CEO Blog

By Executive Director and CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH
October 12, 2017

It’s almost time for National Family Caregivers Month in November, and GSA is already getting a head start on some major activities in this arena.

On October 16 and 17, we’re helping to support the National Research Summit on Care, Services, and Supports for Persons with Dementia and Their Caregivers, which is being held at the headquarters of the National Institutes of Health. The event is being sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and several private sector organizations, and I’m proud to say that GSA Fellows Katie Maslow and Laura Gitlin are serving as co-chairs. (And let’s congratulate Laura on being recently being named chair of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act’s Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services!)


Read more: GSA Takes on Key Role in Advancing Nation’s Caregiving

By Executive Director and CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH
October 5, 2017

The final numbers for the IAGG 2017 World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics are in, and they are impressive. GSA welcomed more than 6,000 participants to San Francisco, hailing from 80 countries. Serving as the host society for the World Congress provided a wonderful opportunity for GSA to further solidify its role as a connector, convener, and collaborator across the broad spectrum of stakeholders in the aging arena — on a national and international stage.

GSA has never been stronger and we are taking steps to ensure we remain vital in a dynamic environment. The next major milestone the Society will be building toward is our 75th anniversary in 2020. As we look to the future, GSA will continue to explore new ways to enhance the benefits we provide to all members, and evaluate opportunities for strengthening the Society for the next 75 years.

Read more: Governance Review Workgroup Helping to Shape GSA's Future

By Executive Director and CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH
October 3, 2017

While it won’t bring immediate aid or comfort to the millions of Americans impacted by Hurricane Maria, the Senate Special Committee on Aging is aware of the need to improve policies to help older adults in times of disaster.

On September 20 — the day that Hurricane Maria, a powerful Category 4 hurricane, made landfall in Puerto Rico — the committee convened a hearing to learn from experts about the options available for helping older adults cope in times of natural disasters.

Read more: To Help Older Adults in Times of Disaster, New Policies Are Needed

By Executive Director and CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH
September 15, 2017

The widespread destruction caused by Hurricane Irma, following closely on the heels of Hurricane Harvey, again reminds us of the necessity of planning for natural disasters. The extraordinary planning and evacuation efforts by professionals and individuals across Florida helped to reduce the loss of life from Irma. Millions of people have been impacted, including hundreds of GSA members across the region. Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected as they begin the long process of rebuilding. (The American Red Cross continues to accept donations to help those affected.)

Read more: Unnecessary Tragedy Reminds Us of Importance of Disaster Planning

By Executive Director and CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH
August 29, 2017

The horrifying images of the continuing destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey are a reminder of the power of nature and the importance of planning for natural disasters. Millions of people are being impacted, including GSA members in the region. Our thoughts are with all affected. GSA has placed a link for the American Red Cross at the top of our homepage to make it easy for you to provide support if you wish.

Read more: Supporting our Texas Neighbors, Colleagues, and Older Persons

By Executive Director and CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH
August 25, 2017

Think of an older adult that you know who has diabetes, lung disease, or heart disease. In the midst of managing medication, diet, exercise, and stress, it’s hard to imagine adding one more thing to the checklist required to maintain their health. But for older adults with chronic conditions, vaccines are critical.

Throughout National Immunization Awareness Month in August, we celebrate successes and highlight challenges with immunizing the U.S. population. GSA has chosen to focus on older adults with chronic conditions in particular, due to the serious complications that vaccine-preventable diseases present, including long-term illness, hospitalization, and even death.

Read more: Let’s Remind People of All Ages to Get Their Vaccinations

By Executive Director and CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH
August 4, 2017

GSA cemented its position as a leading convener and connector of international researchers, clinicians, and educators by serving as host of the IAGG 2017 World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics in San Francisco last month. As the sole U.S.-based member of IAGG, GSA was tapped to implement this quadrennial gathering that some have dubbed the “Olympics” of our field. More than 6,000 individuals from 80 countries participated in the World Congress, making it the largest ever.  As GSA is already an international organization — with about 18 percent of our multi-disciplinary members based outside the U.S. — serving as host for this event was a natural extension of our well-established role.

Read more: GSA Hosts Largest Gathering of Aging Scholars Ever!

By Executive Director and CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH
June 19, 2017

When Medicare was introduced more than 50 years ago, several major aspects of older adult health care were not included in the coverage provided — including vision health, oral health and hearing health.  In the case of eye health, the marketplace has provided older adults with access to widely available and affordable options. With oral health and hearing health, much remains to be done.

It’s exciting to see movement here in Washington to address the latter issue, with an important bill regarding the regulation of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids making its way through the legislative process in a bipartisan manner.

Read more: Science and Persistence — The Right Mix for Improving Access to Hearing Aids

By Executive Director and CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH
June 8, 2017

On June 1 and 2, I represented GSA at the National Institutes of Health workshop titled “Inclusion Across the Lifespan.” This workshop, mandated by the December 2016 passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, focused on identifying and addressing barriers to inclusion of broader age groups in clinical trials.

The program placed special emphasis on children and older adults. Representatives from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and National Institute on Aging, as well as NIH more broadly, were actively engaged.

Read more: Older Adults Need Better Clinical Trial Representation; NIH Asks for Input

By Executive Director and CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH
May 30, 2017

I recently met with Trevor Holmes, the vice president of external and strategic affairs at Dublin City University (DCU), to learn about the exciting work he is stewarding to encourage universities to become age friendly.

While most of us are more familiar with the movement toward age friendly cities and communities, this newer initiative brings age friendly concepts much closer to home for university-based GSA members.

Read more: Is Your University Age Friendly?

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