling, to imagine and try out possibilities that encourage respect for individual diversity, while preventing discrimination and abuse.  


For people who do not have access or funds for telehealth services, Elder Voices  hopes to provide those opportunities as a 501(c)3 public charity.


We hope you will join us on this adventure.










       Kara Bennett, PhD   


       For several generations my family worked in health care; medical practice, research, education, mental health, nutrition, physical fitness, and entertainment for patients. I’ve been involved with mental health, human rights, education, and entertainment for over forty years. (PhD from UCLA, Psychologist license in CA, Screen Actors Guild)

        I was fortunate to collaborate with an innovative group of research scientists and practitioners  who introduced me to an approach for studying problem-solving strategies that includes the complex dynamics of daily life events. For instance, my PhD dissertation; “A Construction of a Diagnosis,” investigated how a neurologist discovers the cause of a patient’s illness. The physician is asked to “think aloud” as they examine the patient and the interaction is recorded. Observing the physician’s problem-solving as it happens gives a chance to discover how they try to fit their medical knowledge to the immediate experience of the patient’s symptoms.

        I continued to apply this research methodology to many different kinds of problem-solving situations and found that documenting the thoughts and actions of people as they try to achieve their goals suggested common mental operations for translating a person’s ideas into action.  Using this method for studying problem-solving is also an effective teaching and assessment tool. We found that simulated environments such as a theater space, interactive stories, and 3D virtual worlds, offer a creative place for learning different ways to solve problems. For example, when an actor plays the patient, the physician can try out diagnostic approaches to find what works best without jeopardizing the real patient, or a person may discover ways of changing life threatening actions like prejudice and violence, into life saving abilities.

       Because of this background and personal experience of health care tragedies, I know there should not be medical mistakes, misdiagnoses, and people being denied care. Elder Voices is exploring how ancient wisdom and new technology can help encourage health care stories of survival, to make health the adventure of a life time.  



Susan Patrice Weiner, MD, MPH


      Dr. Weiner received her MD and MPH from Tulane University and began practicing medicine in pediatric neurology. Later she studied at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University and worked with issues of bioethics and human rights.

      She worked as a volunteer physician for the past 16 years, helping people without health insurance in the San Francisco, San Jose, and Los Angeles CA. areas.  During this time she was cofounder of Elder Voices, and hoped to continue this work for many more years. However, she tragically died in 2012 from a rare cancer, small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma.  Dr. Weiner will continue to be our guide for exploring the interface of art and science to bring human rights, values and hope for global health and healing.

      Besides her medical practice, Susan was a member of the advisory counsel for the program of Medicine and Philosophy at the California Pacific Medical Center, and trained with the San Francisco Neighborhood Emergency Response Team.  In 1989 she won the young investigator award from the American Epilepsy Society. Her publications are in medical journals, interviews with health professionals, poetry, children’s stories, and a forthcoming book.  







Bennett, K. (2019). Learning Problem-Solving Strategies in Virtual Worlds that Encourage  People to Respect Human Rights. 

In Recent Advances in Applying Identity and  Society Awareness to Virtual Learning. Editors: Stricker, A. G., Calongne, C., Truman, B., & Arenas, F. J.

Hershey, PA: IGI Global. Second Edition 


Bennett, K. (2017). Learning Problem-Solving Strategies in Virtual Worlds that Encourage  People to Respect Human Rights. 

In Integrating an Awareness of Selfhood and Society into Virtual Learning . Editors: Stricker, A. G., Calongne, C., Truman, B., & Arenas, F. J.  

Hershey, PA: IGI Global First Edition

Bennett, K. & Patrice, S (2013). Exploring the Virtual World of Second Life to Help bring Human Rights to Health Care. 

 In Women and Second Life: Virtual Identity Work and Play Editors: Diana Baldwin and Julie Achterberg. McFarland and Co:Jefferson, NC 



A construction of a diagnosis: a study of a physician’s mental strategies

for fitting a patient’s symptoms and signs to a disease category

Doctoral Dissertation Kara S. Bennett, Ph.D., UCLA, 1981, 300 pages; AAT 8206002

Perceptions of Lyme Borreliosis
Kara Bennett PhD

Journal of Spirochetal and Tick-borne Diseases Vol 7 Fall/Winter 2000 Pages 42-51

An investigation of the diagnostic problem solving methods

used by resident neurologists. Kara S. Bennett and Howard S. Barrows Mathematical Biosciences Volume 15, Issues 1-2, October 1972, Pages 163-181

The diagnostic (problem solving) skill of the neurologist

Experimental studies and their implications for neurological training

Howard S. Barrows, MD; Kara Bennett





















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