2018 Public Health Ethics Forum, Part 2

>>At this point I would like to
introduce Dr. Karen Bouye who’s going to be presenting
some student poster awards. [ Applause ]>>Good afternoon. Today we’ve witnessed
the amazing work of our poster presenters, the young scholars,
as Dr. Warren says. The students have done an
excellent job in preparing and presenting the work. They have shaped and
developed their ideas into research projects that
will help us understand and work more effectively with
minority elderly populations. These students are
following research practices and shaping ideas that will make
a positive and lasting impact in the field of science that supports minority
elders and healthy aging. It gives me great pleasure to
award the poster presenters for this year’s 2018
Public Health Ethics Forum, Minority Elders and
Healthy Aging. Six abstracts were
accepted as a response to a call for abstracts. We’re giving awards to the
three top poster presenters. These three recipients are also
eligible to publish an article in the Tuskegee University
National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care, Journal for Healthcare
Science and the Humanities. The poster presenters
are Danielle McDuffie from the University of
Alabama; Lan Doan, Oregon State University,
Weiwen Ng, am I pronouncing your
name correctly, okay, University of Minnesota,
Eugenie Stevenson, University of Maryland [assumed
spelling], Baltimore County; Kamaria Brisco, Tulane
University; and presenting together
were Yolande Petty, Interdenominational
Theological Center, and Ashanti Ali P. Davis
[assumed spelling], Tuskegee University. As I call your name, would you
please come up to the podium? The first place winner
is Weiwen Ng. [ Applause ]>>That’s great. Thank you.>>For your excellent work. Congratulations.>>Thank you.>>The second place
winner is Kamaria Brisco. Kamara, would you come up? [ Applause ] Third place winner
is Lan Doan. [ Applause ] Would all three of you please
come up so we can take pictures? [ Applause ] And now would the other four
students please stand up? [ Applause ] Congratulations to
all and best wishes for much continued success
and thank you and I would like to really thank you for
answering the call of abstracts and coming here to the CDC because you didn’t
have to do it. That was a tremendous
job that you did with the poster presentations
and also in submitting the
abstract to us. Thank you so much for being a
recipient here and for wanting to come here to be
with us today. Congratulations to the three
presenters who were first, second and third place. Thank you and would you
all please give them another applause. [ Applause ]>>And I’d like to ask
Dr. Warren to come forward who is going to be introducing
our closing plenary speaker.>>Organizing a poster
presentation anywhere, for anybody is a
tremendously difficult job and Dr. Karen Bouye
has done it every year and has done an outstanding job. So I think we ought to thank
her for a job well done. [ Applause ] I have a tremendous
bias about elders. You pick it up by now, I hope. The older you get,
the better it gets. And so I want to have you listen to somebody that’s getting
better and better and better. Our speaker that closing plenary
is a colleague who I’ve known for many, many, many
years and every forum where there was issues
practicum on health of people, particularly people of color,
our speaker has been there, not only there but in
the front, making noise, talking trash, having an impact. I was in New York at an
event and she popped up and took me back 20, 30 years
about some work we did many, many years ago and we
revisited our relationship and every time I asked
her to come, she comes. Regardless. That’s friendship. That’s commitment to a goal. So Captain Wilkers
[assumed spelling] was going to introduce her and
we talked about it and I said, “Yeah, go ahead.” But I thought about it and
I said, “No, I need to say that because what I
wanted to say I said and otherwise you
wouldn’t know.” So the formal introduction
is always formal. I need to say that so you would
know how much I appreciate and respect the work that
Dr. Georges is doing. Dr. Georges was elected, and
hear me clearly, by the Board of AARP to serve as National
Volunteer President of AARP. That’s big. So before she even comes up,
let’s thank her for that. [ Applause ] That’s not a paid job. That’s a volunteer job,
a job you volunteer to work yourself to death. Everywhere, all the
time, she shows up. She’ll serve from 2018 to 2020. The presidential role is filled by an AARP volunteer
who’s also a member of the all volunteer
AARP Board of Directors. The primary duty, as I read,
of the president is to act as a principal volunteer
spokesperson and liaison between the Board and those AARP
servers and 50 plus AARP members and volunteers engaging
in all these groups to promote the mission and
strategic goals of AARP. I had no idea how powerful
AARP is until I hit 55 and they started sending me
stuff and I said, “I ain’t old. What are you sending
me stuff for?” And I read and I read and what
they were doing was educating me, as I began to age,
really what I ought to be thinking about, not only
what I ought to be thinking about but what the nation
is doing on the things that I ought to be
thinking about. She served on the Board of
the Black Women’s Health Study and R.A.I.N., Incorporated. She earned her undergraduate
degree from Seton Hall University
