On behalf of UMass Boston's McCormack Graduate School and its Gerontology Institute, Dean Ira A. Jackson welcomed attendees to the May 28 Boston regional forum of the White House Conference on Aging held at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate.
Jackson noted the dedication from Boston politicians Senator Kennedy and Speaker McCormack to issues facing the aging population. Referring to the college's partnership with the EMK Institute, Jackson said, “I particularly like the symbolism of our collaboration around this conference, as there are probably few if any United States senators more closely aligned and associated with the needs of senior citizens than Ted Kennedy. And there were probably few, if any, members of congress who ... did more to advance the cause of senior citizens than John W. McCormack who helped to shape Social Security legislation for FDR back in 1935 and who was Lyndon Johnson’s principal legislative ally when he was Speaker of the House 50 years ago when Medicare and Medicaid were enacted into law.”
Gearing up for the national conference in Washington, D.C. this summer, the regional forum brought together academics, elder Americans, their advocates, caregivers, community leaders, and others to discuss aging policy.
According to the conference website, the forum promoted a dialogue “on key issues such as ensuring retirement security, promoting healthy aging, providing long-term services and supports, and protecting older Americans from financial exploitation, abuse and neglect.”
Because the Gerontology Institute has a special competence in long-term services and support, and researchers there produced the national elder income security index and healthy aging profiles for every city and town in Massachusetts, Len Fishman, director of the institute, and Jan Mutchler, director of the Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging, were invited guests.
This Boston event was the last of five regional forums leading up to the White House conference on July 13.
The Gerontology Institute conducts basic and applied social and economic research on income security, health, productive aging, and basic social and demographic research on aging. Faculty and staff there provide editorial leadership for two journals, Journal of Aging & Social Policy and Research on Aging. The institute is also home to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and Pension Action Center.
The Department of Gerontology has produced more than 25% of the world's PhDs in this field and offers master's degrees in gerontology research and management of aging services as well as a graduate certificate in gerontology.