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On February 26, 2013, NYAM President Dr. Jo Ivey Boufford joined Brazilian public health officials at a panel discussion on Age-friendly Cities at the International Longevity Center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Dr. Boufford presented on “Age-friendly Cities: A New York Perspective,” sharing NYAM’s experience partnering with the Mayor’s Office and New York City Council on Age-friendly NYC, which aims to make New York City a better place to grow old by promoting an "age-in-everything" lens across all aspects of city life. The initiative is a part of the World Health Organization’s Age-friendly Cities project.
The panel was moderated by Dr. Alex Kalache, Director of the World Health Organization Department of Ageing and Life Course (WHO-ALC), who was instrumental in the initial work launching Age-friendly NYC. The other panelists were Cristiane Brazil, Municipal Secretary of Aging; Marcus Vinicius, State Secretary of Aging; and Sérgio Côrtes, State Secretary of Health.
Dr. Boufford shared the progress of Age-friendly NYC in creating neighborhood-specific Aging Improvement Districts, mobilizing local businesses to meet the needs of their older customers, helping older adults access opportunities at local colleges and universities, and improving pedestrian safety.
“The conceptual shift and major attraction for those of us working on Age-friendly Cities is seeing aging as a major public health success rather than a looming disaster,” Dr. Boufford said. “The strategy calls for a life course perspective to create the physical and social environments that allow all of us to be healthy, actively engaged and contributing to our communities throughout our lives. This life course perspective is also critical to the current global agenda in preventing non-communicable diseases.”
The International Longevity Center (ILC) is headquartered at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, with a global network of affiliates. Founded in 1990 by world-renowned gerontologist Robert N. Butler, the ILC was formed to educate individuals on how to live longer and better, and advise society on how to maximize the benefits of today's longer lifespans.
While in Rio de Janeiro, Dr. Boufford also participated in the IAP Conference on Grand Challenges and Integrated Innovations: Science for Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development, hosted by the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (BAS) from February 24-27, 2013.
Posted on February 28, 2013
Andrew J. Martin
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This report identifies opportunities that build on both the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) and New York’s ongoing efforts toward improving the health of its 19 million residents.
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