School of Nursing, MA degree in nursing
from New York University, and a doctorate degree
in educational leadership and policy studies at the
University of Vermont. She lives in New York. She is a outstanding scholar and
she’s a friend and I asked her to come and she left some
place where she was speaking to go back to someplace else
where she’s going to speak. So Dr. Georges is a special
friend and I want you to welcome her to this
forum, Dr. Georges. [ Applause ]>>When you’ve been in
the trenches with somebody like Rueben Warren from, oh my
God, it’s been about 30 years, then you can’t say no to him. But I want to say good afternoon
and I’m delighted to be here. I don’t know how much more I
could say about healthy aging than you’ve heard earlier
today but I’m always grateful to have the opportunity to
talk to you about challenges and the opportunities of healthy
aging and the contribution each of us can make to
meet those challenges. So I hope that today I can
offer you a useful perspective. I get to speak to you as a nurse
but also, as Dr. Rueben says, the National Volunteer
President of AARP, a nonprofit membership
organization that’s dedicated to addressing the
needs and interests of people 50 and older. We dropped it down
to 50, Rueben. I want you to know that
AARP has been on a quest for greater healthcare
security and economic stability for older Americans
for 60 years. So the topics I’m addressing
this afternoon are close to the heart of the
mission of AARP. I want to be very brief in
telling you about why you need to understand about AARP. AARP was created by
a woman by the name of Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus. I never met her. She’s been dead awhile. I was not at the
age to have met her. But my understanding from the
archives and our historians in AARP, she was a feisty,
red-headed trailblazer who came from California. And she was the first
of many things. She was the first woman
high school principal in the State of California. That was before women
could vote. And she had to retire
because she had to take care of her mother. But she, the reason why
she founded AARP was because of a friend of hers
back in the ’40s who had retired from the school system in
the State of California and couldn’t afford to live
in anything but what looked like a chicken coop, a shack. In those days, you know,
folks didn’t hold older people in high regard and it did
very little to support them. But she said and she kept to it,
she said we live in a country where it’s wonderful
to be young. It’s time we create a country in
which it’s wonderful to be old. And so central to
that mission was to make affordable healthcare
for retired teachers. That’s how AARP got started,
with retired teachers. But she believed that it
was not just a moral sense but a market sense to
cover older Americans. She was [inaudible] by
resilience. She had resilience. She went to 40 insurance
companies before one said yes. Because, you know,
then, sometimes now, people fail to recognize
the wisdom and the profit, keyword here in this
country “profit” of insuring older adults. So at the age of 74, she
created AARP, 60 years ago. And I say to folks, I’m proud
to be taking over in 2018 as the National Volunteer
President of AARP because guess what, I’m 74
years old, too, so I feel great. [ Applause ] So today we have
38 million members. That’s not something you ignore. Offices in every state and
territory and a huge array of programs aimed at
helping older Americans and their families. So when she envisioned a society in which AARP helps all
Americans to live with dignity and purpose, so that’s
where we’ve been for all these 60 years in the
pursuit of health security, financial resilience, and a
vibrant life for each of us through all our life stages. This country was just getting
used to the idea of a future in which more and more older
people would live for years after they stopped working. I heard somebody say
and it was Dr. Liburd. We went through stages
well, that’s out — You know, we don’t
talk like that anymore because what people thought about retirement was having
some old cranky old woman in a rocking chair whining and
complaining about everything. You know, people thought 65 was
old and old age was a liability. And you know what? When you became 65
in this country, you couldn’t be employed. Nobody wanted to hire you. They still don’t
in many instances. And you couldn’t
buy auto insurance. The idea that people might
live to be 100 was seen as science fiction but
hasn’t things changed. Isn’t it remarkable here in
the United States of American? We are in the midst, I’m
supposed to be using this thing, I guess, of a titanic
change in this population that will make our world look
like a totally different place. For those of you who’ve traveled
to Asian countries, you know, you’ll see that Japan,
Korea, the old of the oldest, I mean in their population. In 2014 anybody who wants
to being a Baby Boomer, you can say all right,
but in 2014, the youngest Baby
Boomers turned 50. They are the end of a generation
that’s 78 million strong. Don’t you think that’s power? And we’ve learned wherever they
go, they change the landscape. Look at the Congress of the
United States, State Senate and everything, they’re
not 25 year old. They’re 50 plus. Also in 2010, in the United
States, 82% of all centenarians, I just thought I’d put
that in, are women. By 2030, the number
of older adults in the United States will
