ASA: Keeping the Spirit Alive

By Stuen, Cynthia | Aging Today, September/October 2009 | Go to article overview
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ASA: Keeping the Spirit Alive

Stuen, Cynthia, Aging Today

After this summer's heated and hectic debates over the future of healthcare, our current administration and lawmakers are reaping the results of their past months' work, pressing on for realistic legislation while endeavoring to keep the spirit of healthcare reform - and hope - alive.


The phrase, "it takes a village," has been bandied about thoroughly (some might say exhaustively!), but the momentous events of this year - on Capitol Hill and in the cities and towns across our nation - have reflected the core truth of these words. The American people, young and old, across all ethnic groups and walks of life, have come out in record numbers, raising their voices both for and against the evolving health reform proposals (note article on the National Eldercare Workforce Alliance, page 3).

Though times now are challenging and civility sometimes seems on the wane, these far-ranging conversations, all of which are necessary and vital, have been allowed to occur. That is the essence of our democracy: that we can make our voices heard, and keep the stories of our experience and hardearned lessons alive so they can help build a brighter future.


In this issue of Aging Today, you will hear from many divergent voices who have important stories to tell: from members of the Greatest Generation (see the "Spirit of '45" article on page 4) to older women who are struggling for a foothold in our faltering economy ("In Focus", page 7).

We need to look ahead toward a bright future. We need to keep the spirit of positive change and renewed well-being alive, whether we are age 18 or 80. And that can only be done through a collective process of continuing connection and engagement with each other-in our families, in our communities and institutions and in our government.

I am proud to say that here at ASA, the breadth and scope of our myriad educational programs, resources, services (as well as our members themselves) are helping to inspire, engage and connect a broad community of professionals, entrepreneurs and individuals who are concerned with the well-being of our older population.


In keeping with our commitment to strengthening connection and community, on October 15, 2009, ASA officially launches its online learning communities with a web seminar entitled "Kickoff Event: Looking to the Next Decade in Aging," I will host this kickoff event joined by Jeanette Takamura, Dean of Columbia University School of Social Work and past ASA Chair, and Kathy Brandt, fellow board member who chaired our strategic planning group. The seminar introduces ASA members to the new learning communities, demonstrates how to use them and showcases the opportunities they provide. We'll also discuss the current state of the field of aging, and explore what directions and developments in the field might arise over the next 10 years. How will the field of aging change? How must we grow and change as professionals working in the field? What effects will the current administration have on the field of aging?

We are energized and excited about this debut! These learning communities and their online discussions - a great platform for self-expression and information sharing-are a vital ASA member benefit. Through these powerful tools, our members can connect easily and effectively with one another, share resources and best practices, and learn from leaders in the field.

Please do join us for this important discussion on October 15 at 10:00 a.

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