Aging & Public Health
Section Newsletter
Winter 2010

From the Chair



As I begin my tenure as chair of the GH Section, I want to thank my predecessor Nancy Miller for a superb job as our chair. Under Nancy’s leadership we celebrated our section’s 30th anniversary, had two very successful annual meetings, garnered national attention in The Nation’s Health for our Scientific Awards Portfolio, and added an additional award to this portfolio. Most importantly perhaps, Nancy mentored many young Section leaders who are continuing their contributions to the GH Section. I look forward to continuing to work with Nancy and Lené Levy-Storms (our section’s chair elect) as well as the GH Section’s leadership and members to promote our section and its mission “to stimulate public health actions to improve the health, functioning, and quality of life of older persons and to call attention to their health care needs.” Along the way, I hope we can remain optimistic about the possibilities of health reform as well as retain the enthusiasm for our work and our section that I witnessed at the 2009 Annual Meeting.


Speaking of the Annual Meeting, the 2010 Annual Meeting is in the wonderful mile high city of Denver, and I hear airfares are low now (so book early). We are planning a terrific program including several top-notch symposia (as described by Gerry Eggert in this newsletter) and a funder’s roundtable where members can meet face-to-face with representatives from foundations. Additionally, we are hoping to have a mentoring program in place at the meeting so young investigators and students can meet with more senior faculty and public health professionals to get feedback on their career paths and research ideas. Needless to say, the GH Section leadership is enthusiastic about the planned 2010 Annual Meeting, and we look forward to seeing you there. 


Best wishes for a healthy, happy and successful year ahead!           

New Editor of APHA Gerontological Health Section Newsletter

The APHA Gerontological Health Section is pleased to have this opportunity to extend its deepest appreciation to Steve Albert for his significant contributions to the Section for his role as editor of the Section Newsletter. In this role, Steve has greatly expanded members’ access to critical public health information across the nation that affects the lives and well-being of older adults. We congratulate Steve on the publication of his new book, and wish him continued success in his scholarship and academic life.


In the transition of leadership, Steve has very graciously introduced Mary Beth Morrissey to the role of editor. Mary Beth, who has been serving as subeditor under Steve’s stewardship since 2008, has been appointed to a two-year term as editor.


Mary Beth is affiliated with the Fordham Ravazzin Center on Aging, New York, and is a Faculty Fellow at the Brookdale Center on Aging of Hunter College, New York. She has earned degrees in law and public health, and is a doctoral candidate in gerontological social work at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. Mary Beth recently won the New York State Society on Aging Award in Doctoral Research for her research paper entitled, “Pain and Suffering in the Frail Elderly: Palliative Care and Relational End-of-Life Decision Making.” Her research interests are in health and mental health policy, palliative and end-of-life care, and the phenomenology of pain and suffering of frail elderly persons. Mary Beth is very excited about assuming the role of editor of the newsletter, and hopes to bring an interdisciplinary perspective to her new responsibilities.


You may contact Mary Beth at or to make contributions for upcoming issues of the newsletter.

SAGE Grant

SAGE Receives Major Grant from HHS for the First National Resource Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Elders

The Health and Human Services secretary and the Administration on Aging have awarded Services & Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Elders (SAGE) a three-year, $900,000 grant to establish the nation’s first and only national resource center on LGBT aging. The National Technical Assistance Resource Center for LGBT Elders will provide assistance and training to communities, aging service providers and LGBT agencies nationwide in their efforts to serve and support older LGBT people. 

The leadership of both SAGE and AoA view the creation of the National Resource Center of LGBT Elders as a major achievement for the LGBT community. According to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, this provides an opportunity to make information, assistance and resources available to agencies that provide services to older individuals that may not be familiar with the needs of this underserved population. AoA has a record of funding national organizations that provide technical assistance and support services to underserved communities. HHS and AoA are now making it possible for LGBT older adults to have their unique needs addressed.

