Aging & Public Health
Section Newsletter
Spring 2005

Chair's Corner

This is a big year for public health and aging. As noted elsewhere in this newsletter, National Public Health Week 2005 focused on healthy aging, and APHA continues to work on that theme when appropriate (such as during May’s Older Americans' Month). APHA staff member Lakitia Mayo deserves all of our thanks for her unflagging efforts in this area! The Association is also a member of the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations, which represents 53 senior advocacy groups in Washington, D.C. This guarantees that the Association will be involved in health and aging policy issues in the future.

Two GHS Section leaders (Bob Burke, GHS section chair-elect and Sue Hughes, GHS Action Board representative) were nominated by APHA to be delegates to the upcoming White House Conference on Aging (see <>). If anyone knows members of the Policy Committee (who will be making the organizational representative selections), please drop them a note ASAP encouraging them to include at least one APHA-nominated delegate: <>.

Our own Annual Meeting in Philadelphia is shaping up to be both informative and fun. The program will offer scientific sessions to appeal to all, we have a fantastic set of awards and winners, Gerry Eggert is organizing his now famous silent + live auction for the reception (which last year raised more than $6,000 for the awards’ endowments), and the city beckons with its restaurants, bars, and other entertainment. This year’s top Section awards will be made to Robert (Bob) Binstock for lifetime achievement and to celebrate the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences that he continues to coedit; and to Richard Fortinsky as winner of the Weiler Award for Leadership in Aging and Public Health. Hotel registration is already open for the Annual Meeting, so book early to make sure you get a nearby room at a reasonable rate,
<>. All the GHS activities will be in the convention center.

Susan Miller drafted a policy resolution on end of life issues on behalf of the Section that is working its way through the APHA policy process. It is important for APHA to have adopted policies on record when legislative issues come up. If anyone would like to start working on a policy resolution (it needs to be submitted by January) for the 2006 meeting, please contact Steven Wallace at <> so we can provide technical assistance to you.

By the time you read this, Section elections will be over. Thanks to those who ran for elected offices. We’ll announce winners in the next newsletter.

Enjoy the summer and plan to be in Philadelphi in December!

Preview of the 2005 GHS Program

Join us in the Big Easy (New Orleans) for the 133rd Annual Meeting of APHA and a variety of timely sessions on Social Security reform, the environment and older adults, and evidence-based practices.

Gerry Eggert has organized several sessions on hot aging policies, including a panel consisting of representatives from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare; a special session titled “Is there room for Long Term Care in Medicare Reform?"; and a scientific session on the cost and service patterns of Medicare directed models for rural elders. Marcia Ory and Joe Sharkey have put together a symposium on Environmental Influences on Aging Well -- another session not to be missed!

* Social Environment of Older Adults;
* Evidence-Based Practices and Aging;
* Intergenerational Health Communication;
* Health Policy and Aging; and
* Impacts of the New Freedom Initiative on Access to Community-based care

We have many new abstract reviewers this year that we want to thank along with those who continue to help and support the GHS program. We also want to thank all the individuals who reviewed papers submitted for awards and the excellent coordination and leadership of Thomas Bow and Allan Goodman. A special thanks to Christine Unson who went the extra mile to assist our section with the abstract reviews. We look forward to seeing you in November!

Program Co-Chairs:
Kathy Sykes

Lene Levy Storms

2005 Auction/Raffle in New Orleans

This year we will have our usual antiques and collectables supplemented with coupons from some of the finest local resraurants. Lene Levy-Storms' stepmother manages several of the finer eateries in the French Quarter and the Garden District. Antiques/collectables include a Disney version of Louis Armstrong; sterling silver candlesticks; small stained glass lamps; decanters; various wines from Steve Wallace and others; wine glasses; pottery from Allan Goldman and others; two very nice quilts, one signed; beer steins; artwork and a stained glass window of a peacock; a nice cameo vase signed Gall; a enamel pin dish designed by Edward Star for Gumps, San Francisco; Japanese enamel boxes and other artwork; Orrefors bowls; Steuben glass; Tiffany sterling silver boxes; and Tiffany gift items. We will also have some signed jewelry.