nearly double and one in five Americans will
be age 65 or older. And the fastest growing
age group, folks, in this country is made
up of people 85 and over. We saw Attorney Segarra
this morning. We saw the rest of
the panelists. Ten thousand people are turning
65 every day in this country. The actuaries at Social
Security say that one in four of those people will live
beyond 90, some of them for many more years
after age 90. So today, a child has a better than 50% chance of
living to be 100. I have a grandson. He might live to be
100, if anybody puts up with him that long. We might have a million
people age 100 or over by the years 2030 in
the United States. In fact, experts are now saying
that the child who will live to be 150 years old
has already been born. And I heard Dr. Hutchins talk about if we change and behavior
ourselves a certain way, we could optimize our
life and live to be 120. Well, these kids
born today can be 150 and hopefully they’ll take on
today our new slogan in AARP, Take on today and
live life differently. So, in many ways,
today it’s wonderful to be old in this country. Many older people are having
the times of their lives. Ms. Clemons told us about that. She’s 101 and she’s
living her best life. So much of what affects health and wellbeing are
socially determined. And there are things like
poverty, food insecurity, smoking, drugs, homelessness, and we know that social
determinants are the unmet social needs that can lead to
the preventable conditions. I think I moved ahead. No. Right. So we have got to look at the
differences in the distribution of the social determinants,
the influences of those social determinants
and remember that any one of those social determinants
can block individuals from getting what they need. In AARP, we, along with Robert
Wood Johnson Foundation, like to say that we
want to create a culture of health that’s enjoyed by all. And to do that, we have to
address the social determinants of health and the disparities
and inequities in our society that are lowering the quality of
life for people in this country. So AARP and AARP,
our foundation, have become ardent
partners in wrestling with the social determinants
that affect our health status. The diseases and chronic
conditions that can result from poor social
conditions are costly and they’re really
public health challenges. So just think about it. How do you take a walk after
dinner or visit a friend in some of our cities in this
country if it puts you at risk of becoming a crime victim? How do you feed a
family a nutritious meal in a neighborhood that
has no grocery store and no fresh produce? The social determinants open
our eyes to the conditions at which people are
born, in which they grow, in which they live,
and in which they work, and also how they age. It enables us to see the
connections and the causality that many times can
be easy to miss. So from this vantage
point, health takes on a more expansive
meaning than healthcare. We’re looking at unemployment,
substandard housing, crumbling neighborhoods, and food insecurity now
becomes health issues. What if our debates about
healthcare we grappled not only with the critical question
of coverage but if we looked at quality and affordability
with the social factors that so clearly affect health? Again, these various
social factors roll up into one main determinant and in this country
we call it poverty. But see, poverty is not only
an issue for individual, it’s a problem for society. Poverty is a societal illness. Do not blame the individual. It is not an individual problem
enough though some folks feel individuals should be
able to make choices. That may be true. But it’s not an individual
failure. It’s a systemic problem. It’s also corrosive. It’s expensive. Anybody ever heard
of payday loans? Just ask somebody
who’s paying — When we say “poor,” they’re
going to work every day and they’re borrowing
against their paychecks just to avoid another
cycle of evictions or to make sure they have food. So we know that poverty
feeds on itself. And we know that poor women,
I mean, this is unbelievable, that poor women and you folks
should have the data better than the rest of us at CDC, poor women who undergo breast
cancer treatment are four times more likely to lose their
jobs, lose their jobs than high-income women
in the same situation and that’s in America. So I’m just going to offer
you a couple building blocks. I went through the
social determinants. But anyway, just a
couple building blocks and I think you heard
some of this earlier today that I think we all
need to engage in. If we’re going to do
something about these factors that influence minority
elders and also to make sure that we can age gracefully and have good health
in the United States. So the first element is having
an integrated perspective. I think we talked
about that earlier. So we need to recognize and understand all the
inter-related factors that can send a vulnerable
older adult into a terrible downward spiral. When we do so, when we
think in a holistic way and I heard somebody
mention holism earlier today, we’re in a much stronger
position to work towards permanent
solutions rather than simply intervening
amount a torrent problems. The second building
block is strengthening social connections. Now we talking about
social connections of the old-fashioned kind,
you know, the real, you know, person to person, not FaceTime,
not Zoom, not Blackboard, Collaborate, you know,
