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*If you have previously been active with The Gerontological Society of America, you should have an existing account. If unsure, click “Forgot your password” to see if your e-mail address is in the system.


Upcoming Webinars

The Intersection of Aging and COVID-19

  The Intersection of Aging and COVID-19

Tuesday, October 20, 2020
12 to 1:30 p.m. ET
See registration instructions above
Free for everyone

Join us for a webinar and public facing address that will involve experts in Biology of Aging, Immunology and Infectious Disease, and Clinical Geriatrics. Our goal is to explore the basis for the profound skew in vulnerability to COVID-19 where older individuals are at much greater risk of succumbing to disease with much higher mortality rates than for the population at large. This session is designed to be translational, spanning the spectrum of aging including each of the sections within GSA. The speakers will be asked to provide a brief overview from the perspective of their discipline and the audience will be prompted to engage after each speaker and then in a panel session that will follow.

Presented by:

  • Rozalyn Anderson, PhD (moderator), Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
  • Brian K. Kennedy, PhD, Distinguished Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Physiology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS, Singapore, Director of National University Health System (NUHS) Centre for Healthy Ageing, Singapore, Professor, Buck Institute for Research on Ageing, Novato, CA, USA
  • R. Tamara Konetzka, PhD, Professor, Departments of Public Health Sciences and Medicine Biological Sciences Division, University of Chicago
  • David Melzer, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Exeter Medical School, Professor, University of Connecticut Center on Aging
  • Janko Nikolich-Žugich, MD, PhD, Department Head and Professor, Immunobiology, Co-Director, Arizona Center on Aging, The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tuscon

The program is jointly planned by the American Aging Association (AGE) and GSA.  The webinar will be archived on both the GSA and AGE websites within 48 hours of the presentation.  As part of the GSA Annual Scientific Meeting Online, this program is supported by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number 1 R13 AG067648-01. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.  Funding is also provided by Nathan Shock Centers Coordinating Center.

Making Our Research, Practice, and Academic Knowledge Relevant in the Policymaking Arena

Thursday, October 22, 2020
4 to 5 p.m. ET
See registration instructions above
Free for members; $25 for nonmembers

This webinar, organized by the GSA Public Policy Advisory Panel, will provide an opportunity to better understand the role that GSA and its members play in public policy and will include a dialogue around the value of making this a part of our work. Brian Lindberg, GSA’s Public Policy Advisor, will moderate the panel and will frame the discussion on the importance of GSA members using their research, practice, and academic skills and knowledge to educate and influence aging and health care policymakers at both the federal and state levels. This will be followed by interviews with three researchers to discuss how policy perspectives can be integrated in their work. The researchers, each representing a different substantive area in aging, will provide their perspectives on how to identify and elucidate the policy relevance of their research and other work. Linda Harootyan, who chairs the GSA Public Policy Advisory Panel, will serve as discussant.

Presented by:

  • Steven Austad, PhD, FGSA, Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).
  • Martha R. Crowther, PhD, MPH, Tenured Professor, University of Alabama (UAB) College of Community Health Sciences (CCHS), Department of Community Medicine and Population Health and the Department of Family, Internal, and Rural Medicine
  • Darina V. Petrovsky, PhD, RN, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, funded by the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Fellowship
  • Brian W. Lindberg, MMHS (Moderator), GSA Public Policy Advisor
  • Linda K. Harootyan, MSW, FGSA (Discussant), Co-Principal, Harootyan2

Equity, Justice, and Inclusion for Older Workers: Recommendations and Solutions, Part 2: Systems of Inequality Affecting Older Workers

Thursday October 29, 2020
12 to 1 p.m. ET
See registration instructions above
Free for members; $25 for nonmembers

Topic 1: Identifying Malleable Barriers to Engage Underserved Minority Middle-Aged and Older Adult Learners in Adult Educational Opportunities
Despite the growing need for adult education and training opportunities globally, opportunities to engage in adult education and training are most often pursued by higher-income or higher-skilled adults. Engaging and retaining adult learners in education and training among underserved racial/ethnic minority middle-aged and older adults are often challenging due to the structural barriers (e.g., program costs). This segment of the webinar will describe a study whose purpose was to identify barriers to engaging and retaining adult learners among underserved minority middle-aged and older adult groups. Through semi-structured interviews, data were collected from 60 key informants representing Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Norway, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Deductive qualitative descriptive methods revealed the need for recruitment efforts tailored to support adult workers, while also emphasizing the importance of multiple learning forms, including formal, nonformal, and informal learning. The presenters will provide recommendations to promote the inclusion of underserved subpopulations in learning opportunities.