SAGE, the nation’s oldest and largest organization serving LGBT older adults, will  partner with the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging and Longevity of Hunter College, New York, recognized nationally as a major center of excellence, and nine other organizations with expertise in a broad range of areas including mainstream aging, LGBT aging, culture change and competency and program evaluation.  These organizations include PHI (a national training expert), the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), the National Council on Aging’s National Institute of Senior Centers, the American Society on Aging, Centerlink (the national association of LGBT community centers), GRIOT Circle, FORGE Transgender Aging Network, Third Sector New England/The LGBT Aging Project, and openhouse.

Since its creation, SAGE has pioneered programs and services for older people in the LGBT community, provided technical assistance and training to expand opportunities for LGBT elders across the country, and provided a national voice on LGBT aging issues. In 2005 SAGE became the first official LGBT delegate at a White House Conference on Aging. The Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging & Longevity of Hunter College, founded in 1974, is one of the country's first multi-disciplinary academic gerontology centers. For over three decades, the Brookdale Center has taken the lead in identifying the needs of older adults, developing programs to make neighborhoods and communities better places to grow old, training professionals and paraprofessionals who serve the elderly, and championing both the elderly and policies to promote successful aging. The Brookdale Center now serves as a critical bridge between gerontological education, research, policy, practice and advocacy. SAGE and its partnering organizations in the National Resource Center will seek to work with mainstream aging providers, LGBT providers and LGBT older adults to ensure the delivery of necessary and culturally appropriate supports and services to LGBT elder for successful aging in place.

New York Palliative Care Conference

The Collaborative for End of Life Care of Westchester and Southern New York sponsored its third interdisciplinary and interfaith palliative care conference on Nov. 13 in White Plains, N.Y., featuring keynote speaker Dr. Joseph J. Fins, prominent medical ethicist at New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center and recently elected president of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities. The title of the conference was, “A Team of Partners in Palliative Care: Challenges and Choices in Ethics of Care at End of Life.” The conference was co-sponsored by 40 public and private agencies including the Westchester Women’s Bar Association, the Westchester Public Private Partnership for Aging Services, the Pace Women’s Justice Center and the Fordham Ravazzin Center on Aging. The conference drew more than 450 professionals from the fields of nursing, social work, law, medicine, chaplaincy and pastoral care, and other disciplines, and has been nominated for the Westchester County Public Health Service Award.


With health care at the top of the national agenda, the elder boom, and continuing advances in the medical community’s ability to prolong life, a thorough discussion of the ethics, challenges and issues posed by end-of-life care has never been as timely. Conference attendees learned about some of the medical, ethical, legal and practical issues surrounding end-of-life care. Dr. Fins’ opening keynote, “Balancing the Right to Die and the Right to Care: Neuroethics Meets Palliative Care,” was received with wide enthusiasm. In discussing the challenges of dealing with patients in varied states of consciousness, Dr. Fins focused on the goals of care planning for each and every patient.  Dr. Fins described the trajectories that sometimes occur in cases of minimally conscious states and the care needs of such patients. In all cases, Dr. Fins stressed the call to professionals to provide an ethic of care that is patient and family centered, and advances the goals of care for the patient. Dr. Frederick J. Wertz, a professor in the Department of Psychology at Fordham University, was a discussant in the morning keynote session, and gave context to Dr. Fins’ remarks in the tradition of the human sciences. Dr. Wertz emphasized the interdisciplinary backgrounds represented in the discussions and the central importance of the humanistic perspective in giving meaning to the palliative ethic of care. Mary Beth Morrissey, Esq., MPH, health care attorney and gerontological social work researcher with the Fordham Ravazzin Center on Aging, was the second discussant, representing the humanistic legal perspective. She provided a legislative update including provisions on palliative care in the federal health reform bills, and generally, a legal framework of reference for decisions that concern us when we talk about states of consciousness.


Dr. Fins’ keynote presentation was followed by a plenary session entitled, “Cultural Perspectives at the End of Life,” moderated by Joan Adams, LCSW, with presenters Karen Bullock, PhD, and Ernest Aguilar, PhD. In the afternoon, concurrent workshops were held on a variety of topics including psychosocial aspects of pain and suffering, bridging research and practice in caregiving, health care costs, complementary care and geriatric care, the challenges of hospital-based palliative care programs, and spirituality.