I am still collecting and expect to have more very nice gift items. I am also looking for other donations. Please contact me if you have items you think would be appropriate. Last year we cleared more than $6,200, which was added to the Section Award endowments. Brenda Wamsley, Deanna Lewis, Terry Caffery, Bruce Friedman, Larry Branch and Bob Binstock all did great jobs as volunteers. I hope they will continue. Volunteers and auction items are still needed. APHA will give a listing of all donated items for IRS purposes.

Gerry Eggert, GHS Development Chair

Not Too Early.....

It's more than a year away, but you should start thinking about the 2006 APHA Annual Meeting in Boston because the deadline for abstracts and awards nomination is in early February. See the call for abstracts at

APHA participates in Congressional briefing for Older American’s Month -- GHS Chairs the Hearing

The Congressional Older Americans Caucus held a briefing on May 26 in Washington, D.C., to commemorate Older Americans' Month and explore ways to overcome the barriers to healthy aging. The hearing focused on the 3-P’s used in April’s National Public Health Week on healthy aging: Prevent problems from happening, Protect your health through early detection, and Plan to stay healthy for many years to come. Representing APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, GHS chair-elect Bob Burke chaired the session and opened with remarks about the importance of Older Americans' Month and how the topic reinforced the APHA theme, Live Stronger Longer. He also introduced the two speakers and presented APHA’s Congressional recommendations.

Pollster Kate Stewart outlined the results of the APHA commissioned survey conducted as part of April’s National Public Health Week. The survey found that 55-year olds (the preretirees) know that they need to “Think right and eat right –these are the ways to healthy aging.” The survey also found that knowing doesn’t always mean doing. Preretirees also reported that they were more critical of their health and recorded concern about the cost of health care.

The next presenter, Tina Hone of the Legacy Foundation, reported on tobacco use prevention and cessation in how to exercise the three P's—Prevent, Protect, and Plan. The principle findings reported were that choosing to stop smoking at any age can result in health improvements. Quitting at age 65 increases life expectancy by two to four years. Protecting our children and grandchildren and being with them for years to come is a major motivation for many parents and grandparents to quit. Hone presented a basic set of smoking cessation guidelines that any smoker can adapt to his or her own life.

Bob Burke then presented APHA’s four recommendations for Congress: 1. Enhance Medicare’s preventative care benefits. 2. Restrain rising Medicare Part-B premiums and deductibles. 3. Design “livable communities” so older Americans can be physically active. 4. Increase training opportunities for health care professionals with expertise in geriatrics.

The Older Americans Caucus is co-chaired by Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley of Nevada and Rep. Bill Delahunt, D-Mass. For more information on the hearing, see <>.

Items of Interest to GHS Members

Two new reports will be of interest to many GHS members:

AARP REPORT: "Beyond 50.05 A Report to the Nation on Livable Communities:
Creating Environments for Successful Aging," by Andrew Kochera, Audrey
Straight, and Audrey Straight (AARP Beyond 50, May 2005, 108p.).
Report is linked to at the bottom of the page under "Download Report."

COMMONWEALTH FUND MEDICARE CHARTBOOK: "Quality of Health Care for Medicare
Beneficiaries: A Chartbook," by Sheila Leatherman and Douglas McCarthy (May
2005, 182p.).

Make a Difference by Raising Awareness about Vision Loss

Lighthouse International, with support from Novartis Ophthalmics, has launched a national public awareness campaign entitled Vision Loss is Not a Normal Part of Aging — Open Your Eyes to the Facts!

Too many older adults still believe — mistakenly — that vision impairment is a natural part of aging and do not seek help. To dispel this myth, Lighthouse has produced a booklet, which provides vital information for older adults and their support networks. Call toll-free (800) 829-0500 to receive a sample copy and an order form for free bulk quantities in English and Spanish. Or, view the booklet on the Lighthouse Web site at <>.

Results of the 2004 Auction/Raffle

The Auction raised $6,335, which was equally split between the endowments of the Minority and Rural Health Awards. We had two great Celebrity Auctioneers -- Joseph Privatal, CEO and president of the Archstone Foundation, and Wayne Myers, former Director of the HRSA Office of Rural Health. Many thanks to Brenda Wamsley, PhD, and Deanna Lewis, MS, who largely set up and ran the Auction. We raised $750 from the Raffle (part of the total $6,335), due in large part to Larry Branch, PhD, and Bob Binstock, PhD, who conducted the Raffle. All who donated items deserve much of the credit for our success. The most credit, however, goes to the 150 members of the Gerontological Health Section who bid on Auction items and bought Raffle tickets.

