Supporting our Texas Neighbors, Colleagues, and Older Persons

By Executive Director and CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH

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.

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

By Executive Director and CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH

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.

GSA Hosts Largest Gathering of Aging Scholars Ever!

By Executive Director and CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH

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.

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

By Executive Director and CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH

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.

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

By Executive Director and CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH

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.