Aging & Public Health
Section Newsletter
Winter 2008




Welcome to the first issue of the Gerontological Health Section Newsletter for 2008.  This year you will see some changes.  In addition to our usual posting of job and grant announcements, department profiles, and Section business items, we plan to appoint a few subeditors to develop content area for the Newsletter. Subeditors will take on a particular theme, such minority aging or immunization, for example, and solicit short articles for the Newsletter.  The Newsletter is a great resource, and we need to use it well.


I wish you well for the new year.


Steven Albert

University of Pittsburgh



Message from Nancy Miller

Greetings and best wishes for a healthy and productive 2008!

Thank you to everyone who assisted in organizing and who participated this past November in the APHA Annual Meeting. The Gerontological Health Section (GHS) sponsored 31 scientific sessions at the meeting, with topics ranging from healthy communities and active aging to long term care. At our Awards Session, GHS recognized 14 individuals and organizations as recipients of an award for their research or program innovation related to older adults, as well as recipients of our Lifetime Achievement and Leadership Awards. Thank you to Rachel Seymour, Jan Warren-Findlow and Kathy Sykes for organizing our program. As Awards Co-Chairs, Janet Frank and Caryn Etkin coordinated the selection of award recipients for our numerous Section awards. Many Section members organized the review of individual awards, reviewed manuscripts for awards, and reviewed abstracts for the scientific sessions. Bob Burke, Gerry Eggert, Caryn Etkin and Turner Goins organized special dinners and luncheons for new members, as well as award recipients.

This year the Section held its eighth Silent Action and Raffle. To date, over $40,000 has been raised through this event to support endowments of Section Research Awards. Thank you to Gerry Eggert, Brenda Wamsley, Deanna Lewis, Larry Branch, Susan Kwak and Denise Gutiezzez for organizing and assisting with this event.

There have been many responses to the request that went out early in January to participate on committees and in the work of the Section. Thank you to everyone who has expressed an interest in becoming more active with the Section. If you have yet to respond, this newsletter includes another call for volunteers. Increasing our policy focus, engaging students and new members and increasing membership are just a few of the activities in which you can participate.

As you may know, this year GHS will celebrate its 30th anniversary as a Section of APHA at our Annual Meeting this Oct. 25-29 in San Diego. A Formative History, describing the formation of our Section, as well as highlights of our 30 years as a Section, is available on the GHS Web site. As we look forward to celebrating our anniversary, I welcome any suggestions you might have for sessions and events at our Annual Meeting in October.

Status of Health and Aging Education in Accredited Public Health Schools and Programs

UCLA School of Public Health and Center for Health Policy Research

Recent work in the field of public health work force training has largely avoided discussions of the work force needs for specific population groups. Yet the imminent arrival of the baby boom and the doubling of the number of people age 65 and over in the next 30 years create a clear need for an expanding cadre of public health professionals with expertise in aging issues.

Data from schools of public health document the rapid growth in both the number of accredited institutions granting public health degrees and the number of students pursuing them over the past 10 years. In 1993-94, a total of 14,600 students were enrolled in schools of public health, rising to more than 20,000 students in 2004-05. There were 36 schools of public health in 2005, up substantially from the 26 accredited schools in 1994. Further, 62 additional departments of community health education and of preventive medicine had accredited public health programs in 2005, up dramatically from 18 in 1993.

Has the growth in institutions offering graduate public health education also fueled an increase in new public health professionals with expertise in aging? Earlier growth in overall public health training did seem to bring more health and aging training with it. In 1985, Magee identified 63 courses being offered in 17 schools of public health on aging topics. By 1992, Prohaska found 96 listed in the catalogs of 23 Schools. Wallace surveyed both schools of public health and other accredited MPH degree programs in 1994, and the 43 responding institutions listed 92 different graduate courses on health and aging that were currently being offered. Most (72 percent) schools of public health had at least one course specifically on aging topics, but only one-third of other degree granting departments did. Course enrollments tended to be modest, so including all health and aging courses offered during a year, it was estimated that only 6 percent of graduates had taken at least one health and aging course. To determine the current state of aging curriculum within public health schools and programs, a follow-up study was conducted starting in the fall of 2005 and concluding mid-2006.

The overall response rate for the follow-up survey was 92 percent for schools of public health and 61 percent for public health programs. Among all respondents, there were a total of 128 aging-related courses offered within both accredited public health schools and programs. Key respondents at schools of public health report that two-thirds of courses are offered once per year, two-thirds are taught by tenure track faculty, and there is an average enrollment of 12 students per class. For public health programs, courses are most commonly offered once per year, 55 percent are taught by tenure track faculty, and there is an average enrollment of 10 students.