I am already finding great items for New Orleans! Last week I found two carafe/decanters with matching sets of wine glasses. We will mate these with choice bottles of wine. I also have a pair of Sterling Silver candelabra by Pairpoint Silver Co., New Bedford, Mass. These are from the 1920s and are in excellent condition. Interestinly enough, I have found some great Art Deco items as well as great pieces of women's jewelry, including Tiffany, Sarah Coventry, Weiss, and other signed pieces. Just think, I have another six months to go to auctions on the East Coast and upstate New York! Many treasures await us!

We are planning fewer items this year to give more time to socialize at the Award Reception.

Thank you for everyone's help! See you all in New Orleans!!!!

Get Connected to GHS News and Events: Visit the GHS Web Site

Unsure of what is going on with the Section? Visit the GHS Web site! Check it out at <>.
If you would like to post items on the GHS Web site or have questions regarding the GHS listserv, please contact Verónica F. Gutiérrez at <>.

UPDATE: National Public Health Week Focused on Healthy Aging

For the past 10 years, the first full week in April has been designated as National Public Health Week. Every year APHA picks a different topic to highlight the importance of public health, and for 2005 the topic was Healthy Aging.

In planning for the week, APHA staff tapped into the experience and knowledge of the Gerontological Health Section and the APHA-wide Task Force on Aging to develop key messages. Working with a marketing firm, APHA staff and gerontological health leaders chose the “3-Ps” as the framework for the week: prevention, protection (early detection), and planning for healthy aging.

The Association and its partners developed a series of evidence-based two-page fact sheets to support the key messages and call for action at the personal, organizational, and policy levels. Topics included immunizations, injury protection, prescription medications, health screenings, and more. These are useful materials that are also available in Spanish. See <>.

To provide an online health risk assessment tool, the Association partnered with Thomas Pearls, MD, MPH, of Boston University ,to promote his “Living to 100 Quiz." Based on the New England Centenarian Study, it asks a series of health-risk questions, provides an estimated life expectancy, and offers risk-reduction advice. See <>.

The Association also commissioned a survey of adults age 55 and older to assess their own health, their awareness of what it takes to stay healthy as they age, and what stands in the way of living healthier lifestyles. The telephone survey was comprised of a sample of 600 adults and was conducted between Feb. 24 - March 5, 2005. Key findings that were publicized during National Public Health Week include :

* Half of older adults believe they are living a healthy lifestyle, while half recognize they need to make changes to improve their health. * A lack of motivation (51 percent), followed closely by money (46 percent) and time (34 percent), were cited as primary barriers to taking action to be healthier. * Members of the oldest segment of Americans, those 75 and older, are more likely than their younger counterparts to say they are living a healthy lifestyle (67 percent for those aged 75+ compared to 38 percent for those 55 to 64 years old). * Nearly eight in 10 (78 percent) believe diet and exercise more than the genes they are born with (18 percent) decide how healthy they will be as they age.
According to APHA, this survey clearly illustrates the need to invest in public education, community-based programs, and environmental and policy interventions to better serve the needs of the aging population.

In addition, local health departments and schools of public health around the country held a wide variety of events on healthy aging for National Public Health Week. Overall, this proved to be a successful collaboration between APHA staff, GHS leadership, and the Aging Task Force. Credit is due to staff member Lakitia Mayo for pulling it all together under a tight schedule, and to Executive Director Georges Benjamin for supporting member involvement in the planning process. For more information, including the fact sheets, survey findings, and other materials, see <>.

Want to Get Involved in Section Activities??

APHA and the GH Section offer far more than just a once-a-year meeting. Throughout the year, APHA acts on policy issues at the national level. Information dissemination occurs through APHA vehicles, such as the monthly newsletter, and through the Section, such as our listserv and newsletter. Leadership roles are available requiring a broad range of time commitment and expertise but that contribute to one’s resume. For more details about any of these activities, contact the person noted below or the current Chair, Steve Wallace, at <>. The leadership group meets periodically by telephone conference call. Anyone is welcome to participate. Contact Steve to get on the list.

