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GSA Hosts Largest Gathering of Aging Scholars Ever!

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.

World Congress attendees could clearly see how committed GSA is to advancing innovation in aging. Scientific Program Co-Chairs Terrie Fox Wetle and Jeff Halter did a fabulous job of ensuring the best scholarship was presented and the GSA staff team ensured all aspects of meeting planning and implementation went smoothly.  GSA introduced several new features to the World Congress, including a dedicated Technology and Aging Day and innovative Age Stage. Attendees also were able to visit local aging-related centers across San Francisco to see innovative programs in action.

I hope all attendees found the World Congress rewarding and that they left having some new colleagues and feeling uplifted about their professional role. Sometimes in our daily lives we don’t fully appreciate the impact we’re having. The opportunity to “step back” from our normal routine and participate in a global happening like this can be validating and an important reminder of how important your contributions are to advancing the field.

For those unable to attend the World Congress, you can soon get a flavor for the event by viewing the videos we produced for the onsite IAGG TV. And stay tuned for Opening Ceremony video and speaker presentations, which will be available on the GSA website in mid-August.

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