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Updates from Commit to Connect

JULY 2023

Commit to Connect Updates

Register Now for a Webinar on Volunteerism and Social Connection 

Join Commit to Connect tomorrow, August 1 from 12:00-1:00 PM ET for a webinar focused on innovative volunteer program models that promote social connection across a variety of populations. During the webinar, the Give 5 Program, SAGE and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation will share information on volunteer programs, outcomes and best practices. This webinar will include American Sign Language interpretation and captioning services. Register for this no-cost event now!

Register Now

Meet a Commit to Connect Champion

Commit to Connect is excited to highlight another Champion in our bi-monthly blog post series, providing a snapshot of the innovative efforts led by Commit to Connect Champions across the country to promote social connectedness. This month’s featured Champion is Rebecca Levine, Senior Program Manager at USAging. Check out the full blog post here to learn more about Rebecca’s work with engAGED: The National Resource Center for Engaging Older Adults.

Are you interested in having your organization featured in an upcoming blog post? Make sure you are registered for the Commit to Connect Nationwide Network of Champions and keep an eye out for an upcoming brief survey.

Read the Blog Post

Commit to Connect Team in Action

The Commit to Connect team led a session, along with Dr. Matthew Lee Smith from Texas A&M, during USAging's 48th Annual Conference and Tradeshow on ways to further outcomes and impact of social connection programs. Commit to Connect was also represented at the Generations United Conference, where we presented alongside Dr. Shannon Jarrott and other leaders from Commit to Connect’s intergenerational engagement community of practice. Are you interested in having the Commit to Connect team present to your social isolation or loneliness initiative? Contact [email protected].

Highlights from the Community of Practice

The Commit to Connect Understanding the Impact of Social Isolation and Loneliness Programs Community of Practice is hard at work! The participating agencies have drafted implementation plans to utilize the Upstream Social Interaction Risk Screener (U-SIRS) to better understand their program’s impact on addressing social isolation and loneliness. Guest speakers, including representatives from Meals on Wheels America and MAC, Inc, provided inspiration and thoughtful guidance for the cohort as they navigate their evaluation journey. Stay tuned for more to come on the exciting progress this group continues to make. 

Recent Research and Resources

  • Watch the recording from Commit to Connect's June webinar focused on state-level leadership with promoting social engagement and addressing social isolation and loneliness. During the webinar, ADvancing States shared findings from a recent poll. Attendees also heard from state-level initiatives in Georgia and Wisconsin that highlighted their engagement efforts and shared tips and best practices.
  • The Coalition to End Social Isolation and Loneliness and partner, Humana’s Far From Alone campaign, recently hosted Connections at the Capitol: Discussions on Loneliness, Isolation, and the Path Forward. This hybrid event featured prominent thought leaders, change-makers and advocates as they addressed current efforts to foster belonging and resiliency among our most vulnerable populations.
  • A new fact sheet from USAging highlights social engagement data from the 2022 National Survey of Area Agencies on Aging. The fact sheet showcases social engagement programs and activities provided by AAAs, including those tailored to specific communities and key community partners.
  • In this article, Addressing the Epidemic of Loneliness: Meals on Wheels America Study Paves the Way for Transformative Solutions, three key findings from research conducted by Meals on Wheels America reveal how its programs are working to combat social isolation and loneliness.
  • Tune in to this podcast from Only7Seconds featuring Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad as she discusses the impact of loneliness, key differences between loneliness and isolation, and why social health is critical to our overall well-being.
  • This research article from Nature provides a systematic review of 90 cohort studies conducted on social isolation, loneliness, and mortality across adults.

Help Spread the Word!

Commit to Connect’s Virtual Hub for the Nationwide Network of Champions has grown to include 292 Champions who represent 253 organizations. Be sure to log in or sign up to stay up to date on new activities and resources. The Hub is a no-cost virtual space for passionate leaders and innovators at the local, state and national levels dedicated to ending social isolation and loneliness. Help spread the word by:

  1. Becoming a Commit to Connect Champion. Tell your story and join the conversation.  
  2. Inviting your friends and colleagues to join you as a Commit to Connect Champion.
  3. Visiting the Commit to Connect website to check out the latest events and resources.

Upcoming Events

Funding for this initiative was made possible by contract no. HHSP233201500088I from ACL. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.