It’s easy to join the GH listserv. Instructions for signing up are available in this issue, or contact Veronica Gutierrez at <> directly if you have questions. Members of the listserv share selective information with each other, particularly announcements of jobs, grants and new publications.

GHS Committees
This committee is tracking down past members and recruiting new ones. It’s a good way to meet a lot of people!

Awards, Archstone Award, Aetna Award
If you would like to help select next year's winners, join one of these committees. A major task is the one-time review of submissions that occurs during the spring, but other activities involve activities at the Annual Meeting.

Local Arrangements
Help with plans for the booth and reception at next year's Annual Meeting.

Appointed positions
APHA has a number of committees to which members are appointed. We will be soliciting nominees in the spring. If you are interested in APHA-wide involvement, this is the way to start! Let Steve Wallace know.

Have You Started to Plan Your New Orleans Trip Yet?

The 133rd APHA Annual Meeting, Nov. 5-9, 2005 will be here before you know it! Visit the APHA Web site at <> for more detailed information about Section sessions and other meeting events.

When planning your trip to New Orleans, make sure to attend our Section Business Meetings, AND, most certainly, don’t forget the Award Reception!

We are still soliciting new items and more "consumer friendly" items. If you have something to donate, please contact Gerry Eggert at <>.

GHS Business Meeting I -- Sunday, Nov. 6, 4:00-5:30 p.m.
GHS Awards Reception – Monday, Nov. 7, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
GHS Business Meeting II – Tuesday, Nov. 8, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Have You Joined The GHS Listserv Yet?

Do you want to be more informed and involved in the Section? One way to do this is to join the Section’s listserv. Some reasons for signing up:

o To exchange ideas about Section business or public health issues relevant to aging;
o To access current job information; and
o To solicit immediate feedback from Section members.

Follow the directions below to subscribe and unsubscribe:
1. Send an e-mail to <> with the following message in the body:
add ghs-l
(EXAMPLE: “add ghs-l Lene Levy Storms”).

2. You will receive a return receipt e-mail with additional confirmation instructions to follow. In the attachment, you will find these commands as well as additional commands on how to query the listserv for other options.

3. To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to <> with the following message in the body:
signoff ghs-l
(NOTE: the letter “L” follows” ghs, not a number).

Grants to Improve Care for the Elderly

Related Files:

Did you miss the last issue of the GHS Newsletter?

To view, visit <>.

To visit the Gerontological Health Section Web site, go to

To view other Section and SPIG newsletters and to learn more about the newsletters overall, visit

If you have information or announcements that you would like included in the next issue of the Section’s newsletter, contact Donna Cox at <>. The deadline for submitting information and announcements in the next issue of the Section’s newsletter is August 15, 2005.

To post items on the Section’s Web site, contact Verónica F. Gutiérrez at <>.

Announcing the You Can! Celebration

The Administration on Aging encourages You Can! partners to join in celebrating ways for older adults to be active and healthy this September. Holding a local You Can! Celebration can help you spread the word about the importance of healthier lifestyles...and it can be fun!

During any seven-day period of September, AoA invites You Can! partners to create You Can! activities. These are activities where participants can make a pledge and engage in healthier lifestyle activities. If they see how easy and enjoyable it can be, hopefully they will continue the nutrition and physical activity behaviors and help others to improve their health too.

All community partners that sign up and complete the contest entry form have a chance to receive awards. The contest will culminate with a ceremony in the Washington, D.C. metro area in October where the best entries in leadership categories will be recognized.

For more information visit:

If your organization wants to participate and is not a You Can! partner, you can enroll at

Kay Loughrey
Aging Program Specialist
U.S. Administration on Aging
(202) 357-0142

Career Opportunity

Related Files:

Did you know....?

A new password-protected online membership directory now allows APHA members to change their membership profile -- including updating their e-mail address -- without calling or e-mailing APHA.

To access the online directory, visit <>.

If you have questions, please contact the APHA Membership Department at (202) 777-2400 or <>.

