The Latest from the Center for the Future of Aging - January, 2021



The Latest from the Center for the Future of Aging - January, 2021

In this Issue:

Featured News »
Recent Events »
On the Horizon »
From Our Board »


Chairman’s Note

We greet the New Year with mixed emotions. The COVID-19 pandemic is raging, and with it a crush of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Our political divides seem wider than ever and the threats to our democratic institutions can be demoralizing. But 2021 brings vaccines, treatments, and what we hope will be a time of more competent and collaborative governance.

Last year will not only be remembered for the virus. 2020 elevated awareness of the risks of social isolation and loneliness, job loss and financial insecurity, and inequities in opportunity and outcome. As the virus’ worst effects subside, we must push harder to advance our work to promote healthy longevity and financial wellness. We must do more to support the efforts of our board members and partner organizations. We must bring together change makers to transform hearts and minds and find meaningful solutions.

We enter 2021 optimistic about the possibilities and promise and confident that your support and active participation will sustain us. All in our Center wish you and your families a healthy, happy, and productive year ahead.

—Paul Irving, Chairman, Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging

 Featured News

Advancing Telehealth during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Lauren Dunning, director at the Center for the Future of Aging, in collaboration with Milken Institute colleagues, identified opportunities to scale access to telehealth services, foster health equity, and support innovation in a new brief.

“Together Apart: Findings from the Social Isolation Impact Summit”

Written by Caroline Servat, associate director at the Center, and supported by The SCAN Foundation this report summarizes our summit with MPTF. Summit participants discussed the challenges and opportunities to promote social connection across diverse communities and elevate intergenerational cohesion. In the report Scott Kaiser, MPTF’s chief innovation officer, and Center Senior Director Nora Super issue a call to action to reimagine and restructure the way we engage, care, and connect.

COVID-19 and the Future of Aging 

In partnership with PBS’ Next Avenue, experts from the Center’s Advisory Board share their perspectives on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in a new interview series. Read the latest essays from Richard Ashworth, Art Bilger, Henry Cisneros, Nanette Cocero, Pinchas Cohen, Linda Fried, Scott Frisch, Christopher Herbert, Cinny Kennard, Robert Kramer, Penny Pennington, Phil Pizzo, and Trent Stamp. The series will continue in the New Year—keep an eye out for interviews published weekly.

Older Adults—A Resilient Resource 

Paul Irving wrote op-eds for PBS NextAvenue and The Longevity Forum about resilience and the coping skills, experience, and wisdom that older adults gain over the years to provide stability in times of adversity.

Media: Podcasts, Webinars, Op-Eds, and More

Paul Irving and Nora Super shared their expertise on the health benefits of volunteeringretirement amid the pandemicage-forward citiesaging inequality, and long-term care.

“Promoting an Age-Inclusive Workforce: Living, Learning and Earning Longer”

This report presents a business case for age diversity in the workplace and is the culmination of two years of research, interviews, and case studies conducted as part of the Living, Learning and Earning Longer initiative. The Center served as a knowledge partner, working with the World Economic Forum, AARP, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

 Recent Events

Future of Health Summit + Asia Summit 

On December 7, 8, 9, and 10, the Institute hosted the Future of Health Summit and the Asia Summit. Watch the Center’s panels at the links below:

If you missed the Future of Health SummitPolitico’s Future Pulse Newsletter is an excellent place to catch-up on the highlights from MondayTuesday, and Wednesday.

Global Conference

The Institute hosted a virtual Global Conference October 12-21. Watch the Center’s panels at the links below: 


 On the Horizon

Long-Term Care Financing and Delivery

In collaboration with the Institute’s Innovative Finance team and in partnership with Genworth Financial, the Center moved our long-term care (LTC) research forward by conducting a Financial Innovations Lab in October, bringing together experts to evaluate funding and care delivery models. 

Following the Lab, we convened three working sessions to discuss potential solutions:

  • Designing a large-scale Medicare Advantage demonstration project to test the effectiveness of technology and home-based interventions in reducing cost and improving care

  • Scaling up and adapting integrated care models (e.g., PACE, Special Needs Plans) to provide flexible, low-cost, high-value services for targeted Medicare-only enrollees with complex needs in partnership with states, the senior housing sector, and other parties

  • Identifying options for complementary public and private insurance solutions to expand LTC coverage for middle-class individuals

We will share the final recommendations in a forthcoming report in 2021. McKnight’s Senior Living summarized the Future of Health public session’s key takeaways on this work

The Alliance to Improve Dementia Care

With over 60 cross-sector members, the Alliance to Improve Dementia Care is moving quickly to accomplish three goals: improve health equity, bolster workforce capacity, and advance new collaborative dementia care models. The Alliance convened two roundtables to develop actionable recommendations.

  • The first roundtable focused on reducing health and economic disparities in dementia. McKnight’s Senior Living published a preview of recommendations that came out of the roundtable. A report is slated for release in March.

