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Aging & Public Health
Section Newsletter
Spring 2006

Notes from the Editor

Welcome to the spring 2006 Gerontological Section Newsletter.  This edition of the Newsletter is heavy on announcements.  Please take time to review them, especially the notice regarding use of absentee ballots during the APHA Annual Meeting.
How does the GHS Newsletter stack up against other APHA section newsletters? Our February Newsletter was viewed by some 150 visitors, with an average viewing time of 3.5 min. This puts us in the middle of rival Newsletters.  Epidemiology is currently most popular (722 visitors) and Podiatric Health least (44).
We need more content, more news, and a little controversy to stir the pot.  Please continue to send in your announcements.  Best wishes for a productive, safe, and restful summer.



The June issue of the Ladies Home Journal is now out with an article on nursing homes, including abuse of nursing home residents. For only the third time in its history, the Ladies Home Journal has a petition – this one supporting Representative Henry Waxman's (D-Calif.) staffing bill, H.R. 4293. Sign the petition online -; e-mail your colleagues and friends to sign the petition.

The new book, "Methods in Social Epidemiology," by J. Michael Oakes and Jay S. Kaufman was published in May 2006. Faculty wishing to obtain a desk review copy can write to (Please include the name of your institution, the class, prospective enrollment, and your mailing address with phone number.) For more general information about the book,visit the publisher's website ( where the first chapter (Introduction: Advancing Methods in Social Epidemiology) and the table of contents are posted.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: National Center for Health Statistics "Trends in Health and Aging," (May 2006). "On our site you will find tables on trends in the health of older Americans showing data by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin."

U.S. NATIONAL CENTER FOR HEALTH STATISTICS REPORT: "Health Characteristics of Adults 55 Years of Age and Over: United States, 2000-2003," by Charlotte A. Schoenborn, Jackline L. Vickerie, and Eve Powell-Griner (Advance Data from Vital and Health Statistics No. 370, April 2006, .pdf format, 32 page).


This year's election day (Nov. 7, 2006) will happen during the APHA Annual Meeting in Boston. Make your voice heard in the ballot box by registering to vote and requesting an absentee ballot before your state deadline! Click here for more information:



 There is still time to submit an application to present at the 2007 Joint Conference of the American Society on Aging and the National Council on Aging in Chicago, March 7-10.

The ASA-NCOA joint conference, with more than 4,000 attendees, is recognized as a showcase for programs and projects that can be replicated, a forum for policy discussion and advocacy, and a prime source of information on new research findings in aging.

The theme of this year's conference is "Let's Rethink Aging." Submissions will be accepted in more than 50 categories, from adult day services to workforce issues and everything in between. A complete list of tracks can be found at

If you have not received a Call for Presentations, you can find application instructions and submit your application online at If you have received it, make sure you don't miss the June 5 deadline!

The International Conference on Healthy Ageing and Longevity will be held in Melbourne, Australia, Oct. 13-15, 2006. This is the third conference. Previous, highly successful meetings were held in Sydney and Brisbane.

These meetings successfully bought together global leaders in research and practice relating to healthy aging and longevity and I think have been world leading events on these topics.

I think the Melbourne meeting will be very deserving of your attention and strongly encourage you to consider participating and submitting a paper or poster.

Please see the attached announcement and visit the Web site ( for the call for paper, registration details and other general information. I hope we will have the pleasure of seeing you in Melbourne in October.


Dædalus Winter 2006 : On Aging

 By the American Academy of Arts & Sciences Content at:

Content: Chris Wilson, The century ahead Henry J. Aaron Longer life spans: boon or burden?
Sarah Harper, Mature societies
Paul B. Baltes, Human dignity & the limits of life
Linda Partridge, Of worms, mice & men
Hillard Kaplan, The life course of a foraging species
Dennis J. Selkoe, Deciphering Alzheimer’s disease
Caleb E. Finch, Aging, inflammation & the body electric
Kenneth Clark, The artist grows old
Jagadeesh Gokhale & Kent Smetters, Social Security & the aging of America
Lisa F. Berkman & M. Maria Glymour, How society shapes life spans

"Physical Activity And Successful Aging"
European Group for Research into Elderly and Physical Activity (EGREPA)
Xth International Conference
Sept. 14-16, 2006 Cologne, Germany
Deutsche Sporthochschule (German Sport University)

REGISTRATION IS OPEN NOW # Early bird rate: 140 EUR (before April 15)

# Go to => conference => registration #

What about joining EGREPA? Pay 40 EUR, save 20 percent conference fee and receive the European Review on Aging and Physical Activity, our new Springer journal.