Dr. Mary Ann Quaranta Award


The first “Dr. Mary Ann Quaranta Award” was presented at the conference in honor of Dr. Mary Ann Quaranta, dean emerita of the Fordham Graduate School of Social Service and an honorary chair and founder of the conference.  Dr. Quaranta, former president of the National Association of Social Workers, is credited with providing outstanding leadership in the field of aging.


About the Collaborative for End of Life Care:


The Collaborative for End of Life Care of Westchester and Southern New York is a consortium of over 40 public and private agencies, colleges and universities, home health, hospice, hospital and social services providers under the auspices of the Fordham Ravazzin Center on Aging, Pace Women’s Justice Center and the Westchester Public Private Partnership for Aging Services. The collaborative is dedicated to advancing understanding of end-of-life and palliative care issues. For more information, please contact Mary Beth Morrissey, Chair, at




Trailblazing Caregiver Coaching Program in Westchester

In a trailblazing initiative, 25 Westchester County volunteers received certificates for completing a new program to help family caregivers make informed decisions to better care for their older or disabled loved ones.  The initiative - the Livable Communities Caregiver Coaching Program  - was started last year by Commissioner Mae Carpenter of Westchester County’s Department of Senior Programs and Services (DSPS).


Carpenter said the program was essential because of the rapidly growing number of families who find themselves in caregiver situations and need community support to meet their many challenges and responsibilities. According to Carpenter, often family members are thrust into caregiver roles without warning, perhaps if a spouse has a stroke or suffers an accident. As a result, they often experience stress and become overwhelmed. They may not know what to do first or the best places to call for help.


That’s where the Caregiver Coaches come in. They are stabilizing forces and sounding boards. Their training gives them practical information to become more knowledgeable about caregiving issues and concerns. They, in turn, can discuss various options with the caregivers. These conversations can empower the caregivers to set priorities and make well thought-out decisions. They work with – not for – the caregivers and are not substitutes for professionals in the field.  Nor do they assume caregiver tasks themselves or offer medical or legal advice.


The pioneering curriculum was developed by DSPS and Fordham University’s Ravazzin Center on Aging, West Harrison, N.Y., with input from an advisory committee of representatives from agencies and organizations that deal with older adults. The graduates – 21 women and four men – received their certificates in a December ceremony at the Ravazzin Center and are now being matched with family caregivers. 


“I feel like we’re on our way,” Carpenter said. “We’re out of the door in terms of getting supplemental assistance to families who have that major job of being caregivers.”


Dr. Irene Gutheil, a professor at Fordham in West Harrison and founding director of its Ravazzin Center on Aging, also said it was very gratifying to have reached this point.


“It’s great to see the fruits of our labors, to see the enthusiasm in the coaches and in the volunteers who taught the classes,” Gutheil said. “They’re ready to go out there and make a difference in people’s lives.”


The program start-up is funded through a grant from the Westchester Public/Private Partnership for Aging Services. The Family Caregiver Alliance says that a variety of innovative programs to help family caregivers – an under-served population - is an emerging trend.


Carpenter said DSPS’ proactive Caregiver Coaching program is the most comprehensive of its kind in the United States. It is part of DSPS’ Livable Communities project, its signature program, which has received national awards. AARP has indicated it is one of three Livable Community models in the United States.  


The Caregiver Coaching course meets once a week for three consecutive weeks for a total of 12 hours. Participants must also attend monthly Caregiver Coach Conversations to discuss specific issues, their experiences and concerns. How much time each coach devotes to a family caregiver will vary and most of the contact will be by telephone. Candidates must make a one-year commitment to the program. 


For more information, contact DSPS at (914) 813-6441 or  




A Focus on Increasing the Delivery of Potentially Life Saving Preventive Services

From the Centers for Disease Control and  Prevention:

Our nation does well in ensuring that children are up to date on recommended preventive services, given that such services are a condition of school entry. However, the same cannot be said for preventive service delivery for middle-aged and older Americans.  Though the benefits and effectiveness of screenings for selected cancers and immunizations for infectious diseases such as influenza and pneumococcal disease are well-documented, the percentage of adults up to date on such services remains low.  This is particularly true among those ages 50 to 64, without the benefit of Medicare coverage. Adults in this age range will comprise 20 percent of the U.S. population by 2015. Strikingly, only one in four currently receives a core set of routinely recommended preventive services.

