CBCS News

Dr. Kathryn Hyer Named to "Age Friendly" Public Health Advisory Committee

Kathryn Hyer, a professor in the School of Aging Studies and director of the Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging, has been named to the advisory committee on Florida’s new Framework for an Age-Friendly Public Health System. It’s part of a broad national effort to involve public health systems in the promotion of healthy aging.

As the population of older adults has surged in recent decades, cities, states, and countries across the world have worked to become more “age friendly.” These initiatives focus on improving physical and social services to support older adults and make it easier for them to maintain their independence and remain in their homes and communities as they age.

The movement began more than a decade ago with the World Health Organization’s creation of the Global Network for Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. In 2015, Sarasota became Florida’s first “Age Friendly” community through the work of Kathy Black, a Professor of Aging Studies and Social Work at the USF Sarasota-Manatee USF, supported by The Patterson Foundation in partnership with AARP Florida and the Florida Department of Elder Affairs.

Hyer will be part of the effort to bring public health systems into the “Age Friendly” movement. Last October in Tampa, national, state, and local pubic health officials gathered with researchers, advocates, and service providers to discuss how public health could contribute to an age-friendly society and improve the health and well-being of older Americans. The Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), funded by The John A. Hartford Foundation, organized the gathering.

The October meeting resulted in an outline of the role that public health could play to meet the needs of an aging society. A key conclusion was that aging was a core public health issue. More information on the project can be found here:

https://www.johnahartford.org/images/uploads/reports/Age_Friendly_Public_Health_Convening_Report_FINAL.pdf