These numbers show that there is a definite presence of aging courses offered in accredited public health schools and programs. This is promising for training in the field of gerontological public health. However, our study also found that despite the increase in numbers of public health degree programs and in aging-related public health courses, there has been a decrease in the number of students taking these courses. Findings from the 1994 study show that 6 percent of enrolled students took at least one public health and aging course, but in 2005, only 3 percent of students took at least one course. Thus, among the more than 20,000 students enrolled in accredited public health degree programs, a mere 3 percent are exposed to any aging courses.

The 2005 follow-up survey answers the question of “what is the state of gerontological public health education?” We have information on the number and types of aging courses, faculty, students, field placements, funding, and respondents’ thoughts on barriers, strengths and future directions. What we do not know is why there is a seeming lack of interest in public health gerontology and what can and should be done to expose more students to this field. The number and variety of courses is promising, but what is their impact if only 3 percent of public health students are taking them? Is enrollment low because of the quality of public health and aging courses, a lack of active recruitment, or other reasons? How do we increase funding needed for curriculum development & student incentives? An immediate and concerted effort is needed to address these issues if we are to train a public health work force with expertise in aging. As current gerontological health practitioners and researchers, we must meet the challenge of answering these questions and doing what we can to make a change.

Celebrate National Public Health Week 2008 - "Climate Change: Our Health in the Balance"

The health effects of climate change will take center stage during National Public Health Week, April 7-13, 2008. As part of the weeklong observance, themed "Climate Change: Our Health in the Balance,"  APHA will lead the charge in helping people, communities and families recognize that adapting to climate change and mitigating its impact is critical not just for the health of our planet, but for the health of the people in our nation and around the world.

Changes in our climate are causing more severe weather events. Extreme weather conditions such as heat waves, high winds, snowstorms, floods and hurricanes have the potential to dramatically affect the health and safety of both individuals and our communities. Changing ecosystems allow for emerging or re-emerging infectious diseases such as dengue or malaria, which are changing the spectrum of disease risks affecting populations. In poorer parts of the world, drought and floods often force people to move away from lands no longer producing enough food often resulting in hunger and malnutrition. Moreover, contaminated drinking water can result in outbreaks of diarrheal diseases, leading to dehydration or death.


Few Americans will ever see the melting Greenland ice cap up close, or interact with an arctic polar bear facing extinction as its habitat melts. But local public health professionals around the country increasingly will be dealing with the impacts of climate change on the ground, every day. Join APHA as we work to create a healthier planet. Visit the official National Public Health Week Web site at to check out the climate change blog and brochure, sign up to be a National Public Health Week partner, or add your week's event to the national calendar.  For more information about National Public Health Week, contact



GHS Volunteers Needed

Much of the work of our Gerontological Health Section (GHS) is carried out through committees, staffed with volunteers with a passion about health and aging, who are willing to put that to work for our Section and APHA. We are looking for volunteers to fill the following positions:

· Editor elect of the GHS Newsletter, to work with Steve Albert, editor, on periodic GHS newsletters this year, then to become editor in November 2008.

· Student liaison(s), to represent GHS in the APHA Student Assembly and to work with GHS in meeting the interests and needs of our student members.

· Members for the Membership Committee, to work with R. Turner Goins, chair, to organize member recruitment, retention, and diversity activities.

· Members for the Web site/listserv Committee, to work with Steve Wallace in designing and maintaining the GHS Web site and related listserv activities.

Please free to contact me if you’d like additional information about any of the activities or general GHS activities for this coming year. You can e-mail ( or call me (410-455-3889).

Thank you in advance for your interest.

Nancy Miller, Chair, GHS

Proposed APHA Forum on Built Environment Standards and Law

As part of APHA's effort to enhance cross-cutting activity among various APHA sections, work is under way to establish a new Forum on Built Environment Standards and Law. APHA requires that at least 75 APHA members indicate an interest in being a member of such a forum, and, already, nearly this number have signed on from sections other than Gerontological Health. Interested members of GHS are now specifically invited to add their names in support of this new forum, as they are counted on for significant input to the work of the new forum. Gerontological health is profoundly affected by one's environment, and the design, construction and use of built environments in teh form of dwellings and various other living arrangements are impact by laws and standards taking many forms.

