CEO Blog

By CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH
June 29, 2020

Understanding Ageism and COVID-19” is the latest in a series of resources that GSA has prepared in response to the ongoing pandemic. It’s an infographic that can help us all, as aging advocates, counter the inaccurate narratives about older people in public discourse today.

As GSA’s COVID-19 Task Force began its work, its members quickly identified ageism, and the perpetuation of ageist myths, as a major concern as evidenced by the coverage of the pandemic in the media. The infographic highlights several false narratives about older adults in the pandemic and reframes them in the context of science.

Read more: Infographic Dispels Myths About COVID-19’s Impact on Older Adults

By CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH
June 11, 2020

We’re living in a time when many feel it is difficult to fully protect our health. It sometimes seems we have little control as the specter of COVID-19 looms in the community. This historic pandemic has left many — perhaps older adults in particular — feeling cautious and fearful until the time that a vaccine is developed.

GSA’s National Adult Vaccination Program (NAVP) Workgroup has put together a new fact sheet, “Aging and Immunity: Why Older Adults Are Particularly Susceptible to Diseases Like COVID-19,” that provides valuable information about our immune systems and provides details about the complexities involved in creating a vaccine. Public-private partnerships and manufacturers are moving at a historic pace to bring a safe and effective vaccine to market. While a vaccine may be ready by the end of the year, it may also be significantly longer.

Read more: New GSA Fact Sheet Highlights Pathway to Future COVID-19 Vaccine(s), But Let’s Remember Importance of Fully Utilizing Already Available Immunizations

By CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH
May 20, 2020

In case you missed it among the crush of emails, text messages, webinars, etc., over the past two weeks, I encourage you to take three minutes to watch a message from United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres as he lays out key tenets of how we should respond globally to the rash of ageism confronting us during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He gave a video address emphasizing that our response to COVID-19 must respect the rights and dignity of older people. I applaud Guterres and the U.N. for providing a steady voice of advocacy as we continue to see ageist attitudes exposed toward older adults in this time of crisis. At every level of society, we must respond.

Read more: U.N. Reminds Us What’s at Stake as We Collectively Respond to COVID-19

By CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH
May 5, 2020

While the COVID-19 pandemic has upended virtually every aspect of our personal and professional lives, I am amazed at how the research community has adapted and innovated to continue its pursuit of new scientific insights during this period. While many are impacted by research losses due to interrupted studies and missed opportunities, it’s impressive to see how individuals have adapted to continue their current research and innovated to pursue projects related to COVID-19.

Read more: GSA Journals Support Those Adapting and Innovating to Advance Aging Research

By CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH
April 27, 2020

The dissemination of GSA members’ scientific research has been a guiding principle of our Society since its founding 75 years ago. While much of the research community is focused on COVID-19 right now, the important work of GSA members continues across the broad continuum of research endeavors. GSA’s role in disseminating research findings also includes making sure that accurate information about aging is shared with the general public.

One of the chief ways our Society has achieved this is through GSA’s Journalists in Aging Fellows Program, now celebrating its 10th year. This program educates journalists across all media platforms about aging issues and helps them connect with the leading researchers in the GSA membership to share findings with diverse audiences nationwide. Thus, these journalists are a vital link between aging researchers and the general public.

Recently, we received some wonderful news that two journalists received awards for work they produced as participants in the fellowship program.

Read more: Award-Winning Coverage Showcases Value of Members’ Work

By CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH
April 14, 2020

It’s inspiring to see the show of support that New Yorkers are demonstrating for health care and other essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re taking time each night at 7 p.m. to applaud and cheer those on the front lines.

Here at GSA, we want to embrace that spirit and give recognition to people who are making a positive difference in the lives of people as we age. The events surrounding the pandemic have brought to the forefront the need for more professionals that provide care for and services to the aging population. Thus, there has never been a more timely reason for Careers in Aging Week, which GSA has organized annually for nearly two decades.

Read more: Celebrating You and the Aging Field During Careers in Aging Week

By CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH
April 8, 2020

Among the many ways GSA members are navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic is the almost overnight transition from a typical classroom environment to a virtual distance teaching format. Many GSA members are educators and the Society has mobilized to support their ongoing success.

Read more: Overnight Transition to Distance Teaching? GSA Members and Partners Provide Tips and Resources

By CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH
March 26, 2020

For those in need of an uplifting story, the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act (OAA) was signed into law this week after receiving bipartisan support in both houses of Congress. As a continuing advocate for OAA reauthorization, GSA applauded this news in a press release issued shortly after the signing.

This news is very timely. OAA-supported programs are provided to more than 11 million older adults and their caregivers annually. These programs are designed to prevent abuse and neglect, reduce social isolation, support caregivers, offer employment and community service opportunities, promote nutrition (through Meals on Wheels, as an example), and improve transportation options.

Read more: OAA Reauthorization Provides Welcome News

By CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH
March 24, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic will continue to disrupt all of our lives for months to come, with projections indicating the most difficult days are still ahead of us. We will manage through this extraordinary challenge the only way possible, by working together, doing our individual part to support the collective wellbeing of our families, communities, and institutions. We will be aided by the application of science, the tool that all of us apply daily to solve problems and to make sense of the unknown.

Here are three resources to help GSA members around the world as they navigate this pandemic.

Read more: New Resources Can Help the GSA Community Navigate the Weeks Ahead

By CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH
March 2, 2020

When teaching individuals about the Reframing Aging Initiative, the GSA team always begins with what it takes to "reframe" an issue.

Step #1 is Map the Terrain, as shown in the multiple research projects undertaken to provide key insights. I encourage you to explore the research findings. Step #2 is Develop a Strategy to Navigate to Higher Ground, as shown in the Gaining Momentum communications toolkit. And Step #3 is Build a Caravan, Equip the Travelers and Start Moving, accomplished through workshops to prepare individuals to apply the evidence-supported framing interventions to their daily communications.

Read more: Equipping the 'Reframing Travelers'

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