Poison Control Centers served over 80 percent of the U.S. population and contributed to a national database from 1993 through 1998 using a standardized data collection form. Persons aged 65 years and over accounted for 18,363 exposures or 2.8 percent of the total unintentional exposures reported to Poison Control Centers from 1993 through 1998. While persons 65 and over accounted for 12.8 percent of the US population there are a number of reasons why older adults are a smaller percentage of Poison Center exposures than younger age groups. The primary reason is that Poison Centers are targeted and advertised primarily as a resource for parents and guardian of infants and toddlers. Children five years of age and younger account for 56.7 percent of all pesticide exposures reported to Poison Centers.

Despite a relatively low percentage among the aged, there is evidence of increased hazard. While those 65 years and older account for 2.8 percent of all pesticide exposures reported to Poison Centers, they accounted for 5.9 percent of the cases with a moderate to major medical outcome, and 27.6 percent of the deaths. Thus, once exposed, older adults are twice as likely to experience a serious outcome and nearly 10 times as likely to die.

An examination of individual classes of pesticides showed that pine oil- and ammonia- based disinfectants and fungicides are more likely to pose risks to older adults. Based on circumstances reported for fatal cases, this risk is often tied to mental incapacity, such as Alzheimer's disease, mistaking a pesticide container for food or drink, or pesticide storage in an unlabeled jar or container.

Source: "EPA Aging Initiative" 

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International Conference on Healthy Ageing and Longevity

CDC Job Opportunity

Trends in Health and Aging Web Site Coordinator

Position Description: Associate Staff Fellow

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Office of Analysis and Epidemiology  is seeking an Associate Staff Fellow to oversee the scientific and technical aspects of the Trends in Health and Aging Web site:   Trends in Health and Aging is a collection of data tables and other material on salient aspects of the health of the U.S. aging population.  The site is supported by the National Institute on Aging.  The data tables are viewable online via the Beyond 20/20 software, a user-friendly package that allows the user to customize tables, create graphics, and perform statistical tests.  The data come from a variety of sources — NCHS, CDC, the Census, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Trends in Health and Aging (Tendencias en la salud y el envejecimiento) is bilingual (English-Spanish).

Because of the increasing complexity of the Warehouse, there is a need for a coordinator to handle the research and dissemination aspects of the Warehouse.  The Staff Fellow will assist in identifying topics for new tables and improvements to current tables, based on important research and policy issues for the aging population.  The Fellow will design new tables, keep abreast of changes in data sources that affect statistics in the tables, such as questionnaire changes, and will develop quality control procedures for the tables. 

The Fellow will develop written materials for the Warehouse, including reports on trends in various aspects of the health of the aged, shorter guides to topics such as hospital use, disability, or risk factors, and graphics summarizing trends.  In addition, the Fellow will develop and update FAQs and other guides for visitors to Trends in Health and Aging.

The Fellow will oversee the interagency agreement from NIA and will coordinate personal services and other contracts to develop and disseminate statistics and educational materials based on the Warehouse.

The Fellow will conduct outreach and training activities, both in person at professional conferences and meetings and via the Internet.  The fellow will supervise usability testing and redesign efforts.

The Fellow will coordinate the production of an “annual report” providing an overview of trends in the health of the aging population.

Other duties include maintaining a tracking system for the tables, to record changes in data and text in the tables, and reviewing other Web sites to gather ideas for improvements.

The Fellow will also work with information technology staff responsible for the actual programming of the sites.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or able to acquire a valid work authorization. Candidates are subject to the same medical requirements as Civil Service employees.  Appointees must be able to read, write, and speak English in such a manner as to be able to carry out the responsibilities of the assignment effectively.  Candidates should have a masters degree or equivalent in social science, public health or related field and excellent writing and organizational skills. Experience working with web sites is a plus. 

The Fellow should be fluent in Spanish because the Aging site is bilingual and the Fellow should be able to handle materials in both languages.

Salary range from $54,272 to $84,559 commensurate with education and experience.

Interested candidates should send resume or C.V. and transcripts to James Lubitz,  or Yelena Gorina, .

