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NYAM’s Ruth Finkelstein Discusses Aging and Employment on the Brian Lehrer Show

February 5, 2014

NYAM Senior Vice President Ruth Finkelstein appeared on the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC today to talk about the Age Smart Employer Awards, which will be awarded this week to leading New York City employers who value workers of all ages.

The Age Smart Employer Awards are an initiative of Age-friendly NYC and The New York Academy of Medicine, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.  

(Listen to the full Brian Lehrer Show segment here.)

On the segment, Dr. Finkelstein focused on the many ways in which employment among older adults benefits the employees themselves, employers, and the economy as a whole. 

“If people stay working for a longer time, then they’re contributing to the economy,” she said. “They're spending more. They're less reliant on public benefits, and they're continuing to be job producers, which grows the economy. We have a misconception that jobs are a zero sum game, and that if I have one, that means you don’t. But in point of fact, employing some people is demonstrated to produce more jobs.”

Dr. Finkelstein explained that the Age Smart Employer Awards aim to “raise the visibility of productive, creative, successful older people and companies who hire and keep them so that we can begin to change what is a set of misperceptions about the multigenerational workplace and replace it with the accurate perception that these are in fact creative, innovative, vital workplaces that can tap into the growing consumer base of the silver economy.”

She also gave a preview of the best practices of some of the award winners.

“We were enormously impressed by the applications we had in New York,” Dr. Finkelstein said. “We found workplaces large and small taking particular attention to make mentorship relationships between older and younger workers, to emphasize flexibility that allowed people to work as their life situation changed across the life course, to put particular effort into training workers of all ages about the skill set that they needed, to develop phased retirement that kept valued and talented workers in the workplace working as much as little as they needed to, and even coming back after their official retirement to work on a per diem basis or even on a volunteer basis.”
The Age Smart Employer Awards ceremony will take place on February 6, 2014 at WNYC’s Greene Space, featuring emcee Diane Brady of Bloomberg Businessweek and a keynote address by New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. The event will be streamed live at 6:45pm at

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Posted on February 5, 2014

Gina Ravosa
Director of Marketing & Communications
The New York Academy of Medicine
1216 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10029
(212) 822-7285


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Reporters: to arrange interviews with NYAM medical and urban health experts, contact
Gina Ravosa, Director of Marketing & Communications

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