As part of a multi-faceted focus on increasing the delivery of potentially life-saving preventive services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, together with AARP and the American Medical Association, are pleased to announce the release of the report, “Promoting Preventive Services for Adults 50-64:  Community and Clinical Partnerships.” A unique and innovative resource, this report identifies a core set of recommended preventive services, delineates successful strategies and programs that promote and facilitate their delivery in community settings, and provides easily-referenced national and state-level data on fourteen key indicators for tracking progress. Nine additional organizations assisted in the development of this report. The report complements but does not overlap with efforts focusing on clinical performance measures. 

The information in the report should prove useful to a variety of audiences, including public health and aging services professionals, researchers, policy-makers, the media, clinicians, and mental health professionals.  In highlighting critical data as well as “Calls to Action” and “Spotlights” on effective community-based strategies to promote the use of preventive services, this easy-to-use reference can assist with priority setting, program planning, health reporting, educating policymakers and the media, and grant writing.  A PDF of the report is available on the website of CDC’s Healthy Aging Program at A searchable, online version of the report, including new data for over 130 local communities and links to key resources, will be available in the spring of 2010. 

Among the key messages of the report is the untapped opportunity to more effectively link community organizations and clinical partners to expand the number and variety of service delivery sites and to offer multiple, “or bundled,” preventive services in community settings, e.g., provide women receiving a flu shot the opportunity to schedule a mammogram at a nearby hospital.  An innovative strategy referenced in the report is:

“Vote&Vax,”, a model pioneered by the SPARC program (Sickness Prevention Achieved through Regional Collaboration) that offers immunizations at polling places on election days.

To further strengthen efforts to enhance the delivery of preventive services, CDC is working with AARP, AMA and others to pilot evidence-based strategies, to develop a measure that reflects the extent to which individuals and populations are up to date on selected services, and to provide states and communities with documented guidance on how to implement strategies known to be effective in ensuring critical preventive services reach those they are designed to benefit. Closing the gap in the delivery of potentially lifesaving preventive services is critical to preserving and protecting the health and quality of life of our nation’s rapidly growing number of adults aged 50 and older.


ü  CDC Healthy Aging Program Web site (with link to report)

ü  U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

ü  The Guide to Clinical Preventive Services


ü  The Guide to Community Preventive Services


ü  Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices


ü  SPARC Program


ü  WISEWOMAN Program


Contact for article:  Andree C. Harris, Acting Director (for Lynda Anderson PhD), Healthy Aging Program, CDC 

(; (770 )488-5387)


Twentieth Annual APHA Public Health Materials Contest

The APHA Public Health Education and Health Promotion section is soliciting your best health education, promotion and communication materials for the 20th annual competition. The contest provides a forum to showcase public health materials during the APHA Annual Meeting and recognizes professionals for their hard work.


All winners will be selected by panels of expert judges prior to the 138th APHA Annual Meeting in Denver.  A session will be held at the Annual Meeting to recognize winners, during which one representative from the top materials selected in each category will give a presentation about their material.


Entries will be accepted in three categories; printed materials, electronic materials, and other materials.  Entries for the contest are due by March 26, 2010.  Please contact Kira McGroarty at for additional contest entry information. 

Sickness Prevention Achieved Through Regional Collaboration

Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Health Services Research and Policy

The University of Rochester offers a post-doctoral fellowship in health services research, funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Candidates must hold a PhD, MD or equivalent degree, and must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.


The goal of this fellowship program is to train individuals to develop the knowledge, skills and experience needed to become successful health services researchers. The post-doctoral program will focus on translating research into policy and practice for improving health care and health outcomes. Fellows may complete a Masters in Clinical Investigation with HSR concentration, participate in seminars, workshops, and other activities for fellows, and will conduct two mentored research projects.


The fellowship provides unique opportunities to integrate training in health services research and policy with major programs at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Key components of this program include five nationally renowned clinical departments – Geriatrics, Pediatrics, Family Medicine, Psychiatry, and Neurology – as well as the NIH-funded Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Center for Community Health, and other divisions of the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine (National Center for Deaf Health Research, Division of Healthcare Management).