Membership in a forum neither affects one's section membership(s) nor involves any cost. Interested GHS members are asked to contact Forum organizer Jake Pauls at to be put on the list of interested APHA members. Simply send an e-mail to with “Forum” in the subject line and in the body of the e-mail, your full name and your state of residence/work (as shown in your APHA membership file). Later this year you will have the opportunity to comment on the application being submitted to APHA, so please take this first step to make sure that the interests of gerontological health are well represented in this new Forum.

Global Age-Friendly Cities

Global Age-Friendly Cities: A Guide odcol=15&codcch=714

Informed by the World Health Organization's approach to active aging, the purpose of this guide is to encourage cities to become more age-friendly to tap the potential of older people. An age-friendly city encourages active ageing by optimizing opportunities for health. participation and security, in order to enhance the quality of life of people as they age.

The guide provides a historical overview of urbanization and the challenges facing cities and also describes the concept of active ageing as a model to guide the development of age-friendly cities.

This guide highlights the issues cities face in urban living such as outdoor spaces and buildings, transportation, housing, social participation and employment, communication and information; and community support and health services. In each part, a checklist of core age-friendly city features is provided.

Also included is helpful information on how the guide can be used by individuals and groups to stimulate action in their own cities.

Leadership Roster 2008

Gerontological Health Section

Leadership Roster



Nancy A. Miller, Section Chair (2007-09)
Susan Miller, Section Chair-elect (2010-2011)
Bob Burke, Past Section Chair
Pat Alt, Secretary (2007-09)
James Swan, Governing Council (2007-09)
Lené Levy-Storms, Governing Council (2006-08)
Allan Goldman, Council (2005-08)
Ashley Love, Council (2005-08)
Helena Temkin-Greener, Council (2006-09)
Janet Frank, Council (2006-09)
Keith Elder, Council (2007-10)
Lucinda Bryant, Council (2007-10)


Dana Mukamel, AJPH Editorial Board (2007-10)

Karen Peters, Action Board (2007-2009)


Steven Albert, Newsletter Editor (2005-2008)

Gerry Eggert, Development Chair

Caryn Etkin, Awards Chair (2007-09)

Turner Goins, Membership Chair

Allan Goldman, Archstone Award Chair

Lenè Levy-Storms, Development Co-chair (Weiler Award)

Ashley Love, Program Co-chair (2008), Program Chair (2009)
Hongdao Meng, Membership Co-chair
Marcia Ory, Aetna/Susan B. Anthony Award Chair

Karen Peters, Policy Chair
Rachel Seymour, Program Co-chair

Steven Wallace, Web Site/Listserv Chair, Development Co-chair

Jan Warren-Findlow, Program Chair (2008)

We are currently looking for student representatives as well as a Co-chair for our newsletter. If interested, contact Nancy A. Miller, chair, at or (410) 455-3889.

As of Jan. 12, 2008.

Civic Ventures Purpose Prize

Civic Ventures has opened nominations for the 2008 Purpose Prize. The Prize provides five $100,000 and 10 $10,000 awards to U.S. residents over 60 who are creating innovation solutions to address society's most pressing problems – domestically and abroad.

They are looking for adults in the second half of life who are combining their creativity and experience to tackle some of the world's biggest challenges. Innovators like Phil Borges, who is using technology to expand cultural understanding among students worldwide, took prizes in 2007.

Now's the time to nominate someone you know over 60 who is changing the world! Civic Ventures is accepting nominations, including self-nominations at until March 1.

Please help spread the word by posting information about the prize in newsletters, listservs, blogs, or by e-mailing your friends and colleagues. Resources available at

Senior Needs Assesment

L.A. Seniors Count!

Senior Needs Assessment

The Los Angeles County Department of Community and Senior Services and the L.A. City Department of Aging, under the direction of the Los Angeles County Commission on Aging, have concluded a survey designed to determine the extent of the unmet needs of seniors living in the county of Los Angeles. The survey was directed to the seniors themselves rather than the providers or aging network professionals. A four-page survey instrument was developed and pre-tested. Seniors in the pilot study found the questions easy to understand and could complete the questionnaire in 10-15 minutes. Areas covered within the survey include Daily Tasks, Transportation, Social, In-home Services, Housing, Legal, Health, Prevention, and Caregiver Services.

To jump-start the event, the Board of Supervisors proclaimed an L.A. County Seniors Count! Needs Assessment Month. An extensive outreach and distribution plan included senior and recreation centers, libraries, parks, the Superior Court, polling sites, faith-based organizations, and hundreds of service providers. Surveys were mailed to these sites for distribution to seniors served by each agency or organization. Surveys were also available on the Internet. Although originally printed in English, Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, and Korean – the five most commonly spoken languages in Los Angeles County – in response to community demand the survey was also translated into Armenian and Japanese. The survey, as contemplated, was to reach a minimum of 100,000 seniors 60 years of age or older.