  • The second roundtable focused on building dementia workforce capacity to improve screenings and diagnosis. A report is slated for release in April.

In November, the Center welcomed Diane Ty as director of the Alliance to Improve Dementia Care, based in our Washington, DC, office. Ty has held several leadership roles over the last 30+ years in the government, corporate, nonprofit, and academic sectors. Most recently, she served as senior partner and project director for Business for Impact at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. Nora Super continues to serve as the Alliance’s executive director.

Retirement Security

With the generous support of Edward Jones, the Center will host a policy roundtable on retirement security in 2021. Stay tuned for details. 

The Retirement Income Institute recently announced its first call for papers for 2021. The call requests essays on protected lifetime income and the COVID-19 pandemic, literature review proposals, and scholarly works-in-progress proposals. Nora Super serves on the Retirement Income Institute’s Scholars Advisory Group. 

 From Our Board

Tivity Health, under Richard Ashworth’s leadership, surveyed its SilverSneakers members and found that 85 percent of US senior respondents plan to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

Bank of America’s head of retirement and personal wealth solutions, Lorna Sabbia, wrote an advocacy piece for America’s working caregivers in American Banker.

Founder and CEO of WorkingNation, Arthur Bilgerjoined Bloomberg Businessweek to discuss COVID-19’s long-term impact on the US labor force. Bilger focused on education reform and opportunities for lifelong learning.

The Stanford Center on Longevity, led by Laura Carstensen, collaborated to host the 2020 Century Summit to discuss the implications of a 100-year-life.

Angelique Chan, executive director of the Centre for Ageing Research & Education, Duke-NUS Medical School, National University of Singapore, wrote an op-ed for The Conversation about the cross-Pacific learnings on older adult care.

Henry Cisneros co-hosted the Hispanic Leadership Summit December 7-9. All the sessions are available to watch here.

Nanette Cocero, global president of vaccines at Pfizer, authored a piece about Pfizer’s commitment to hire, promote, retain, and empower Hispanic employees.

Catherine Collinson, CEO and president of Transamerica Institute, authored a report about “Women and Retirement: Risks and Realities Amid COVID-19.”

Joseph Coughlin, founder and director of the MIT AgeLab, joined AARP’s Equity by Design series on December 17 to discuss broadband access for lifelong learning, work, and engagement.

William Dow, professor of health policy and management at Berkeley Public Health, released new research that finds that an increased minimum wage and earned income tax credit can reduce deaths due to drug overdose, suicide, and alcohol, also known as “deaths of despair.”

Terry Fulmer, president of The John A. Hartford Foundation, is one of our Leadership Council’s newest additions. The foundation is collaborating with Health Affairs for a new series about age-friendly healthHealth Affairs is accepting submissions that aim to inform policies to improve the care of older adults and cover issues that range from COVID-19 to health equity.

Ric Edelman, founder and chairman of Edelman Financial Engines, discussed the impact of the elections on investments in a virtual event on December 8.

Ruth Finkelstein, Rose Dobrof executive director and professor of Urban Public Health at the Brookdale Center for Aging, was recognized by City & State New York as one of 30 women in the public sphere who have made notable contributions to society.

Linda Fried, dean of the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, announced an initiative to advance the school’s efforts to transform into a fully inclusive institution. Read about FORWARD (Fighting Oppression, Racism, and White supremacy through Action, Research, and Discourse).

Chris Herbert, managing director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, released a new report on “The State of the Nation’s Housing.”

The Global Coalition on Aging, and CEO Mike Hodin, released a COVID-19 Innovation Playbook. The playbook highlights three areas of innovation—medical therapies, technology, and vaccines.

Yves Joanette, professor and director of the Digital Health Consortium at the University of Montréal, co-authored a report on the effect COVID-19 has had on communication.

Cinny Kennard, executive director of the Annenberg Foundation, wrote an editorial on how foundations can help business diversify their workforces.

Bob Kramer of the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) is working on a national study with NORC at the University of Chicago to reveal how the effects of COVID-19 on residents differ between various senior housing and care settings.

Jim Mellon and Andrew Scott, co-founders of The Longevity Forum, hosted “The Longevity Week” virtually November 9-13.

Penny Pennington, managing partner of Edward Jones, was named one of Fortune’s 2020 Most Powerful Women.

Phil Pizzo of Stanford University’s Distinguished Careers Institute recently awarded Marc Freedman, CEO of, the DCI Life Journey Inspiration Award.

Trent Stamp, CEO of the Eisner Foundation, authored an op-ed for The Hill about “4 Ways to Boost Youth Civic Engagement.”

Fernando Torres-Gil, director of the UCLA Center for Policy Research on Aging, joined a panel at the 11th annual Journalists in Aging Fellows Program to discuss the aftermath of the election and prospects for social and income security.

Published January 7, 2021