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American Society on Aging Names 2014 Award Winners for Excellence in Aging
posted 01.30.2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Contact:  Anne Ornelas, (415) 974-9622

The American Society on Aging (ASA) is pleased to announce the seven 2014 ASA Award winners. The ASA Awards program recognizes the contributions of individuals and organizations to the field of aging and to the ASA. 

The 2014 awards are the ASA Hall of Fame Award, the ASA Award, the Gloria Cavanaugh Award for Excellence in Training and Education, the Graduate Student Research Award, the Mental Health and Aging Award, the Award for Excellence in Multicultural Aging, and the Religion, Spirituality and Aging Award.

The ASA Hall of Fame Award is presented to an individual age 65 or older who has, through a lifetime of advocacy and leadership, enhanced the lives of elders through demonstrated leadership at the national level. The 2014 winner of the ASA Hall of Fame Award is Fernando Torres-Gil, professor of Social Welfare and Public Policy in the Luskin School of Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles, and director of the UCLA Center for Policy Research on Aging. A passionate, committed advocate for people with disabilities, he brings his experience and knowledge around disability and aging policy and advocacy to the ASA community and beyond.  Torres-Gil long has been an influential leader at the national level, earning his first presidential appointment in 1978 when President Jimmy Carter appointed him to the Federal Council on Aging; he later was selected as a White House Fellow to serve under United States Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Joseph Califano. In 1993, he was appointed by President Clinton to serve as Assistant Secretary for Aging at the Administration on Aging within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a position he held until 1997.

Serving ASA in his second term as the chair of the Editorial Advisory Committee of ASA’s bimonthly newspaper, Aging Today, Torres-Gil is a galvanizing force on the committee, and a frequent contributor to ASA’s annual conferences and other events.  He also has consistently and generously provided his support, teaching, mentorship, and inspiration to leaders of color in aging in a variety of ASA’s multicultural programs. As in years past, Torres-Gil continues to lead in this area, most recently with keynoting at ASA’s annual Diversity Summit at the Aging in America Conference.

The ASA Award recognizes an individual who has made outstanding and ongoing national contributions to aging-related service, research, administration, or advocacy. The 2014 winner of the ASA Award is Letia A. Boseman. A Commander in the U.S. Public Health Service, Boseman also serves as a senior public health analyst at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, where she leads and coordinates projects related to policy and program information, aging, women’s health, and vision health. Boseman has more than 20 years of experience working at state, regional, federal, international, health/managed care, and nonprofit agencies.

Boseman is a past Council Chair of ASA’s Healthcare and Aging Network (HAN) constituent group and the CDC Aging and Health Work Group. A legacy advisor to the ASA Board, she has been an ASA member for more than a decade, also serving on the HAN Council, the HAN Awards Committee, and the ASA Leadership Coordinating Council.

The Gloria Cavanaugh Award for Excellence in Training and Education recognizes an individual or organization that has made a significant contribution to training and education in the field of aging. The 2014 winner is the Cultural Competency Training Program of the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging. SAGE’s National Resource Center (NRC) on LGBT Aging, established in 2010 through a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the nation's first and only technical assistance resource center aimed at improving the quality of services and supports for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults. The Center provides training, technical assistance, and educational resources to aging providers, LGBT organizations, and LGBT older adults.

The Cultural Competency Training Programs’ premier tool is the training, “Improving the Quality of Services and Supports Offered to LGBT Older Adults,” which features a curriculum designed by leading organizations: SAGE, the LGBT Aging Project, GRIOT Circle, FORGE Transgender Aging Network, Centerlink, Openhouse, PHI, and Hunter College; and delivered by a network of dedicated trainers across the country.