The fellowship pays an annual stipend, based on the number of years of prior relevant experience and training. Funds are also available to cover tuition, travel and research-related expenses. We seek applicants with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. 


Application Process


Applications will be accepted until the position(s) are filled. Preferred start date is July 1, 2010. To apply, please send the following documents: letter of purpose describing career goals and research interests; curriculum vitae; graduate transcripts; three letters of reference.


Interested candidates should contact:


Helena Temkin-Greener, PhD, MPH

Program Director

University of Rochester, School of Medicine

Department of Community and Preventive Medicine

601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 644

Rochester, New York 14642

Phone: (585) 275-8713



Applied Gerontology Doctorate Terminated



Faculty members of the PhD Program in Applied Gerontology at the University of North Texas were informed on Sept. 22 that their degree program would be terminated by the University Administration. The five-year-old program with about 60 doctoral students is one of the few doctorates in Gerontology in existence in the United States. Program faculty, already told that their Department of Applied Gerontology was to be merged with UNT’s Department of Sociology, were also informed that the resulting department would be simply known as ‘Sociology,' not ‘Sociology and Applied Gerontology,’ as faculty of both former departments had requested. At the same time, the faculty of the expanded Sociology Department were informed by their dean that the major focus of the Sociology PhD program was to be Applied Gerontology. Program director Dr. Stan Ingman expressed concern that those searching for a doctorate program in gerontology would not readily find such a program, buried within a sociology department. He noted further that most of the current students in the Applied Gerontology doctoral program might not have been interested in a sociology, as opposed to gerontology, degree. The Applied Gerontology doctorate will no longer be allowed to admit new students but will teach out current students until they finish their program or leave, which could take up to 10 years for recently admitted students. The status of the Applied Gerontology masters degree in Long-Term Care, Senior Housing and Aging Services is not altered by these changes, nor is the certificate of the Coalition for Leadership in Aging Services (CLAS, formerly the Retirement Housing Project, RHP) or the Applied Gerontology Certificate program. 


(The author, Dr. James H. Swan, is an Applied Gerontology faculty member.)

Position Announcement

School of Public Health

Drexel University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102


Position Announcement


Chair, Department of Community Health and Prevention


Position Overview:


The Drexel University School of Public Health is seeking an experienced and dynamic public health professional with academic/administrative experience to lead the Department of Community Health and Prevention. The department is strongly committed to human rights, social justice and community engagement, incorporating these values into the curriculum and program objectives of the DrPH and MPH degree tracks. The department has a well-developed research and public health practice agenda grounded in serving vulnerable populations, adopting community-based participatory research methodology to address public health concerns in youth, HIV/AIDS, LGBT health and tobacco-related chronic diseases. The Department Chair reports to the Dean, serves on the School’s leadership team, and manages departmental fiscal and human resources to foster excellence in education, research and service. The successful candidate will have a well-developed research program and will be expected to continue scholarly and educational pursuits.


Drexel University, School of Public Health – Overview


Among Drexel University’s eleven Schools and Colleges is the only accredited School of Public Health in the Philadelphia region, located in Center City Philadelphia.  The School of Public Health is fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health and is a full member of the Association of Schools of Public Health. Its mission is to promote the health of communities through an integrated program of education, research, service and practice with an emphasis on the importance of the connection between human rights and health status. The SPH covers the five core concentrations of Public Health through four academic Departments: Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Environmental and Occupational Health, Health Management and Policy and Community Health and Prevention. The School has experienced tremendous growth over the past five years in enrollment, research expenditures and academic offerings. School-wide research includes excellence in autism epidemiology, the relationship between place and chronic disease, governmental public health management, the study and prevention of hunger among children, innovative strategies and policies to prevent intentional violence, occupational safety research, impact of public health law, cardiac disease epidemiology and more.


