n4a Members, Leaders in Aging Gather in New Orleans for 44th Annual n4a Conference and Tradeshow
Last week, Aging Network leaders and innovators from around the country gathered in New Orleans for n4a's 44th Annual Conference and Tradeshow, continuing to set new attendance records for one of the Aging Network's most important conferences.
During the Conference, aging professionals and experts from across the country led a variety of insightful panels, sessions and workshops exploring issues ranging from population health to policy developments to new contracting opportunities for AAAs with Medicare Advantage plans.
After several Pre-Conference Intensives including trainings for new directors and I&R professionals, the Conference kicked off on Sunday with A Generation's Work: Reframing Aging Together, a General Session keynote presentation from James Appleby, CEO of The Gerontological Society of America, who described the Reframing Aging initiative and the reasons the Aging Network should take steps to change the “conventional wisdom” about aging. Also on Sunday, n4a CEO Sandy Markwood presented n4a's Excellence in Leadership Awards to Regina Sayers, Executive Director of the Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens and Lisa James, Manager of Family and Elder Services of the Cherokee Nation. Following the General Session, n4a hosted a Welcome Reception in the Tradeshow to provide attendees with an opportunity to make new connections with exhibitors and Aging Network colleagues.
Monday's General Session, Moving the Aging Network Forward: Strengthening Our Pillars and Partnerships, led by Lance Robertson, Assistant Secretary for Aging and Administrator, Administration for Community Living, focused on five critical issues facing the Aging Network, including enhancing capacity, ensuring consumers' access to much-needed services, responding to elder abuse, caregiving and workforce challenges. Following the keynote, Assistant Secretary Robertson moderated a panel discussion on how ACL and key organizations are forging innovative partnerships to address the five critical areas that Assistant Secretary Robertson has identified as his “five pillars” of focus. The panel featured leaders Bob Blancato, National Coordinator, Elder Justice Coalition; Robert Espinoza, Vice President of Policy, PHI; Sandy Markwood, n4a; Marisa Scala-Foley, n4a's Aging and Disability Business Institute; and C. Grace Whiting, President and CEO, National Alliance for Caregiving.
Also during Monday's General Session, n4a CEO Sandy Markwood announced the winners of n4a's 2019 Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards, including the top three Innovations winners, who received cash awards.
Tuesday kicked off with a General Session address by Rani Snyder, Vice President, Program of The John A. Hartford Foundation who led attendees through a discussion of how addressing the social determinants of health can improve health outcomes, reduce health care costs and enhance quality of life for older adults—and how both the health care and aging sectors are looking for new ways to bridge medical and social services. The General Session featured a panel of leaders who are drivers of change in the movement to address the social determinants of health. Following the panel discussion, the winner and runners-up of The John A. Hartford Foundation 2019 Business Innovation Award were recognized.
The Conference's closing General Session focused on innovative ways AAAs are addressing population health. After a keynote address from Alexis Skoufalos of the Jefferson College of Population Health, AAA leaders took the stage for an interactive discussion on how they are addressing population health in their communities. AAA leaders on the panel were Donna Harvey, CEO, Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging; Shireen McSpadden, Executive Director, San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services; Howard Rodgers, Director, New Orleans Council on Aging; Dawn Simonson, Executive Director, Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging; and Connie Benton Wolfe, President and CEO, Aging and In-Home Services of
Northeast Indiana, Inc.
Throughout the Conference, attendees enjoyed access to more than 130 workshop and special sessions on a wide range of topics pertinent to aging professionals. (See the full agenda.) Presentations and workshop materials will be available this fall for registered participants to download at www.n4aconference.org. Photo highlights from this year's Conference can also be found on n4a's Facebook page.
And save the date for next year's Conference, which will be held July 11-15, 2020 in Portland, OR!