2006 APHA/GHS Call for Abstracts and Awards

The GHS welcomes abstracts for the 134th annual APHA meeting in Boston from Nov. 4-8, 2006. Submissions related to the 2006 Annual Meeting theme of “Public Health and Human Rights" are encouraged. Areas of interest include Issues in Older Women’s Health; Issues in Rural Health; International Aging Issues; Issues Relating to Health in Diverse Ethnic or Cultural Groups; Caregiving for Elders; Clinical Issues in Aging; End of Life Care; Environment and Aging; Immigrant/Migrant Health; Drug Coverage for Seniors; Home Care and Long-term Care Best Practices; Medicare and Medicaid Delivery, Effectiveness, and Reform Issues; Mental Vitality and Aging; Consumer Directed Care; Residential Living Options for Older Adults; Self-care for Chronic Diseases; Workforce Issues for an Aging Society; and Assistive Technologies and Devices for Aging Adults with Lifelong Disabilities.

Individuals may submit up to two abstracts as first author to the GHS. Submissions may be for poster, oral, or roundtable session formats; please note desired format on the abstract form. THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS IS EARLY FEBRUARY, 2006. Check the APHA Web site at <> for the exact deadline. To have your abstract considered for a special Award please indicate so on the abstract submission form. Each abstract can be considered only for one award. You may, however, submit different abstracts to be considered for different awards. All award winners must be APHA members and register for the Annual Meeting. Cash prizes range from $500 to $1,000 for first place and from $100 to $250 for runner-up depending on the specific award. For more details visit our Web site at <>.

Aetna Susan B. Anthony Award for Excellence In Research on Older Women and Public Health
This Award is to recognize individuals who make a significant contribution to research on women’s unique health concerns and the role that public health strategies play in improving the health and well-being of American women.

Betty J. Cleckley Minority Issues Research Award
This Award is to recognize individuals and their research efforts that have the potential to improve the health and functional status of older people who are members of diverse ethnic or cultural groups.

Nobuo Maeda International Aging & Public Health Research Award
This award is intended to recognize and further the career of leaders in research and policy development.

Masters Student Research Award and Laurence G. Branch Doctoral Student Research Award
Funded by the Retirement Research Foundation, these two awards honor outstanding students for exceptional research during their training. Individuals receiving these awards have completed a research project as a student in an area related to older adults.

Excellence in Aging and Rural Health Research Award
This Award recognizes research that has the potential to improve the health and functional status of older people who live in rural America.

James G. Zimmer New Investigator Research Award
This Award recognizes “new investigators,” defined as someone who is within five years of completing a terminal degree. The Award is intended to recognize and further the careers of future leaders in research.

For inquires about the above awards, contact Awards Chair Janet Frank, PhD, at <>.

The Archstone Foundation Award for Excellence in Program Innovation
This award recognizes best practice models that have been in operation for 10 years or less that have effectively linked academic theory with applied practice in the field of Public Health and Aging. Inquiries for this award should be sent to Allan Goldman, MPH, at <>, or go to <>

GH Section Leadership

Steven P. Wallace, APHA Gerontological Health Section Chair 2003-05

--- Elected Positions
Connie Evashwick, Past Chair
Bob Burke, Chair Elect & Nominations Chair
David Kidder, Secretary 2003-05
James Swan, Governing Council 2003-05
Robert Newcomer, Governing Council 2004-06
Penny Feldman, Council 2002-05 & Chair, Section Awards
Susan Miller, Council 2002-05
Paulo Chavez, Council 2003-06
Helena Temkin-Greener, Council 2003-06
Steven Albert, Council 2004-2007
Karen Peters, Council 2004-2007

--- Appointed Positions
Kathy Sykes, Program CoChair
Lené Levy-Storms, Program CoChair & Development Committee
Donna Cox, Section Newsletter Editor
Allan Goldman, Archstone Award Chair & Policy Committee Chair
Marcia Ory, Aetna/Susan B. Anthony Award Chair
Veronica Gutierrez, Web Site & Listserv Chair
Gerry Eggert, Development Chair; APHA Awards Committee
Turner Goins, Section Membership Chair
Janet Frank, Section Awards Chair (2005-07)
Sue Hughes, APHA Action Board (2002-2005)
Terrie Wetle, AJPH Editorial Board (2004-2007)
Nancy Persily, APHA Publications Board (2001-04)
Irena Pesis-Katz, APHA Student Assembly Representative (2004-06)
Dan Jaco, APHA Publications Board, past chair

Plus many other volunteers who make the GHS successful!