ASA Hosts the Largest Multidisciplinary Conference in Aging in Atlanta

Nearly 1,800 diverse professionals in aging returned last week to On Aging 2023, the largest multidisciplinary conference in the aging field.

This year has been a busy one at ASA, in which we graduated three cohorts of ASA RISE Fellows, hosted 44 webinars for 39,000 attendees, held multiple Forums and had an amazing in-person conference with a wide variety of more than 445 sessions from 835 presenters. All in the name of supporting older adults and uniting, empowering, and championing our members. Central to this conference was the theme of Health and Well-being, a topic in more than 80 sessions, especially as it pertains to equitable healthy aging.

ASA is the largest multidisciplinary professional society for those who work in aging. Together with its membership of nearly 5,000 individuals and organizations from across the country, and a global audience, ASA provides education and resources to those who work with or on behalf of older adults.

On Aging is its annual national conference, which welcomes professionals from all areas of expertise to share best practices, new research and the latest trends to foster insights and advances in the field.

“We look forward to On Aging every year because we can connect in person and collaborate to further all of our work on improving the lives of older adults,” said Peter Kaldes, CEO, American Society on Aging.

The opening program on Ending Ageism and Ableism fired up the audience. Sponsored by SAGE, it featured moderator Janine Vanderburg and panelists Ashton Applewhite, Elizabeth White, Tracey Gendron, Christina Peoples and Michael Adams, all big names in the anti-ageism space, while the closing session featured Emmy–award winning chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta on ways to preserve brain health. Other keynoters included AgeWave Founder & CEO Ken Dychtwald on the future of health, medicine and longevity; and Dr. Carl V. Hill, Vanessa Okwuraiwe, Sharon Lamberton, Courtney Christian, Yanira Cruz and Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall on advancing health equity.

ASA Awards Announced

ASA announced the recipients of its annual membership awards:

ASA President’s Award: Ken Dychtwald, PhD, in his third ASA award (he was honored in 1996 and 2013), is credited with evolving the world’s understanding of what aging means, and launched the Legacy interviews, which became a book, documentary and PBS Special: “The Sages of Aging.”

ASA Award: Carla M. Perissinotto, MD, MHS, acknowledging her research and work in combating social isolation and loneliness in older adults.

ASA Hall of Fame Award: Cynthia Banks, who has played pivotal roles at ASA, on its Board of Directors, Executive Committee, as interim ASA President & CEO, and helping create and mentor in the ASA RISE Fellowship program.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Award: SAGE & HRC Foundation, which work to achieve equality for LGBTQ+ people and joined forces to address these issues by launching the Long-Term care Equality Index to promote equitable and inclusive care for LGBTQ+ older people in long-term care communities.

Gloria Cavanaugh Award for Excellence in Training & Education: Chad Federwitz, who helped found the Gerontology program at Western Colorado Community College (WCCC), for his passion and dedication to his students, fellow instructors, the WCCC program and gerontological education.

Graduate Student Research Award: Elisabeth Stam who is honored for her research “Oral Health Disparities of Older Adults in the U.S.”

And the Advisory Council Awards:

Advancing Economic Security for Older Adults Award: Cindy Hounsell, Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement

ASA Ageism and Culture Award for Success in Diminishing Ageism: Tracey Gendron, PhD, and the Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Gerontology

ASA Justice & Equity Award: Kevin Prindiville and Justice in Aging

Innovation & Social Impact Award: Katie Wade, Front Porch Communities & Services

Health Equity–Achieving Full Health for Everyone Award: Waleed and Quiana Shamsid-Deen, Supreme Family Foundation

New Board Members Appointed

During On Aging 2023, the ASA Board of Directors convened and announced the election of new officers, the Executive Committee and the appointment of three new leaders from the field of aging to its Board of Directors.

Executive Committee:

Chair: Lisa Gables, CEO, American Academy of Physician Associates

Chair-Elect: Robert Espinoza, Executive Vice President of Policy, PHI

Treasurer: Richard Ashworth, President and CEO, Tivity Health

Secretary: Rani Snyder, Vice President, Program, The John A. Hartford Foundation

Executive Committee Members-at-Large: Ginna Baik, Senior Business Development Manager for Senior Living, Amazon; Amy Herr, Director, Health Policy, West Health; Najja R. Orr, President and CEO, Philadelphia Corporation for Aging

Members-at-Large: Joon Y. Bang, CEO, Iona Senior Services; Jeffrey B. Klein, President & CEO, Nevada Senior Services; Aiyshen Padilla, Head of Strategic Partnerships and Diverse Talent Acquisition, Amazon; Davis Park, Vice President, Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing; Simona Valanciute, President & CEO, San Diego Oasis; Joyce Walker, Vice President of Community Development, PK Management LLC.

New Board Members:

Stephen Farber, JD, MBA, CEO, Co-Founder of HealthHive, PBC

Darrick Lam, MBA, MSW, Vice Chair of the State of California Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Advisory Committee

Vincent Tilford, CEO, Luella Hannan Memorial Foundation

Benjamin Veghte, PhD, MPA, Director of the WA Cares Fund

“We’re proud to have the nation’s most impactful executives in aging on our Board of Directors,” said Kaldes. “Our newest leaders will bring tremendous value to ASA with their expertise from across the public, private and nonprofit sectors.”