There are approximately 1.3 million seniors living in Los Angeles County. Exceeded by only eight states, the county has the largest population of any county in the nation. Approximately 28 percent of California’s residents live in Los Angeles County. The survey included the 88 cities within the county and also unincorporated areas. The results of this survey will assist Los Angeles to better plan programs for seniors since it addressed their needs as reported by the seniors themselves. Survey findings will be reported to Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Los Angeles City Council and will be shared with departments within the city and county that deal with seniors. They will be sent to professional aging journals for publication and to aging organizations for presentation at conferences. The information gained by the survey will be used to lobby nationwide for needed programs and services, both in the private and public sectors.

The County Department of Community and Senior Services has underwritten the majority of costs for the survey. Kaiser Permanente provided financial support in the amount of $75,000, and CVS Pharmacy underwrote the cost of refreshments for seniors participating in the survey. We estimate the total cost for the project at $300,000.


Bernard S. Weintraub, MPH

Immediate Past President

Los Angeles County Commission on Aging and

Chair, Needs Assessment Committee


GHS Awards Nominations 2008


APHA Gerontological Health Section

Philip G. Weiler Award For Leadership In Aging And Public Health

The Gerontological Health Section’s Philip G. Weiler Award For Leadership In Aging And Public Health recognizes the best of past and present leadership concerned with ensuring the highest quality of life for our older population. Those eligible for this award have provided leadership in the field of gerontological health and include, but are not limited to, public officials, policy makers, practitioners, teachers, researchers, and organizations such as grantors, advocates, providers or governmental entities. The nominee need not be a member of GH Section. The Selection Committee will consist of the current GH Section Chair, the Chair Elect(s), the two immediate past Chairs, and the GH Section Development Chair.

Nominations for the Philip G. Weiler Award For Leadership In Aging and Public Health for the 2008 Annual Meeting are due by Feb. 22, 2008. The winner is expected to attend APHA’s Annual Meeting in San Diego to accept the Award and deliver a 15-20 minute address at the GH Section Award Session on Monday, Oct. 29, 2008 at 4:30 p.m.

Nominee: _________________________

Title:         _________________________


City:        _____________________________________

State: ______ Zip: _________

Telephone: _________________________

E-Mail Address: __________________________

Name of Nominator: ___________________________

Title: __________________________


City:        _______________________________________

State:      ______ Zip: _________

Telephone:         ___________________________

E-Mail Address: ___________________________

Please describe the nominee’s accomplishments and the significance of his/her work to gerontological health in a ONE-page document. For individual nominated, attach a curriculum vita or other supporting documentation. Please return to:

Robert E. Burke, Ph.D.¯ GH Section Past-Chair ¯ Chair, Dept Health Services Management & Leadership ¯

School of Public Health and Health Services, GWU ¯ 2175 K Street, NW, Suite 820 ¯ Washington, DC 20037

Phone: 202-416-0492¯ email:

In fairness to all applicants, nominations e-mailed or postmarked after Feb. 22, 2008 will not be considered.

APHA is an Association of individuals and organizations working to improve the public's health and to achieve equity in health status for all. APHA promotes the scientific and professional foundation of public health practice and policy, advocate the conditions for a healthy global society, emphasize prevention and enhance the ability of members to promote and protect environmental and community health. APHA is the oldest and largest organization of public health professionals in the world, representing more than 50,000 members from over 50 occupations of public health.

APHA 800 I Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20001-3710 Phone: (202) 777-APHA Fax: (202) 777-2534


American Public Health Association

Gerontological Health Section

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Gerontological Health Section’s Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to public service, scholarship, or science in the areas of geriatrics and gerontology. It is expected that the winner(s) will have made a substantial contribution over their professional careers. Preference will be given to GH Section Members. There may be multiple awards in a single year. The Selection Committee will consist of the current GH Section Chair, the Chair Elect(s), the two immediate past Chairs, and the GH Section Development Chair.

Nominations for the Lifetime Achievement Award for the 2008 Annual Meeting are due by Feb. 22, 2008. This award honors an outstanding individual in the field of geriatrics and gerontology.

The winner is expected to attend APHA’s Annual Meeting in San Diego to accept the Award at the GH Section Award Session on Monday, Oct. 29, 2008 at 4:30 p.m.

