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Public Policy Institute’s Thought Leadership on Full Display at Major ASA Conference


On March 26-29, there will be lots of empty desks here at AARP’s Public Policy Institute (PPI). That’s because many of my colleagues and I will be at the annual American Society on Aging’s (ASA) Aging in America Conference in San Francisco.

From a national perspective, the event is an important one for advancing work in virtually all fields related to aging. The conference, which attracts more than 3000 participants from the U.S. and abroad, is a must-attend event every year, for it touches on so many of the diverse areas that we in PPI focus on daily—from health care and financial security to livable communities, long-term services and supports, and other issues that directly impact the aging population.

From a PPI perspective, the event is emblematic of the tremendous level and breadth of thought leadership we bring to these aging-related fields. Together with my PPI colleagues, I’ll participate in two sessions at this year’s conference.

One session focuses on PPI’s groundbreaking  third Long-Term Services and Supports Scorecard, released in 2017. The report and tool showcases measures of state performance for creating a high-quality system of care in order to drive progress toward improvement in services for older adults and people with physical disabilities, and their family caregivers. One major takeaway from the Scorecard is that states—even those with the highest scores on the survey—aren’t moving quickly enough to meet the long-term care needs of the rapidly growing population of aging individuals and people with disabilities in this country. On March 27 I’ll be joined by my Scorecard co-authors Jean Accius, PhD, VP, Independent Living/Long-Term Services and Supports at PPI, and Ari Houser, a Senior Quantitative Methods Advisor for the AARP PPI, to share specific advice and case studies on how attendees can use the results of the survey to influence change in their states.

Then on March 28, I’ll participate in a symposium, “Supporting Family Caregivers Providing Complex Care: Bridging the Gap between Expectations and Reality,” with Rita Choula, a Senior Advisor with PPI who specializes in identifying and supporting the needs of multicultural family caregivers. We’ll showcase evidence-based resources and policy solutions (including a National Scan of the Implementation of the CARE Act) and identify the role of multiple professional fields in supporting family caregivers who are called upon to provide complex care.

Meanwhile, I’m incredibly proud of the PPI team members who will be also sharing their expertise in San Francisco.  Here’s an overview:


  • In two sessions, Lynn Feinberg, a Senior Strategic Policy Advisor at PPI, will speak on the topics of “Educating the Executive Branch and Policy Makers on Mental Health and Older Adult Issues” and “Charting Your Course in Retirement: A Perfect Storm or a Rainbow?”  (both on 3/26)


  • Jim Palmieri, a Senior Strategic Policy Advisor with PPI’s Financial Security team, will address the topic of “Current Issues in Social Security: Is Reform Needed in the Representative Payee Program?” with his AARP colleagues. (3/26)


  • Two members of the PPI team, Olivia Dean, a Policy Analyst, and Lynda Flowers, a Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, will tackle “Empowering Consumers to Make Informed Decisions About Their Health” (3/26)


  • My PPI colleague Jean Accius and Elaine Ryan, VP of State Advocacy and Strategy Integration (SASI) in AARP's Government Affairs group, will participate in the “2018 Diversity Summit Inequality Matters: Focus on Diverse Caregiving Communities.” (3/28)


  • Lori Trawinski, PhD, Director of Finance and Banking at PPI, will share important findings in two sessions: “Reverse Mortgages: Benefits and Challenges” (3/27) and “Changing the Conversation: The Promise of Age Diversity and Inclusion.” (3/29)


  • Rodney Harrell, PhD, Director of Livable Communities at PPI, will join an AARP colleague to spearhead the “2nd Annual Summit on Livable Communities: Planners & Aging Professionals Working Together to Plan Livable Communities for All Ages.” (3/29)


This stellar lineup illustrates both the amazing breadth of work that PPI does and the level of expertise and thought leadership that I experience every day when I step into our offices.

I hope to see many of you at this year’s conference. If you’ll be there, please say hello. The conference is a true idea exchange, so I look forward to connecting with you and learning from you. After all, we’re in this together.

Will you be at the conference? If so, which sessions are you most looking forward to attending?

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