Ensuring Equity in Aging: Illinois Aging Together Presents at Annual APHA Conference - Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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Ensuring Equity in Aging: Illinois Aging Together Presents at Annual APHA Conference

December 7, 2022

In November, Health & Medicine’s Health and Aging Policy Analyst, Brigitte Dietz, presented the oral session, “Ensuring Equity in Aging,” at the American Public Health Association’s 2022 annual conference in Boston. This session was a collaboration featuring our Illinois Aging Together campaign, along with the Center for Health Care Strategies and representatives from the aging planning initiatives in Texas and California.

Brigitte presented the mission and goals of Illinois’ statewide movement for aging equity, emphasizing the steps we have taken to center social justice, diversity, and coalition building in our work. The session was well attended, including several audience questions and social media shout outs from national organizations.

Illinois Aging Together was honored to present with all three other panelists. Speakers from Texas and California—states that have more established cross-sector strategic plans for aging—spoke about aging plans from a longer-term perspective. As one of the newer campaigns featured on the panel, Illinois Aging Together’s experience highlighted the challenges and successes of our early coalition building by shining a light on conscious, strategic choices we have made that differentiate us from other efforts, including our communication choices and prioritization of community organizing with community members.

Our recent hiring of a community organizer, Alizandra Medina, was also extremely well received, as it shows our commitment to uplifting the voices of our partners and community members. Several audience members connected with Brigitte after the session. We are so appreciative of all the engagement we received before, during, and after the session and look forward to continued connection with everyone involved.

Illinois Aging Together uses inclusive language, inspired by the Reframing Aging movement, that emphasizes that we are all aging and we all have a stake in aging equity. As Brigitte said during her presentation, it is time for us all to see that aging populations “are not a problem to be solved but a community to be served.”