Presented by:

  • Nytasia Hicks, MSW, PhD candidate in the Social Gerontology Program at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
  • Phyllis A. Cummins, PhD, Senior Research Scholar at Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
  • Takashi Yamashita, PhD, MPH, MA, Associate Professor of Sociology and faculty in the Doctoral Program in Gerontology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Topic 2: Older Adult Peer Specialists’ Role in Offsetting the Impact of Social Distancing During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Older adults with mental health conditions experience disproportionate risk from the COVID-19 pandemic and are more likely to have been homeless, to reside in a group setting, or to have been cared for at nursing facilities. Increasing fear during the pandemic can lead to gaps in communication and delays in medical care, particularly when isolated from community advocates. Older adult peer specialists are a Medicaid reimbursable workforce with a lived experience of aging with mental health issues; they have shown to improve clinical outcomes such as feelings of loneliness as well as behavioral health issues such as depression and anxiety—all of which are on the rise due to COVID-19. During the COVID-19 pandemic, older adult peer specialists are using technology to deliver digital peer support services related to addressing both the mental health and physical health needs of older adults. With the projected increase in behavioral health problems resulting from the pandemic, policies need to be created to incorporate older adult peer specialists into the existing workforce of behavioral health providers.

Presented by:

  • Mbita Mbao, LICSW, PhD candidate in the School of Social Work at Simmons University
  • Karen L. Fortuna, PhD, LICSW, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Dartmouth College

Topic 3: Microlearning for Low-Wage Workers in Nursing Homes
Direct care work in nursing homes is characterized by low wages, few benefits, heavy workloads, high rates of injury, and few opportunities for advancement. Because nursing homes are fast-paced environments that are faced with both rising acuity of residents (e.g., increasing numbers of residents with dementia) and high rates of staff turnover and “working short,” the time and resources for education and training are limited. Additionally, the women of color and immigrants, who comprise the majority of the direct care workforce, struggle with barriers to education, including low educational attainment, poor quality secondary education, foreign credentials, second jobs, and English fluency problems. Further, mid-level workers in nursing homes—licensed practical and registered nurses—require higher level credentialing that is out of reach for the majority of direct care workers. While it is clear that these workers need access to continuing education and diverse educational and career pathways, delivering this education requires innovation and creativity to address multiple layers of barriers. This segment of the webinar will discuss data from a statewide survey of nursing home staff and will provide access to microlearning videos aimed at supporting educators within nursing centers to fit learning into short huddles and in-service opportunities within these fast-paced environments. The presenters will discuss their research findings that suggest direct care workers are open to additional training but face persistent barriers to accessing and accruing rewards to training.

Presented by:

  • Jennifer Craft Morgan, PhD, Associate Professor at the Gerontology Institute at Georgia State University
  • Elisabeth O. Burgess, PhD, FGSA, Director of the Gerontology Institute at Georgia State University, and Professor of Gerontology and Sociology.

Over the last two decades, the phrase “aging and work” has evolved from its status as an oxymoron to a well-understood reality. It is now clearly recognized that the three-legged stool of retirement security (i.e., employer-sponsored pensions, Social Security in the United States, and individual savings) is rickety at best. More people need to work beyond conventional retirement ages to sustain their financial security in the face of longer lives and growing expenses. This need is paramount for older adults in general, but even greater for low-income, racial and ethnic minority, and blue-collar older workers. While perceived and/or real age discrimination has been identified as a factor limiting options for older adults, less is known about factors that mitigate against such perceptions of unfairness and injustice. This two-part webinar series from The Gerontological Society of America aims to: (1) identify the challenges of underrepresented older workers in their efforts to obtain or retain employment and (2) identify strategies for overcoming those challenges for people who either want or need to work in later life.

Series organized by:

  • Jacquelyn B. James, PhD, FGSA, Director of the Sloan Research Network on Aging & Work, and Co-director of the Center on Aging & Work at Boston College
  • Kendra Jason, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and member of the Steering Committee for the Sloan Research Network on Aging & Work.