Twitter and all that. So we’re talking about
not virtual or anonymous but for older adults
in this country, the person-to-person
interaction is decreasing and many older adults are paying
a steep price for that decline. So we must deepen our
understanding of the cause and the consequences of social
isolation, folks, [inaudible] and inter-related issue of loneliness among our
older adults in this country. We’ve known for some time about isolation’s profound
negative effects on health. The striking and urgent fact
we now have uncovered is that isolation and
loneliness are as bad for our health as smoking. One study shows that a health
risk of prolonged isolation by older adults in this
country are equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Another shows that isolation
and loneliness are worst for our health than obesity. They shorten life and
make us physically and cognitively less healthy. Social connection, on the other
hand, we found to contribute to resilience, the kind of protective shield
against adversity. We also have mounting
evidence to show that isolation and loneliness drive
up healthcare costs. And, you know, I
don’t know if you — Well, I live in New
York City, in the Bronx, where there’s 1.3 million of
us, and in the emergency rooms, when people keep coming in,
we say she’s lonely again. Their best friend becomes 911
because there’s nobody else who notices them and
so this kind of use of those ancillary
services put a strain on our already unsustainable
system in many of our cities. And in addition,
there’s connection between income and loneliness. Now, don’t misunderstand me. Not everyone who is
socially isolated is poor and not every poor person
is socially isolated. But it’s clear that income
is a significant factor in social connectedness
and overall happiness. I’m waiting to get
rich, Dr. Warren. But we need to recognize the
effects on social connections and the interplay of housing
and health and nutrition and transportation and income. But we must also build
greater understanding of how much we all lose
when we effectively subtract from our communities the
knowledge, the experience, the perspective and talents
of so many older adults. The third building block,
you could make a strong case and say they should’ve been
first, it’s active listening. We need to resist
the easy assumptions about the circumstances,
the perspectives, and the preferences of those who are the most
vulnerable in our society. You know, these assumptions,
folks, are condescending, they’re counterproductive,
and they’re isolating. We need to practice
active listening and resist the easy assumption
about what motivates people and what they want and need. You ask a question this morning that I was whispering before
Mr. Segarra answered it when you asked about what
should you do with your parents and he said, “listen.” And that’s exactly
what we need to do. We need to listen to the older
adults telling you what they need, not what we want for them. So if we have these preconceived
notions that will keep echoing in our heads and guess what? They deafen us to
the real issues that older adults are facing. So listening with intent
can guide us to answers. It puts us in a place where
we’re totally committed to understanding
what’s going on. It also leads us to
test our assumptions and those assumptions can
lead to innovations, folks, that will help us
to drive our work. The fourth one is
agents of opportunity. There are individuals and
organizations of professions that are already primed to help. There are many of
us who are willing and we’re ready to be out there. In many cases, you’ll find
we’ve already been helping many of our older adults in
communities across the country. But in other cases, we need to
find and leverage those agents of opportunity and not confine
ourselves to the usual suspects because they’re always
working in what we can predict, you know, of places
that we know. So remember that agents of
opportunities will be those who are willing and are
eager to look at problems from new perspectives. I’m going to give
you an example. In Philadelphia, there were
a chain of supermarkets that took an innovative
approach to provide access to benefit programs and nutrition services
right in their store. They did something different. They brought the nutritionist and the dietician
into the supermarket. See, it was an old problem
but it took a new look at it and they asked different
questions. This is saying to us, we need to
rethink some of the, you know, approaches and strategies
that we’re using. So agents of opportunities
are all around us. The only limit is
our imagination. And the final building
block is collective impact. Now it’s saying impact,
not collaboration. The best way to solve
problems is through each of us adding our strengths and
multiplying those strengths to generate a whole
that’s greater than the sum of its parts. This is collective impact. It goes beyond collaboration. You know, collective
impact raises the bar and it reverses the issues
our older adults are facing. We need our combined strengths
to address a problem this big. So guess what? Collective impact requires us to
put aside our institutional ego and adjust some of the ways in which we have become
comfortable in doing things. Yes, it’s going to
require compromise. Now I’m not here
to beat up on CDC but I mean CDC don’t
know everything. I know you guys do care-giving. But guess what? You know who the biggest