Through a combination of in-person and interactive trainings, plus webinars, the program teaches organizations and providers how to create an inclusive, safe, and welcoming environment for LGBT older adult populations. Training curricula addresses the culture, needs, and concerns of LGBT older adults; disparities in LGBT older adults’ access health and social services; best practices, policy, and practice areas for increasing inclusiveness and safety; tools and education that best serve LGBT elders who use or need providers’ services; health disparities between LGBT and non-LGBT older adults; judgments, myths, and misinformation about HIV/AIDS; and cultural competencies and behaviors/actions in the workplace that enhance service delivery, inclusion, and safety for the LGBT elder cohort. For more information on this program, visit www.lgbtagingcenter.org.

The Graduate Student Research Award recognizes a graduate student for research relevant to aging and applicable to practice. The 2014 winner is Hayley Gleason for her research on “The Caregiving Relationship: Does the Type of Caregiver Affect the Mental Health of the Care Recipient?” Gleason holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from Elon University, a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan, and an M.S. in Gerontology from University of Massachusetts Boston. She previously served  as director of the Memory Care Community and as associate executive director for the Palisades at Broadmoor Park, a long-term-care community in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  Gleason currently is a McCormack Scholar in the Doctoral Program in Gerontology at University of Massachusetts Boston , and also serves as a curriculum development consultant for the Massachusetts Home Care Aide Council. Her research interest is the recruitment, training, and retention of community-based direct care workers.

The Award for Excellence in Multicultural Aging recognizes an organization that has initiated high-quality, innovative, and life-enhancing programs that benefit people in a multicultural aging population. The 2014 winner is PK Management, LLC, in Cleveland, Ohio, for its Body, Mind and Spirit: A Multicultural Fitness Program. This innovative multicultural health and wellness program was established at Cleveland-based Gates Mills Villa in 2007 and now serves approximately 200 elders, ages 62 and older, with 80 percent of participants having limited English proficiency (the Villa has an extremely diverse population of residents). The program grew from a focus group that sought to initiate a model program to enhance residents’ well-being of body, mind, and spirit across their various cultures, serving as a bridge across the diversity of ethnic backgrounds and spoken languages. Partnerships were formed to generate healthcare education, and exercise and wellness programs; partners involved include The Cleveland Clinic/Hillcrest Hospital; Imani Home Healthcare; Aneeka Body and Soul; Community Partnership on Aging; and A Retired Physician.

The Mental Health and Aging Award recognizes outstanding programs and services in mental health and aging. The 2014 winner is Share DeCroix Bane, Ph.D.  Bane has had a long and distinguished career as an educator, trainer, researcher, therapist, and as an advocate for rural elders. Possessing particular skill in developing mental health services and programs for rural elders, Bane has worked in a multi-disciplinary, collaborative fashion to bring services to underserved people.

Now retired, Bane has been a longtime member and supporter of ASA, beginning in 1975, and was one of the founding members of ASA’s Mental Health and Aging Network (MHAN) constituent group, and has been a catalyst for MHAN’s growth and development. She has served as a member of ASA Board of Directors, as Chair of special programs at ASA conferences, as Rural Track co-Chair, and as editor of the former MHAN newsletter, Dimensions.

The Religion, Spirituality and Aging Award, established in an effort to inspire more spiritual exploration in the aging services field, recognizes outstanding individuals, programs, and services for contributions made to the religious and spiritual needs of older adults in the areas of health, research, education, policy planning, advocacy, and congregational activity.  The 2014 winner is Robert Weber, Ph.D.  A member of the  Council of the Forum on Religion, Spirituality and Aging (FORSA), Dr. Weber is a frequent presenter at ASA’s Aging in America conferences and contributes content and education to ASA’s website and web seminars. With his acute insights into the connection between the psychological and the spiritual, Weber serves as a consultant and advocate for the inclusion of spirituality in the practice of psychology.

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Founded in 1954 as the Western Gerontological Society, the American Society on Aging is an association of diverse individuals bound by a common goal: to support the commitment and enhance the knowledge and skills of those who seek to improve the quality of life of older adults and their families. The ASA membership is multidisciplinary and inclusive of professionals who are concerned with the physical, emotional, social, economic, and spiritual aspects of aging.

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