eNews | Spring/Summer 2019
Congratulations Graduates! 
Seven Master of Gerontological Studies students participated in the Miami University commencement ceremony on May 18, 2019.  Pictured left to right:  Bandana Shah, Usha Dhakal, Ashlee Cordell, Valerie Kessler, Chelsea Goldstein, Shamatree Shakya, and Luyna Ducay.  
Collaboration that makes a difference 
cover of 2018 Annual Report
by Executive Director, Suzanne Kunkel, PhD

Dear friends,

We are delighted to share the Scripps Gerontology Center 2018 Annual Report with you. It has been another year of meaningful projects and productive collaborations for us. For the second year in a row, we were the top unit at Miami University for external funding.

We never take for granted the dedicated individuals, diverse talents, and unique spirit that underlie our success. This past year, as part of our strategic plan, we took a 360ยบ look at our organizational culture, an essential component of our ability to accomplish our goals. A survey sent to all of our staff members (82% participated) provided encouraging results about our collective values and the extent to which those values are reflected in how we work together. The report offered this summary: "We know our mission, work hard to meet it, feel valued, and are proud to work here."

This process renewed our commitment to nourish our collaborative and productive workplace well into our next century. As we look forward to our 100th anniversary in 2022, we are grateful to the previous generations of Scripps staff who gave us our roots and our wings. That appreciation was tinged with sadness as we grieved the loss of one of our past leaders, Bob Atchley, who passed away in November of 2018. His many legacies will endure within the core of who we are and what we do.
As always, we thank you for your interest and support.


Age-Friendly Oxford Initiative: Collaborating to create a community for all ages

Around the world, communities are preparing for the opportunities and challenges associated with longer lives. In the U.S., the AARP Livable Communities initiative provides guidance and resources for communities interested in becoming "age-friendly." Scripps is excited to be part of age-friendly efforts right in our own backyard through the Age-Friendly Oxford Initiative (AFOI), a five-year community improvement process for the City of Oxford and Oxford Township supported by a unique collaboration of community partners.

The seeds of this collaboration were planted more than ten years ago with the founding of the Oxford VillAGE Network (OVN). OVN is a grassroots advocacy and volunteer organization focused on older people and their families that promotes community, communication, and inclusion. Much of OVN's work is carried out in conjunction with Oxford Seniors, Inc., a thriving adult community center offering services to older residents of Oxford and Oxford Township.

National research collaboration making a difference

The landscape of health and long-term care is shifting to better provide holistic person-centered and high-quality care for people of all ages. Age-friendly health systems and an increasing focus on the social determinants of health are manifestations of this shift. These frameworks both emphasize the integration of community-based services and supports with health care systems. Thanks to a long-standing partnership with the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), and research collaborations with colleagues at University of California, Berkeley and Yale University, Scripps Gerontology Center is contributing information to help shape these transformations.

The Aging Network has long been the hub for coordination and delivery of community-based services to older people nationwide. Our work with n4a has allowed us to document and support the capacity of these foundational organizations. Scripps and n4a have partnered for over a decade to conduct comprehensive Area Agency on Aging (AAA) and Title VI organization surveys that describe their capacity, and help them chart the course for the future. That longitudinal survey data is also the basis for an exciting research collaboration with colleagues at University of California, Berkeley, and Yale University to analyze the impact of AAA partnerships on county-level health care utilization and spending across the US.

> Read more and view related media online

In 2016, the Scripps leadership team began to envision a physical space to foster collaborative, interdisciplinary research and creation of innovative programs. Thanks to a lot of support and teamwork along the way, the Scripps Gerontology Center Collaboratory was completed in December of 2018. This creative and versatile space has become the preferred setting for all kinds of meetings and work sessions.

The design phase began with a Miami University senior interior design studio, taught by Katherine Setser. The student teams took on the challenge of transforming a former office into a multipurpose area for working creatively with one another and our many partners. They gathered information about the organization's needs, then developed and presented their proposals for layout, color, finishes, furniture and technology. A proposal was selected by the Scripps leadership team and construction began in spring of 2018.

Marilyn Scripps, the great-granddaughter of E.W. Scripps (who founded in 1922 the Scripps Gerontology Center's forerunner, the Scripps Foundation for Research in Population Problems) was instrumental in making the Collaboratory a reality. In addition to generous financial support, the entrepreneur and philanthropist facilitated a connection with Rookwood Pottery in Cincinnati (which she owns) that resulted in the visual centerpiece of the Collaboratory space: a Rookwood tile installation designed to inspire creativity. The room also includes furnishings to support various group sizes and types of interaction, a write-on wall, and a touchscreen platform. The Scripps Collaboratory is in high demand as a work space for research project teams, strategic planning workgroups, and Scripps collaborations that include local, state, and national partners.

Recent PhD program graduates

Since our last newsletter, AviElle Raymore, Kim Ogle and Cassie Hua earned the PhD in Social Gerontology. Their dissertation titles are:
  • Raymore - The Experiences of Grandfathers Raising Grandchildren
  • Ogle - An Exploratory Qualitative Study of Older Adults in Hospice Care
  • Hua - Childhood Socioeconomic Status and Weight Change in Later Life 
Congratulations and best wishes to all!
Recent publications

  • Aging and Disability Business Institute: Final evaluation report
  • Implementation of the 2018 Ohio Nursing Home and Residential Care Facility Family Satisfaction Surveys
  • Impact of social service staffing on nursing home quality and resident outcomes
  • Older adults' experiences with audiovisual virtual reality: Perceived usefulness and other factors influencing technology acceptance 
  • It is not your parents' long-term services system: Nursing homes in a changing world
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