folks in care-giving today? AARP. We know what’s
going on out there. So all of us can give
up our ego and begin to look at working together. We need to get out
of those silos. You know, that’s where we’re
so restricted in our thinking and it also limits our capacity
to join with other people in solving our problems but
if we use collective impact, it brings us into
a shared space. You know, when we have
collective impact, we affirm the uplifting
of partnerships in translating good ideas
into effective social policy. So we proceed from
the understanding that no single policy, program or group can solve a complex
social problem by itself. So these building blocks have
to rest on a strong foundation of smart and compassionate
public policy. That includes an equally smart and compassionate
federal budget. Let me just remind you that empathy is not
a sign of weakness. It’s a moral compass
and it’s a moral compass that is a sign of strength. So in these divisive times when
it seems we’re devolving into us versus them, it’s
critically important to recognize there’s no them. There’s only us. We’re all bound together. We can’t wall off the problems
if we don’t work together. So let’s move beyond the
scapegoats and let’s begin to look at some solutions and I think I have
some solutions here. On one hand, we need to begin
to look at creating a culture of care for our communities
of color. One of the things
that is very clear is that we have underrepresentation
in clinical trials which gets worse
as you get older because older adults are not
included in clinical trials. The other issue is, you know,
it looks great in this room but those in the health
professions, you know, people of color remain
underrepresented. And then, of course, there’s
the overall unconscious bias that exists. We don’t like to talk about it. It’s always the 800 gorilla. I can say it. I can get away with saying a
lot of things, so I’m going to say it is what it is and
we see many times that we get into situations where people,
particularly older adults, in this country are subjected
and if they’re people of color, they’re subjected to
the unconscious bias and sometimes conscious
bias that remains with our health professionals. So, what is — I’m
looking at the time. So what is AARP’s goal? Well, one, you’ve heard us say
and we will continue to say to you we’re here
to disrupt aging. We’re here to disrupt aging. And if you don’t believe
that you are disruptors, then something’s wrong. To disrupt aging,
AARP is here to shake up the negative attitudes about
people over a certain age, whether it’s directed
from the outside or worse, where it’s self inflicted. I tell people how old I am. I don’t say I’m old. I just said this is my age. And in the old calypsonian
verse, age is just a number. There’s a growing
body of evidence that says ageist attitudes
have measurable negative health effects on older adults and it
certain erodes the confidence and self esteem of older
adults in this country. We in AARP are determined to
shadow all those old stereotypes and spark new solutions around
the idea of aging so that each of us can choose
to live our lives in a most fulfilling
manner possible. If we have another 35, I don’t
know if I want to have 35 but maybe 35 to 40
years to live, how can we make those years
all we want them to be? So we’re talking
about the new normal. And the new normal for us
is preparing individually and as a society which
to us can be exciting and to some folks it’s scary. It’s about moving away. Dr. Liburd, from that
three-stage life, work, life, school, work and retirement,
we’re saying, unh-uh, that is not the new normal,
to a more flexible one and this new life time also
comes along with challenges. For starters, not everyone has
an equal chance to live longer, let alone capture the
associated opportunities. So AARP wants to make sure that everyone has equal
access to resources. We all need to live
longer, healthier lives. Because you know what? Longevity is a huge gift. So we’re going to need
help to make that happen. So there are a couple
things that we’re doing. One is creating more
what we’re calling age-friendly communities. And in age-friendly
communities, we’re looking for eight domains of livability. So if we want to be age
and be in a healthy state, we have to have easy
access to outdoor spaces. We have to have safe,
affordable, convenient transportation. We need to have housing choices. We need to have social
participation and civic engagement since we’re
not going to just retire and, you know, dry up or have
our brains turn to mush. We want programs that promote
ethnic and cultural diversity. We want opportunities for
work and volunteer activities. We want to help people
to use technology. And if you know anything
about AARP, we run all those technological
programs across the country, all our states, you got a
great state, folks, here. You just going into
AARP, you know, Georgia and you’ll find those sessions. I want to make sure there
are community services. The other thing that
AARP is doing is through our Living 100 Project. Ms. Clemons, I’m
giving your name to the state of Pennsylvania
AARP. And in this project, AARP
seeks to spark a conversation. How can we challenge
our own mindsets and attitudes about aging? What do longer lifespan
really mean for current and future generations? How can we address
the disparities? These are the questions
we’re raising right now, the disparities in race
