The Section on Healthy Aging seeks to improve the health, wellbeing, and engagement of older people in cities through inter-professional communication and networks; community/public advocacy; leadership development; and education, research, and policy involvement.

Advances in medicine, coupled with reductions in fertility and infant and childhood mortality rates, have led to significant gains in life expectancy in the United States, increasing from 47.3 in 1900 to 78.7 years in 2016. The population aged 65 and over is growing at a faster rate than the total American population. While people aged 65 and over currently comprise 14.5% of the total population, by 2030, they are expected to comprise 20%. Simultaneously, the caregiver ratio is declining, resources are being diverted from institutional care to home and community-based care, and according to a 2008 report from the National Academy of Medicine, “the education and training of the entire health care workforce with respect to the needs of older adults remains woefully inadequate.” Given these factors, maintaining the health and wellbeing of older people to delay or reduce disability and dependence must become a national priority.

The Section on Healthy Aging will convene a multidisciplinary cadre of professionals to examine and advance solutions to address the broader determinants of health for older people to ensure current and future populations age in environments that will keep them healthy, active, and engaged for as long as possible. The Section will work with the Academy to promote an active aging approach to policy and practice; to advocate for access to preventive care; and to attract and cultivate emerging and longstanding professionals to build a culturally competent workforce to support healthy aging.

The Section on Healthy Aging welcomes members from existing sections, including but not limited to social work, nursing, dentistry and oral health, clinical nutrition, health care delivery, and psychiatry, as well as new Fellows.

Section Officers
Rosanne M. Leipzig, MD, PhD (Chair) 
Gerald and Mary Ellen Ritter Professor
Vice-Chair, Education, Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai 

Tara Cortes, PhD, RN (Vice-chair)
Executive Director, Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing
New York University

Martha Sullivan, MSW, DSW (Vice-chair) 
Chief Executive Officer
Gouverneur Health