Nominee: ________________________________

Title:         ________________________________

Address: ________________________________

City:         ________________________________

State: ______ Zip: _________

Telephone:               __________________________

E-Mail Address:       __________________________

Name of Nominator: __________________________

Title:        ____________________________

Address: ____________________________

City:        ____________________________

State: ______ Zip: _________

Telephone:          __________________________

E-Mail Address: __________________________

Please describe the nominee’s accomplishments and the significance of his/her work to gerontological health in a ONE-page document. For individuals being nominated, attach a curriculum vita and other supporting documentation. Please return to:

Robert E. Burke, Ph.D.¯ GH Section Past-chair ¯ Chair, Dept Health Services Management & Leadership ¯

School of Public Health and Health Services, GWU ¯ 2175 K Street, NW, Suite 820 ¯ Washington, DC 20037

Phone: 202-416-0492¯ email:

In fairness to all applicants, nominations e-mailed or postmarked after Feb. 22, 2008 will not be considered.


Special Awards

Hi all APHA/GHS members,

It is the time of year for nominations for our two special awards:

  • Philip G. Weiler Award For Leadership In Aging And Public Health - recognizes the best of past and present leadership concerned with ensuring the highest quality of life for our older population
  • Lifetime Achievement Award - recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to public service, scholarship, or science in the areas of geriatrics and gerontology.

The previous article has the guidelines and nomination form for these two awards. Nomination are due by Friday, Feb. 22, 2008.

APHA Gerontological Health Section

--- Elected Positions
Nancy Miller, Section Chair 2007-09
Susan Miller, Section Chair-elect
Bob Burke, Past Section Chair
Pat Alt, Secretary 2007-09
James Swan, Governing Council 2007-09
Lené Levy-Storms, Governing Council 2006-08
Allan Goldman, Council 2005-08; Archstone Award Chair
Ashley Love, Council 2005-08
Helena Temkin-Greener, Council 2006-09
Janet Frank, Council 2006-09
Keith Elder, Council 2007-10
Lucinda Bryant, Council 2007-10

--- Appointed Positions
Jan Warren-Findlow, Program Chair 2008; Rachel Seymour 2007, Ashley Love 2009
Turner Goins, Section Membership Chair
Caryn Etkin, Awards Chair (2007-09)
Marcia Ory, Aetna/Susan B. Anthony Award Chair
Steven Albert, Newsletter Editor (2005-2008)
Steven Wallace, Website; Listserv Chair
Gerry Eggert, Development Chair
Karen Peters, APHA Action Board (2007-2009)
Dana Mukamel, AJPH Editorial Board (2007-10)
Irena Pesis-Katz, APHA Student Assembly Representative

Plus many other volunteers who make the GHS successful!


Investigator Awards

The Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funds highly qualified individuals to undertake broad studies of the most challenging policy issues in health and health care facing America. Grants of up to $335,000 are awarded to investigators from a variety of disciplines. Successful proposals combine creative and conceptual thinking with innovative approaches to critical health problems and policy issues.


Applications are welcomed from investigators in fields such as anthropology, business, demography, economics, engineering, ethics, genetics, health and social policy, history, journalism, law, medicine, nursing, political science, public health, psychology, science policy, social work and sociology. We seek a diverse group of applicants including minorities and individuals in non-academic settings.


If you have a project idea that holds promise for enhancing our understanding of significant health-related problems and informing the development of sound health policies, we encourage you to consider applying.


Deadline for four-page Letter of Intent Applications: March 26, 2008.


The complete Call for Applications is available at: or by calling (732) 932-3817.


Please visit our Web site for more information about the program and its awardees.

Archstone Foundation Award



As of Nov. 1, 2007, the Gerontological Health Section of APHA began accepting nominations for the 2008 Archstone Foundation Award for Excellence in Program Innovation. The Award was established in 1997 to identify best practice models in the field of health and aging, to provide recognition for best practice models and to provide an opportunity to highlight best practice models at the APHA Annual Meeting.

Programs that effectively link academic theory to applied practice in the field of public health and aging are eligible for nomination. Nominees should have documented results and can not have been in operation more than 10 years. Preference will be given to nominees who have not received prior awards or special recognition.

The program nomination summary must be typed, single-space, and not exceed two pages. The narrative is to include information about the problem being addressed, the population served, the project’s design, partnerships or collaboration, funding, measurable benefits and outcomes. Only one program may be nominated per agency or organization. Please include an electronic copy of the program nomination on disk or CD, readable in MSWord or Word Perfect.