and in gender and in income and in education and geography
that can be a matter of life and death because, you know, we
call it disparities by zip code, you know, so it’s simply that’s
what we’re trying to look at. And most of all, how do
institutions and systems need to change so that we are
not only living longer but making the most
of our extra time? So folks, we have
the power to help. Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus
fought hard to change minds and to create a new reality. We’re still facing many of the
same battles that she faced. Sometimes we seem to be
fighting over and over again. But we have the opportunity
to create a new culture, a culture in which it’s going
to be wonderful to be young and it’s also going to
be wonderful to grow old. But we can only do that if we,
and I’ll leave you with a poem, if we act as one and if we
believe in each other; however, we have to be committed
to excellence and we have to do whatever it takes. We have to embrace
this common vision of healthy aging
in this country. We have to foster the group
intelligence to make it happen. We have to harness the power
of the many here but we have to inspire cooperation, not
competition, with each other. We have to juggle the skills
and the talents that we have but we also must kindle
that collective impact and collaborative genius. We have to always look out for
each other and we have to engage in more of the “we” and
less than the “me” thinking. We must not mind who
gets the credit, folks. We’ve got to overcome
the obstacles together. We have to put our principles
before our personalities but we have to quickly resolve
any differences among us. We have to recognize
each other’s strengths but we also have to
share the workload. We must remember to treat
each other with respect and utilize everyone’s skill. We must value everyone’s input. We must continue to
work side by side, expecting exponential results. Well, we’ve got to yearn to
succeed together and then to be zestful about
making a difference. Thanks for inviting me. [ Applause ]>>I know you have
some burning questions. So let them be heard
and she can respond.>>Yes, sir?>>I want to thank you first for
your inspirational words and I, as a diversity and
inclusion foot soldier that has written several
strategic plans here at CDC and other organizations, one
of the things that I’m seeing in the goals that AARP
that I’m seeing as missing and I was wondering if you could
talk about that is and we talked about this when President
Obama implemented a diversity and inclusion executive order
for the federal government and that is the sustainability
piece. How do we sustain
what you and AARP, what many others I believe are
working on trying to achieve and recognizing our aging
population which is part of our diversity and inclusion
work that crosses all groups. I want to hear more about what
do you see are the things we need to do to sustain the
current work and to go higher.>>One, we need to step
out of our boxes and one of the things I think,
when you think of when and how AARP was founded,
sometimes we forget about the history, but
we get so boxed in to how and what we’re doing, the points
that I made about stepping out and looking for new
partners is critical. You know, we seem to forget that
people spend most of their time in community, not in coming to
visit us in our institutions or coming to ask us for things
but that it’s in the community where those deep roots are and
we’ve got to tap into them. So for us in AARP, one of the things we have a whole
multicultural leadership unit now, where we are
digging deeper and deeper into those communities and
developing partnerships with those, not the
usual suspects, but those other organizations
that are critical for the life of the communities
that work to make sure that our older adults remain
healthy and can age in place in their own communities. They don’t want to be
in no nursing home. You know, they want to be
where they’re comfortable. So we’ve got different
kinds of partnerships with the Hispanic
Latina/Latino communities, with the Asian-Pacific
Islanders’ community, with African-American
and Black communities, with the faith-based
communities. You know, we’re doing all
different kinds of things. We have what we call pop-up
events all over the country so that we may appear at some,
you may call it a health fair, I don’t believe in health fairs
but that’s my personal view, but that would be
another discussion. But they show up at
things where the people who will be the connectors
in those communities are and I think that those
of us in institutions and in professional
organizations need to learn how to do that better and
you don’t need to come to the Alicia Georges, you might
need to go to the Suzie Jones, who’s the lady down the
street that everybody knows and Alicia Georges can put
you to connect with her and so you can reach further
and deeper into the community. It’s going to take us
a while but, you know, we got 38 million members. So we got all these folks. So our volunteers are also the
unsung heroes because they come from those communities and
they open the doors for us.>>Okay. I guess my
question would be, maybe it’s a philosophical
one, but how is AARP dealing with the fact that when you’re
aging and going through life, sometimes with the way history
is written or kind of recorded, it doesn’t necessarily always
include everything that’s happened to people or