The CDC is an equal opportunity employer.  All applicants will receive equal consideration without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation, age, disability, status as a parent or any other nonmerit factor.



 Deadline: June 30, 2006

The Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Leadership Program will be honoring five individuals this fall who have demonstrated leadership in responding to the challenges faced by the Gulf Coast as a result of the storms of 2005.

If you know someone who has found creative ways, despite overwhelming odds, to bring health services to their communities, they may be eligible for this award.


• must be serving or have served individuals affected by the Gulf Coast Disaster, including those displaced from the region.

• must be working at least 3/4-time at the grassroots level.

• may not have received significant national recognition.

• must be in "mid-career," with at least five and no more than 15 years of community health experience.

Nominations are open and can be made by consumers, community health leaders, health professionals and government officials who have been personally inspired by the nominees.

The nomination form and supporting materials must be received by June 30, 2006. For more information or to submit a nomination, visit the CHLP Web site at or call the program office at (617) 426-9772.

Mailing Address: Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Leadership Program 89 South Street, Suite 405, Boston, MA 02111


The Impact of the Aging Population on the Health Workforce in the United States: Summary of Key Findings


For Immediate Release
Contact: Catherine Herman (518) 437-4980

U.S. Unprepared for Impact of Aging Population on Health Workforce According to UAlbany Center for Health Workforce Studies

Shortages of RNs, geriatric specialists pose significant strains on health services

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 24, 2006) -- The United States is unprepared to meet the health care challenges posed by an aging population, according to a new study by the University at Albany’s Center for Health Workforce Studies (CHWS). The report, The Impact of the Aging Population on the Health Workforce in the United States, examines the implications of population aging for the health workforce, both in the context of caring for older adults (65+) and on health care professions and occupations.

“People are living longer and are more aware of available health care services,” said Jean Moore, director of the CHWS, part of UAlbany’s School of Public Health. “The older adult population will be larger, more ethnically diverse, and have a higher education level than previous generations. As demand for health services grows, large numbers of health care workers will be retiring at the same time, making shortages likely. We had a 6 percent nursing shortage in 2005 and that will grow to a 29 percent shortage by 2020. We also lack enough people trained as geriatric specialists to meet the needs of this growing cohort of older Americans.”

The report also found that while the number of new physicians currently entering practice each year should be adequate to meet aggregate demand for services, this supply may not be sufficient to meet the needs of older adults. This population is far more likely to live in rural areas, where physicians are often in short supply and access to transportation is limited.

Other findings of this study include:
o Older adults are more likely to suffer chronic illnesses (cancer, heart disease diabetes) and need more and different health services than younger adults. Yet, most health professionals receive limited training on care to older adults and, in the future, will need better training in geriatric issues, such as chronic disease management.
o Older adults consume more ambulatory care, hospital services, nursing home services and home health services than younger people. The new demands placed on the health care system for health services will not only include a need for more workers, but also require changes in the way services are provided.
o While older adults are expected to become increasingly diverse, many health professions are not, and this lack of diversity could contribute to disparities in health outcomes.
o Many health professions, particularly those with long educational trajectories such as medicine and psychology, are older than average and are at greater risk for depletion as the population ages.
o Future demand for health workers to serve older adults will be affected by emerging technologies: Automated pill packaging in pharmacies; video-links that allow urban medical specialists to “see” a rural patient and consult with a primary care physician; sensors that monitor an Alzheimer’s patient’s location.

Copies of the full report may be downloaded from the Center’s web site at:

The Center for Health Workforce Studies at the University at Albany's School of Public Health conducts studies of the supply, demand, use and education of the health workforce, and collects and analyzes data to understand workforce dynamics and trends. It is one of six regional centers devoted to health workforce studies with a cooperative agreement with U.S. Department of Health's Health Resources and Services Administration/Bureau of Health Professions.

Through its partnership with the New York State Dept. of Health, UAlbany’s School of Public Health offers students immediate access to internships at the Health Department, Albany Medical College and variety of other public and private health institutions throughout New York State. Students have unique access to study the most profound health issues facing us today: the threat of bioterrorism; the spread of HIV/AIDS and other emerging diseases; the lack of affordable and accessible healthcare for individuals and families; environmental hazards; substance abuse and social violence; maternal mortality in developing countries; the promises and threats of genetic engineering; protecting food and water supplies. For more information, visit:

The University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages 17,000 diverse students in nine degree-granting schools and colleges. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit

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