Drexel University – Overview


Drexel University is one of the 50 top private doctoral/research- intensive schools nationally, and is among the top five “Schools to Watch” in this year’s U.S. News and World Report.  Along with the School of Public Health, Drexel University is home to colleges of medicine, law, nursing and health professions, engineering, information technology, business, arts and sciences, media arts, and education - providing unique opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration. Philadelphia boasts internationally recognized historical and cultural attractions, award-winning restaurants, and diverse recreational activities.


Department Chair, Community Health and Prevention



The Department Chair reports to the Dean of the School and works with the Administrative Deans, three other Department Chairs and department faculty members.  Department Chair responsibilities include:


  • Departmental management, administration and visionary leadership, including planning, budgeting, resource use, assessment, and staffing
  • Development of new research and scholarship pursuits in collaboration with departmental faculty as a facilitator or mentor
  • Maintenance of extant departmental research, service, educational and scholarly pursuits
  • Engagement in community health and prevention efforts with impact at the local/state/national/global levels
  • Ongoing development, assessment, and accreditation activities for the DrPH and MPH curricula
  • Engagement in student recruitment, retention and success initiatives 
  • Faculty recruitment, mentoring, advancement and assessment
  • Development and maintenance of school and university-wide collaborative relationships, including development of joint degree programs, and departmental advocacy and service on school and university committees
  • Advancement of the goals and objectives of the department and school through collaboration with Institutional Advancement, Student Life, Enrollment Management, Media Relations, and other institutional resources



  • Terminal degree in public health or a related field, with demonstrated competence in an area of public health.
  • Achievements commensurate with appointment at Full Professor level, including a nationally recognized record of research and scholarship, a substantive publication record, considerable teaching experience, and a strong record of sponsored research in community health and prevention
  • Experience with, and support for, collaborative relationships with community partners to improve the health of citizenry in the Greater Philadelphia region and beyond.
  • Management experience in an academic environment plus documented, strong leadership skills in a climate of collaboration and support
  • Ability to support and advance an interdisciplinary, diverse and inclusive curriculum, with knowledge of case-based learning a plus
  • Demonstrated commitment to contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching, and/or service in community health and prevention.

Demonstrated commitment to contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching, and/or service in community health and prevention.


Drexel University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages applications from women, members of minority groups, disabled individuals, and veterans.  Applications will be handled with strictest confidence.


Applicants should apply electronically to by clicking on “search postings,” then “faculty” under job category, and then “search.” Please upload a statement of interest, CV, and contact information for three references.  Review of electronic applications will begin Jan. 18, 2010 and will proceed until the position is filled. Questions may be directed to Janet Fleetwood, PhD, Search Committee Chair, at or (215) 895-1827.

GHS Leadership Positions

Dear GHS Members,


As chair-elect, I am inviting you to consider running for a GHS leadership position. We need new leadership to support our Section’s current leadership and future. Please consider!


We have several vacancies including one Governing Councilor and two Section Councilors.


The Governing Councilor position is a two-year term. The primary

responsibility is to attend the Annual Meeting and represent the GHS at its corresponding Governing Council meetings then report back to the GHS Section (for more details on APHA’s Governing Council see below or the APHA Bylaws: These meetings start the Saturday prior to the program and end the following Tuesday. In addition, you call in mid-year for a Governing Council conference.


Section Councilors provide service to the GHS as needed with minimal pre-determined roles for a term of three years. Examples of contributions of previous section councilors include serving as the GH Section’s Awards Chair, chairing an awards subcommittee, drafting a policy statement, assembling and overseeing staffing of the Section’s booth during the Annual Meeting, and serving on GH Section committees.


If you are interested in either of these two leadership positions, please e-mail me directly and 1) tell me why and 2) if you have any other GHS service experience. Also, please confirm that your membership is current.


If you have any questions about these positions or about running for a leadership position in general, please do not hesitate to contact me at or (310) 825-7388.







Lené Levy-Storms, PhD, MPH

Associate Professor & Hartford Faculty Scholar

UCLA Departments of Social Welfare & Medicine/Geriatrics

Mailing Address: UCLA School of Public Affairs-Soc Wel

BOX 951656, 3250 Pub Policy Bldg

Los Angeles, CA 90095-1656




Voice: (310) 825-7388


Fax: (310) 206-7564