Awardees Range from Foundation Head to Blues Innovator
The American Society on Aging (ASA) presented its highest accolades to a leading foundation executive, a top social researcher, a champion of American Indian elders and a business innovator-who was also recognized as cocreator of the Bo Diddley Blues Program, which has spotlighted older African American blues legends for the last decade.
ASA CHAIR'S AWARD
The recipient of the 2003 ASA Chair's Award is Marilyn Hennessy, who helped develop the Chicago-based Retirement Research Foundatioa (RRF) almost a quarter of a century age and has been its president since 1993. In presenting the award, ASA Board Ghair Donna L. Yee called Hennessy "one of those in-the-trenchers who are making a difference to older people." Early on, Hennessy, she said, worked with the RRF board to define focus on older people at a time when aging was not in the forefront of public attention.
RRF funds direct-service programs, educational initiatives and research projects that enhance the quality of life of older Americans, particularly innovative projects with the potential to affect the scope and shape of services delivered to elders. The private foundation also supports organizations that work to integrate older adults into the mainstream of society by creating opportunities for their full participation in the community. In addition, RRF advances the goal of spiritual growth by funding religious organizations that reach out to older adults.
Yee also noted that Hennessy's interest in the challenges faced by refugees and immigrants has led the foundation to encourage ethnic organizations to serve elders. Hennessy has personally sponsored over 40 Southeast Asian families, with whom she maintains close relationships as they have settled in the United States, Yee said. "Her commitment to diversity and her responsiveness to needs are hallmarks of Hennessey's career," she added.
Yee also praised Katie Maslow, honored by the ASA Board of Directors with the 2003 ASA Award. "After two decades as a leading figure in Alzheimer's research, Katie Maslow's outstanding work has contributed to every area covered by the ASA Award: aging-related research, admistration and advocacy," Yee said. Maslow directs the Alsheimer's Association initiative on managed and acute care and codirects its joint demonstration project, Chronic Care Networks.
In addition, Maslow oversees a demonstration project on improving hospital care for people with dementia, and she heads the association's program to develop tips for hospital nurses caring for elders, a program createed in partnership with the Hartford Institute for Geriatic Nursing.
Before joining the Alzheimer's Association in 1995, Maslow worked for 12 years at the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), a congressional research agency that Congress dissolved in 1994. As a policy analyst and senior associate, she studied public policy issues in aging, Alzheimer's disease, long-term care and case management. She was the project director for the OTA report Confused Minds, Burdened Families: Finding Help for People With Alzheimer's and Other Dementias, among other accomplishemnts.
ASA LEADERSHIP AWARDS
The ASA Board of Directors bestowed two Leadership Awards this year to association members who have made a significant contribution to the growth and development of ASA and to the field of aging. …