people you’re connected to, how are they reconciling that
given that promoting ethnic and cultural diversity is
important but oftentimes that if history isn’t there
or if it’s not written in the way that’s uplifting
the community, it can be almost where there’s no evidence;
therefore, we don’t have data; therefore, what can we
do, if that makes sense?>>Are you a PhD
student or data analyst? I’m just being funny. I’m just — You know, we
have a historian in AARP who does use some of the hard
data that may be available. But one of the things that
Lilly has always said and others have said
is that you need to go to the people and help people to record what it is
that’s important to them. So you’ll find that there
are a number of things on our AARP website where we
have the members who are talking and people who are talking about what it is that’s
meaningful to them. So you’ll find stuff
around care-giving where people are talking about
what it means to have, you know, who and what, you know, in the whole care-giving,
you know, sphere. We’ve got folks interviews with
people and we tap into all the, if you belong to the
Divine Nine, you know, groups where we’re at
all of their conventions. We’re at all the Asian and
Pacific Islanders, you know, conventions, the Hispanic,
you know, celebrations and the Native American, you
know, powwows, if there’s some in some of the states,
we’re there. And there are people who have
that information and who tap into those folks and
those communities who have that information and
who can then share it with other members. It’s hard for us, I
mean, we can’t, you know, gather the history and the
information for everybody but we make a concerted effort
to get the data from the people who are the most closely
aligned with the communities that we’re working with. And some of us need
to write a little more about what’s going on. Read my — Well,
you’re too young but you can still get AARP, the
magazine, and read my column. But that’s the other
thing that we do. In our AARP magazine, which
is the most widely circulated in the world, you know,
they’ve got lots of good things. There all these stories
about what’s happening and in our bulletin,
there’s always stories. On our website, if you tap
into each one of the states or the two territories
which is Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin
Islands, my home, you’ll find — Where’s Dr. Hawkins,
where’s Hawkins, yeah, we’re from
the Virgin Islands. But you’ll find the
information and stories that people are telling about
what’s going on with them.>>Any last questions?>>That’s Dr. Neil Shulman,
I have to defer to him. He was one of the founders
of the International Society on Hypertension in Blacks. So I go way back almost as
long as with you, Dr. Warren.>>Thank you. This has been an
excellent event. But I just wonder if in an
entertaining way there could be a movie series kind of
laughing with seniors, where all these messages are
gotten across to all age groups and we had been involved
in writing a book comedy about seniors and I used
to do senior presentations but I think you would
be a great actor.>>Thanks, Neil. That’s friendship. Right.>>You could write the script. But seriously, this is an
excellent, excellent event and we just have to get the
attention of the population of the entire country. And AARP is an excellent
organization and the message you have is
so powerful and, you know, everybody wants to
live a long life. So I think it could be something that everybody would
join together with and with people here who
are leaders, you know, it could become a real popular
series just like Harry Potter.>>Thanks, Neil. If you all didn’t know, if you’ve ever seen the
movie Doc Hollywood, Neil Shulman was the
one who wrote the book that become the movie “Doc
Hollywood,” with Michael J. Fox, so he knows about writing. I don’t know about
that stuff, Neil, but thanks very much
for having me.>>Hold one second. [ Applause ]>>One small comment before
we close the session up. Dr. Georges was a speaker at
Annual Tuskegee Commemoration and all the keynote speakers
we gave them a special, special gift. We had some coins minted, Booker
T. Washington coins minted. The only place you can
get them is at Tuskegee, if you’ve done something very,
very special and a few of you in the audience have done
special things to have a coin. Well, Dr. Georges got a coin and
she called me and said, well, my grandson liked the
coin, so I gave it to him. And I got grandkids. I know when they ask for
something, they get it. So I wanted to give
her another coin so she will possibly
keep it for herself.>>Yes. He will not
get this one! Oh, thank you, thank
you, thank you! Thank you very much. [ Applause ]>>We have a small
token for you as well. Just whenever you use
this, you’ll think of us.>>Oh, thank you, Dr. Liburd,
thank you so much! Oh, thanks so much. Thank you so much.>>Okay, well, for those
of you who are here when we got started this
morning, I promised you that this would not be
an ordinary gathering of public health professionals
and I also promised you that it would leave a mark
that you won’t forget. And I believe that the
planning committee who I want to thank right now, I
want to ask you to stand so that people can see you. Don’t be shy. They have been working
for nine months to pull this day together and
have done a phenomenal job. I also want to thank all of
our speakers and discussants and everyone who is present, those who have been