An independent panel will review all nominations. The criteria for award selection will include:

· Creativity in project design;

· Documented outcomes and benefits of the program;

· Replication potential;

· Evidence of collaboration and partnerships; and

· Dissemination strategy.

The winner is expected to register and attend the 136th APHA Annual Meeting in San Diego, Oct. 25-29, 2008, and make a professional presentation. In recognition of this achievement and to assist with the travel expenses, the winning organization will receive a $1,000 cash award. Honorable Mention may also be awarded to one or more nominees submitting distinguished programs as judged by the review panel. Each Honorable Mention will receive a $250 cash award.

Nominations are to be postmarked by April 1, 2008 and may be sent or e-mailed to:

Allan Goldman, MPH, Chair, Archstone Foundation Awards Committee

Georgia Division of Aging Services

Assistant Director

Two Peachtree Street, NW, 9th Floor

Atlanta GA 30303

Phone: (404) 657-5254


Aging at the Heller School

“Aging” at the Heller School, Brandeis University: Facing a Global Demographic and Epidemiologic Imperative

“Stop aging and come back and see me in six months,” we can say, as did the physician to a stooped and elderly man in a cartoon. Or, we can avail ourselves of the growing knowledge base with regard to aging and health, such as we see showcased and disseminated in the GH Section at APHA. At Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management, we are building on a rich legacy of research in aging policy, to offer a concentration in “Aging.” Currently, this concentration is formally offered in two of our five graduate programs: the Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Public Policy (MPP). Students in our PhD program, as well as our two globally focused programs (a Master in Science in Health Policy and Management, and a Master in Arts in Sustainable International Development) will also avail themselves of these course offerings. The goal is to educate and train managers and policy-makers who are skilled in developing and implementing innovative policies and services that will incorporate the range of services required by elders. This program trains the next generation of managers and policy-makers in the aging field who will have the conceptual, factual and technical knowledge required for leading positions in a range of public and private sector organizations. Students in the MBA program gain the technical training of a traditional MBA program, while focusing on the organization and management of human services organizations. Students in the MPP program specialize in policy analysis, design, and evaluation and may pursue careers in government, advocacy or research.

Partnering with the Heller School in this endeavor is Hebrew SeniorLife (HSL), a seven-site network of senior housing and health care, including a geriatric training hospital and research facility. HSL is the largest provider of senior housing and adult care in New England. Students will gain experience in HSL’s continuum of services, including acute care, long- and short-term care, senior supportive housing and services, assisted living, adult day health, continuing care retirement communities, home health care, assistive technology, transportation, volunteer programs, and family support.

The Aging Concentration brings together an interdisciplinary faculty; fields represented include management, medicine, assets, policy analysis and research. The concentration provides students with a thorough immersion in the management and policy environment within which elders' needs are currently addressed, and brings perspective on future needs and policy trends. With faculty expertise in both domestic and international social policy, the Heller School, ranked third in the nation among schools of social policy, is an ideal setting for graduate education in the field of aging for leaders interested in “aging” across the globe.

Successful candidates are professionals in the field of aging or more recent college graduates with strong academic credentials and interest in aging.

For more information, please visit the Heller School Web site at: Please also feel free to contact me at or (781) 736-3960.

Sarita Bhalotra, MD, PhD. Chair, concentration in aging.

Trends in Health and Aging online information tool.

Basic information on the health of older Americans is essential to much of the work we do in our field, but we often have a difficult time finding the most up-to-date national health data in a form we can easily use to aid in developing and running programs, doing research, teaching or grant writing.

One tool that provides up-to-date, online information on the health and well-being of older Americans is Trends in Health and Aging (THA), a data archive developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. THA is a collection of trend tables with health indicators displayed over time and by age, sex, and race/ethnicity. To access the material you log on to the free Web site at and, using your mouse or touch pad, select the table or tables with the information you need, extract that data or customize the table to suit your requirements, perhaps use a bar, line or pie chart to summarize the data and then download to your computer or presentation software. The site now has nearly 100 tables on such important measures as life expectancy, death rates, the prevalence of leading chronic conditions, utilization of inpatient, outpatient, nursing home and home health care, functional status and behavioral risk factors using national and state-level data from federal collection systems.

To illustrate how you might use THA, perhaps you’re interested in obtaining information on the impact of one of a number of chronic diseases on older adults, their families and the health care system. One table in THA will provide you with trend data on mortality from the disease, another will give you the latest information on the prevalence of the illness and another table the level of hospitalizations with that disease as the primary reason. If your focus is on women or Hispanics, you can revise the tables to highlight these demographic factors; if you want specific information on a particular state, some of the tables include geographical breakdowns. You also might want to look at tables showing important risk factors such as smoking, exercise or body weight.

