Asa Is Listening to and Involving Members Nationwide

By Stein, Robert G. | Aging Today, July/August 2007 | Go to article overview

Asa Is Listening to and Involving Members Nationwide


Stein, Robert G., Aging Today


I want to thank the membership of the American Society on Aging (ASA) for being so generous in sharing your ideas and goodwill. Earlier this summer, we distributed an electronic survey seeking members' input on topics ranging from member benefits to subject areas of keen interest to the field of aging. ASA aims to build on the organization's rich half-century of experience by offering a variety of programs to serve professionals across the career continuum. We know that many longtime ASA members and established professionals who have devoted long careers to this field have different educational and affiliational needs than new and emerging professionals in aging.

No matter where members are in their careers, ASA is well positioned to serve the growing number of professionals working with older adults and their caregivers. The organization's staff and volunteer leadership continue to pore over the survey data to gain valuable insights into who ASA members are and how best to serve them. The survey data not only will help us match member benefits to each member's needs but also will help us to cultivate new programs and services to meet the emerging requirements of those working with elders. Many thanks to ASA board member and Membership Committee Chair Mauro Hernández of San Francisco, also research director of My Innerview Inc., and ASA's Membership' Committee for working on this survey. Special thanks goes to Linda Noelker, senior vice president of the Benjamin Rose Institute in Cleveland, and ASA's Research Committee for Grafting the survey instrument.

LEADERS AND IDEAS

ASA's awards program recognizes leaders in the field of aging and acknowledges innovative ideas and promising practices so that other professionals can learn from them. Nominations for the 2008 awards are being accepted through Oct. I. New this year, nominations are open to both ASA members and nonmembers for three achievement awards: the ASA Award, given for outstanding contributions to aging-related research, administration or advocacy; the ASA Hall of Fame Award, endowed by Atlantic Philanthropies and presented to an established leader who enhances the lives of older adults through lifelong advocacy and leadership; and the Gloria Cavanaugh Award for Excellence in Training and Education.

More than a dozen award categories for both individuals and organizations honor excellence in such areas as healthcare, mental health, business, research and media coverage. Some of the awards include cash prizes, and the winners present their ideas at the annual -conference. Thanks to ASA board member and Awards Committee Chair David Nevison, who .is associate executive director of the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, and the entire committee for working on this initiative. To learn more about ASA awards, as well as past winners, or to obtain a nomination form, visit www.asaging.org/awards.

ASA also recognizes the valuable role local membership networks play in connecting members with leaders in the field of aging. ASA Cleveland-area leadership will hold its inaugural event Aug. 2, with ASA Board Chair Robyn Golden, director of Older Adult Programs at Rush Medical Center in Chicago, hosting. ASA's Chicagoland Roundtable will meet on Aug. io, when ASA Membership Director Anne de Lemos and I will join Robyn in a discussion about happenings at ASA. The Chicagoland Roundtable will convene again on Sept. 7 and feature special guests Michael Gelder, assistant director of the Illinois Department on Aging, and Jim Varpness, regional director of the U.S. Administration on Aging, discussing new initiatives for the coming year and funding availability for priority initiatives.

San Francisco Bay Area members will convene on Aug. 15, and the Philadelphia region will meet on Sept. 17 in conjunction with the Autumn Series on Aging. In Washington, D.C., ASA members will meet Oct. 3 in conjunction with ASA's New Ventures in Leadership (NVL) diversity program.

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Asa Is Listening to and Involving Members Nationwide
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