viewing by IPTV. There are literally probably
a couple hundred people online who have been participating
with us today and I want to thank everyone
who has been part of this year’s Public
Health Ethics Forum. I want to end by sharing
and it really just kind of reiterates much of
what has been said today. I was introduced to
a book this spring that has really been probably
the most influential book that I’ve read this year for me. And the title is “The
Leading Causes of Life.” You know, we talk a lot about
the leading causes of death, particularly at CDC,
we’re steeped in death and risk factors for death
and everything associated with preventing death and
our goal is to prevent death. And this book kind of
answers the question of life or preventing death to live and then what then constitutes
the leading causes of life. And so I’m just going to go
through them very quickly and let me just say, this book
was written by Gary Gunderson, many of you would know him
if you’ve been involved with any faith help work. I first met him when he
was at the Carter Center and it’s coauthored by his
friend and colleague Larry Pray. So the first one is
connection and I don’t need to say anything more about that because Dr. Georges
elaborated on that beautifully. The second is coherence, which
is having meaning in our lives. The third is agency and this is
having our own personal sense of empowerment and actually
being empowered and acting on things that are
important to us. The fourth they describe
as blessing and this is being a
blessing to others as well as allowing other people
to bless us with any manner of goodness that
they will embrace that they will want
to extend toward us. And the last is hope
and so I hope that as you all leave this
gathering today that you leave with much more hope,
much more intention, just with much more energy
to be part of creating and promoting the ethical
practice of public health and in this instance
as it relates to older adults and
minority elders. So I want to thank you again
and I’m going to ask Dr. Warren to come forward and
he will have his words and give us the final
benediction.>>Two things Captain Wilkins
has been very intentional about us meeting
weekly and coming up with measurable objectives
and strategies every week. For the last couple of
months, we’ve met ever Friday to be sure this was a success. So I want to acknowledge
him particularly for the work that he’s done. [ Applause ] And on another level, this
was a scholarly activity. If you didn’t feel like it,
you just need to know that. We didn’t have lectures. We had conversations. We had data. You didn’t call it data
but we had information. We had lived experiences. This was a scholarly activity
and we were intentional about who could come in here
because we had limited space. Anybody in the world
could get online but only a few could
get into this space. But we want to share
the good news with everybody and
so we publish. Every time we have this forum,
we public the proceedings and additional articles and
generally we have the forum in April and we publish
in December. This time, we have
the forum in September but we published it in December. That means that the
presenters have to move quickly because we have a peer review
process that we must go through. And this also is open to the
world for continued education. We didn’t realize that folks from the outside were getting
online and getting credit for CMEs all last year,
I don’t know the number, but it was phenomenal. And so we want to be sure
that you can go online and get your CMEs
if you so choose. And I’ve been reminded 10,
12, 13 times to be sure that everything that
you’re going to be challenged on, we say it. So it’s one thing that you
may not have heard clearly but I want you to hear this
clearly and also as important as this the coloring of
America enhances that in 2016, 23% of people age 65 and
over were members of racial and ethnic minority populations. It’s important to have that
number but more importantly to understand this
place is changing. Like it or not, it’s changing. So get ready, ready or not. Really important. And not lastly but let me close by saying Dr. Leandris Liburd
has great courage to work with us down in Tuskegee as
we don’t hold any punches. We may say anything that
we believe to be true and in these times, we
have to be thoughtful. So I want to thank her again
for moving forward thoughtfully. [ Applause ] It was her thought to
focus on the elderly and when she mentioned it to me, I was all in because she
was talking about me. So we switched the dates to
September but we’re going to have a publication and we’re
going to invite you and others to publish and you see the
inter-generational connection, the young folk, the posters
that can translate them to a peer-review article that
will enhance their career. That’s big. I had three or four
degrees and out of school for a long time before I
published my first article. And the best way into a doctorate program
is the publication of peer-review articles. They didn’t tell you that. I’m telling you. Get it in. We’ll peer review
it and get it on. So again, I want to thank you. We started on time. If you look at the clock,
we’re finishing on time. It doesn’t get any better
than that and we’re going to thank you again for
being here, showing up and showing out [applause]. Thank you so very, very much.

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