There are other features; users have ready access to important documentation about the source of the data and have the tools at hand to create new summary statistics, to map state-based data, or to do some statistical testing. As an additional option, the THA Web site has PowerPoint presentations on such topics as “Major trends and patterns in diabetes for older Americans,” “Major trends in medication spending by older Americans,"and “”Major trends and patterns in supplemental health insurance coverage for Medicare beneficiaries.” ( )

While Trends in Health and Aging is not designed to handle the informational needs of all professionals in the field of aging, it is an important example of how CDC is attempting to meet the demand for user-friendly access to high quality information on the health and well-being of aging adults.

To learn more about THA, log on to the Web site,, and access the tutorials. The next live demonstration will be at the 2008 Conference of the National Council on Aging and American Society on Aging in Washington, D.C., March 26-30, 2008.


Fact sheets on diabetes, women's health

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Aging Initiative recently released two new informative fact sheets for older adults and their caregivers. “Diabetes and Environmental Hazards” outlines simple and important preventative steps to reduce exposure to environmental hazards and protect one’s health. Environmental hazards can affect the health of people with diabetes, and people living with diabetes are considered at high risk for adverse health effects from exposure to harmful particles, or air pollution found both indoors and outdoors. Inhaling harmful microscopic particles found in air may even increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.

The fact sheet “Women and Environmental Health” offers information on how to reduce exposure to pollutants such as air pollution, pesticides, cleaning agents and lead. Heart disease is the number-one killer of women over 65 years of age. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, which accounts for half of all deaths among American women age 50 and older. Did you know that heart disease, COPD and asthma can be aggravated and worsened by environmental pollutants, particularly air pollution? In 2006, 34 percent of people age 65 and older lived in counties that experienced poor air quality.

Did you know that lead you were exposed to earlier in life is still in your body? During menopause, bone stores break down and release accumulated lead into your bloodstream. Among older women, blood lead levels may be up to 25-30 percent higher than prior to menopause. Higher blood lead levels can increase your risk for hypertension, atherosclerosis and reduced kidney function.

The Aging Initiative has created seven fact sheets and translated them into 15 foreign languages and prepared a low literacy series and large font for persons with low vision on the Web site. All of these fact sheets are downloadable from the Web site, and hard copies can be ordered online at no cost at .

EPA Announces Awards for Communities that have Combined Smart Growth and Active Aging

On Feb. 7 the EPA announced seven winning communities and government agencies from around the country are the recipients of the new Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging award for their achievements in supporting active aging and smart growth. This new awards program recognizes outstanding community planning and strategies that support active aging and smart growth, thereby improving the quality of life of older residents.

By adopting smart growth principles, communities can design places that increase mobility and improve quality of life for older adults. Pedestrian-friendly, level walkways also increase access to these amenities and encourage older residents to walk to the doctor’s office or local stores. By providing a range of housing opportunities, communities can enable residents to move within their neighborhood as their housing needs change. Such life-long residents help to establish a strong sense of place within a community. The benefits of building healthy communities for active aging are being realized in communities across the country.

Two categories of awards were made today. The Commitment Award recognizes communities that have developed and begun to initiate a specific plan to implement smart growth and active aging principles. The Achievement Award will be given for overall excellence in building healthy communities for active aging.

The 2007 Achievement winners are the Atlanta Regional Commission and the City of Kirkland, WA. To accept the award for ARC is Cathie Burger, Chief of the Division of Aging Services and Joan McBride, the Deputy Mayor of the City of Kirkland.

The 2007 Achievement Award Winners are:

City of Rogers Adult Wellness Center, Arkansas

Carver County Public Health, Carver County, Minnesota

Town of Scarborough, Maine

Queen Anne’s County Housing and Community Development, Maryland

Brazos Valley Council of Governments, Texas

The EPA's Aging Initiative program spearhead the multi-agency effort, which was developed in partnership with the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Council on Aging's Center for Healthy Aging, the National Blueprint Office and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, through its Active for Life program. For more information on each winner see .

Official Announcement

Assistant Professor Position Health and Community Services

The Position:

Full-time tenure-track appointment in Gerontology and Health, at the rank of assistant professor, starting August 2008. As a university that educates students of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds, we value a diverse faculty and staff. CSU, Chico welcomes applicants who are knowledgeable about and interested in working within a cross-cultural learning environment. We also welcome those who share a passion and commitment to the University's 6th Strategic Priority that focuses on sustainability, stewardship, and the environment.