Aging Policy and the 2020 Election Results

Monday, November 9, 2020
12 to 1 p.m. ET
See registration instructions above
Free for everyone

With the presidential and congressional election results extremely fresh in our minds, this panel will look at potential ramifications for aging and health policy. As advocates prepare to submit policy analyses and proposals to the Administration’s team, the speakers for this session will address how the Administration and Congress should and will likely address issues of COVID-19, economic security, long-term supports and services, Social Security and Medicare, and other policies and programs serving older Americans. Key changes in Congress, the Administration, and congressional committees will also be identified and explained.

Presented by:

  • Brian W. Lindberg, MMHS (Chair), GSA Policy Advisor
  • Robert (Bob) Blancato, President of Matz, Blancato and Associates
  • Jean C. Accius, PhD, Senior Vice President, AARP Global Thought Leadership
  • C. Grace Whiting, JD, President and CEO, National Alliance for Caregiving

Program Organizer: Patricia M. D’Antonio, BSPharm, MS, MBA, BCGP, GSA Vice President, Professional Affairs

Raising Adult Immunization Rates — Using Routine Vaccination to Prepare for COVID-19

Thursday, November 19, 2020
12 to 1 p.m. ET
See registration instructions above
Free for everyone

Adult immunization rates dropped during the COVID-19 pandemic as patients and health care professionals delayed in-person visits for routine care based on national health guidance. Influenza season presents an important opportunity to vaccinate not only with flu vaccine, but other routine adult vaccinations in both medical offices and pharmacies. Focusing on vaccination processes will not only protect patients but provide a test run for safely delivering and administering an eventual COVID-19 vaccine. This webinar will cover:

  • Age-related decline in immunity;
  • Vaccine recommendations for older adults; and
  • Practical strategies to support a strong recommendation for vaccines, including ways to address common questions or hesitancy

Presented by:

  • Stephan L. Foster, PharmD, Captain (Retired), USPHS
  • Steven Peskin, MD, MBA, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
  • Elie Saade, MD, University Hospitals of Cleveland

This program was jointly developed by GSA, the American College of Physicians, and the American Pharmacists Association with support from GSK.

Medication Data and the Next Generation of Dried Blood Assessment in the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP Advancing Interdisciplinary Clinical Research Series, in conjunction with the GSA 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting Online)

Monday, December 14, 2020
12 to 1 p.m. ET
See registration instructions above
Free for members; $25 for nonmembers

This webinar focuses on the medication data, dried blood spot assays, and social network survey responses in the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a longitudinal study that contributes to finding new ways to improve health as people age. Studies regarding polypharmacy and the social (and behavioral) dimensions of the adoption of supplements and prescribed medications will be discussed. The presenters will also illustrate how these data may be used to determine the use, underuse, and unsafe use of prescription and over-the-counter medications and dietary supplements as well as the presence of diagnosed and undiagnosed conditions such as diabetes.

Presented by:

  • Elbert Huang, MD, MPH, FACP, Professor of Medicine, Director, Center for Chronic Disease Research and Policy, Section of General Internal Medicine, University of Chicago Medicine
  • Dima M. Qato, PharmD, MPH, PhD, Hygeia Centennial Chair and Associate Professor, Titus Family Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Director, Program on Medicines and Public Health, Senior Fellow, Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, University of Southern California
  • L. Philip Schumm, MA, Director, Research Computing Group, Senior Biostatistician, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Chicago
  • Linda Waite, PhD (moderator), George Herbert Mead Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Chicago, Senior Fellow, NORC at the University of Chicago, Principal Investigator, National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project
  • Louise Hawkley, PhD (moderator), Senior Research Scientist, Academic Research Centers, NORC at the University of Chicago, Co-Investigator, National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project

NIH National Institute on Aging (NIA) Funding Opportunities and Data Sources
(HIV and Aging: Data Access, Availability, and Research Funding Opportunities Webinar Series)

Thursday, January 28, 2021
12 to 1 p.m. ET
See registration instructions above
Free for members; $25 for nonmembers

This webinar will provide information about existing publicly available NIA data sources for conducting secondary research related to HIV and aging, including information about several cross-national longitudinal studies in addition to U.S. data sources. The presenters also will discuss current NIA funding opportunities in HIV and aging research with an emphasis on those that relate to secondary data.

Presented by:

  • Marcia Holstad, PhD, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN, Co-Director, Emory CFAR HIV and Aging Scientific Working Group; Emory Co-Lead, NIH Inter CFAR HIV and Aging Working Group
  • Molly M. Perkins, PhD, Co-Director, Emory CFAR HIV and Aging Scientific Working Group; Emory Co-Lead, NIH Inter CFAR HIV and Aging Working Group

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