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The Gerontological Society of America Establishes National Center to Reframe Aging

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is announcing the launch of the new National Center to Reframe Aging as the central hub for the movement to reframe aging on behalf of the Leaders of Aging Organizations collaborative. After nearly three years of building the foundational capacity for the Reframing Aging Initiative, GSA is poised to take the initiative to the next level — increasing visibility of this important endeavor, maximizing integration of the effort within the field of aging, and reaching related professional audiences.  

The National Center will continue the work to reframe the public’s understanding of what aging means and the many ways older people contribute to society — with the goals of countering ageism and guiding our nation's approach to ensuring more supportive policies and programs for us all as we age. The National Center is the preeminent organization for proven strategies to effectively frame aging issues and advance a new conversation about aging in America. 

The National Center also will develop and implement a robust communication strategy to proactively advance a more accurate story of aging in America, and expand partnerships to grow reach, deepen engagement, and work towards sustainability. 

“Changing cultural attitudes is not a small undertaking, and we have to lead in our roles as researchers, practitioners, and educators in the aging field to affect this change,” said GSA CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH.  

GSA Vice President of Professional Affairs Patricia M. D’Antonio, BSPharm, MS, MBA, BCGP, will continue to oversee the reframing aging work as executive director of the National Center. 

“Core to achieving a shift in the public’s thinking is providing a set of accessible tools and employable strategies for professionals who communicate and advocate about aging in healthcare, public health, government, and social services to develop productive messages about aging,” D’Antonio said.  “Our framing choices have the power to influence policies that support all of us as we age.” 

Joining the National Center are Hannah Albers as program director and Alycia Claproth as communications manager.  

“We will continue to build the library of tools to teach good framing and support effective application of our research-based strategies, such as our Frame of Mind video seriesBest Practices Communications Guideand Caravan newsletter,” Albers said. “We all want to live in a community in which we can thrive as we age, and the National Center's tools are helping make that happen.” 

Support for the National Center comes from Archstone Foundation, The John A. Hartford Foundation, RRF Foundation for Aging, and The SCAN Foundation.  There are ten involved national aging organizations — collectively known as the Leaders of Aging Organizations (LAO) — including AARP, American Federation for Aging Research, American Geriatrics Society, American Society on Aging, The Gerontological Society of America, Grantmakers in Aging, LeadingAge, National Council on Aging, National Hispanic Council on Aging, and USAging.  

“The history of social movements strongly suggests that harnessing the unifying power of shared narratives is essential to enact long-term social change,” Appleby said. “Thanks to our forward-thinking funders, GSA and the LAO will continue to promote the widespread use of the field-tested reframing aging narratives. This work is critical for moving toward a more just, and more inclusive, every-generation-nation.”

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The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society — and its 5,500+ members — is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA’s structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society.

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