Minimum Qualifications:

Doctorate in public health or health education completed prior to appointment. Educational background and interest in gerontology. Successful candidates must demonstrate a commitment to excellence in undergraduate teaching. Candidates should also demonstrate experience in, or potential for, research and grant writing.


This tenure-track position carries responsibilities in the areas of teaching, scholarship and service. The primary responsibilities for this position include coordinating the gerontology option and undergraduate teaching in gerontology and health education or public health. Applicants should have expertise and interest in teaching health and aging and one of the following subject areas: community health, multicultural health, drug education. Also, candidates will be expected to maintain an active research program and collaborate with local community agencies.


Salary commensurate with education and experience.

The Department:

The department offers the BS Health Science with options in Gerontology, Health Education, Health Services Administration, and Environmental Health. The Health Education Program is SABPAC-approved. Additional information about the university and the department are available on our Web site:

Closing Date:

Review of applications began on Jan. 22, 2008 and will continue until the position is filled.

How to Apply:

All applicants must complete the Application for Academic Employment Form, which is available online at to be submitted with curriculum vitae or resume, complete set of transcripts, and three letters of recommendation to Dr. Roland Lamarine, Department of Health and Community Services, CSU, Chico, Chico, CA 95929-0505. Phone: (530) 898-6265, FAX: (530) 898-5107, e-mail: .

An annual security report disclosing crime statistics for California State University, Chico can be obtained by contacting the Chico State University Police Department (530-898-5372) or by accessing the following Web site:

For disability related accommodations please call Human Resources at: (530)898-5029.

CSU, Chico is an AA/EOE and also only employs individuals authorized to work in the U.S.

The University

California State University, Chico is a fully accredited, state-supported member of a 23-campus CSU system. The university is a residential campus serving a diverse student body of approximately 16,000.

Founded in 1887, CSU, Chico offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the Colleges of Behavioral and Social Sciences; Communication and Education; Engineering, Computer Science and Construction Management; Humanities and Fine Arts; Natural Sciences; Business; and, Agriculture.

As a comprehensive university serving Northern California and other regions nationally and internationally, our first priority is the education of our students. We support the exploration of knowledge, the integration of ideas, the connecting of thought to action, and the inspiring of students. (Excerpted from the Mission Statement, 2005-2007, University Catalog.)

The Community

With a population of nearly 110,000, Chico is located in the Sacramento Valley near the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. It is 180 miles northeast of San Francisco and 90 miles north of Sacramento and offers a reasonable cost of living compared to metropolitan areas. Chico retains the charm of a small town while offering excellent medical services, public and private schools, and many cultural and recreational activities. The city’s Bidwell Park, second largest municipal park west of the Mississippi, extends from the city center along a creek deep into the foothills and surrounding canyons.


Dennis L. Kodner, PhD, has been appointed founding director of the New York Institute of Technology Center for Gerontology & Geriatrics and professor of medicine & gerontology at New York College of Osteopathic Medicine of New York Institute of Technology based in Old Westbury, New York and New York City.


Happy New Year.


Personal news — I was named a regent’s professor at Texas A&M Health Science Center.  Here’s an abstract from a press release:


Established in 1996, the Regents Professor Award is bestowed annually by the Board of Regents in recognition of awardees’ exemplary contributions to their university or agency and to the people of Texas. Since its adoption, 106 faculty members from universities, agencies and the HSC across the A&M System have been recognized with the award.

Dr. Ory is a national leader in the aging and health promotion field. She has made substantial contributions to identifying factors associated with healthy aging, as well as implementing and disseminating evidence-based programs for improving the health and functioning of older adults. Working collaboratively with a variety of community, state and national partners, she has advanced the science of public health translational research. She also is known for her excellence in mentoring the next generation of scholars and practitioners.


Other School news: Our school was awarded a minority disparities grant from the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities at NIH last fall. GHS/APHA members are actively involved: Joe Sharkey is leading a project on Behavioral and Environmental Influence on Obesity: Rural Context and Race/Ethnicity. Marcia Ory is working on a project to compare effectiveness of different technological and behavioral strategies for diabetes management.


Other news — all is well!!  Hope so with you, too.




The Genomics Forum would like to invite your members to join this new component of APHA. By joining the Genomics Forum, APHA members retain their affiliation with their Sections but also have the opportunity to interact with others outside of their primary affiliation.

APHA now has additional information on its Web site about forums in general and the Genomics Forum specifically: