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Updates from Commit to Connect

MAY 2023

Commit to Connect Updates

Register Now for a Webinar on State-Level Leadership in Promoting Social Connection

Join Commit to Connect on June 15 from 1:00-2:00 PM ET for a webinar highlighting state-level leadership in promoting social engagement and addressing social isolation and loneliness. Attendees will hear from ADvancing States about the importance of this work. Two state-level initiatives—Georgia and Wisconsin—will highlight their engagement efforts and share tips and best practices. This event will include American Sign Language interpretation and captioning services. Register for this no-cost event now!

Register Now

Surgeon General Issues Advisory on Social Connection

An advisory from U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy explores the destructive impact the epidemic of loneliness and social isolation has had on the nation's collective health and the healing power of social connection and relationships. The advisory lays out lays out a National Strategy to Advance Social Connection, comprised of six pillars detailing recommendations that individuals, governments, workplaces, health systems, and community organizations can take to increase connection in their lives, communities, and across the country. Learn more about the Surgeon General’s priorities here.

Meet a Commit to Connect Champion

Commit to Connect is proud to introduce a new bi-monthly blog post series which will highlight Commit to Connect Champions. These blog posts are based on short interviews and provide 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, Beryl Katz of Senior Adults for Greater Education (S.A.G.E.). Check out the full blog post here. 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

Community of Practice Members Announced

Commit to Connect is pleased to announce the launch of the Understanding the Impact of Social Isolation and Loneliness Programs Community of Practice (COP) which will run from May through August 2023. During the COP, a cohort of three organizations will utilize the Upstream Social Interaction Risk Screener (U-SIRS) to better understand their program’s impact on addressing social isolation and loneliness. The participating organizations are the California Department of Aging, Meals on Wheels Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky and the Cincinnati Music & Wellness Coalition.   

Commit to Connect Team in Action

Rebecca Levine, Katie Clark and Sara Maloney

The Commit to Connect team is hard at work highlighting the importance of social connectedness—and key resources and supports from Commit to Connect! We presented at the American Society on Aging’s On Aging Conference highlighting Commit to Connect. Commit to Connect also recently presented at the National Council on Aging’s National Institute of Senior Center’s Programs of Excellence webinar and at the Idaho Commission on Aging’s loneliness event. Look for us at the USAging's 48th Annual Conference and Tradeshow in July and attend the Commit to Connect session on July 17 where we will be addressing ways to further collaboration and the advancement of programs and strategies to increase social engagement and connection. Are you interested in having Commit to Connect present to your social isolation or loneliness initiative? Contact the team at

Recent Research and Resources

  • This year Global Loneliness Awareness Week is recognized from June 12-18. To support this event, engAGED: The National Resource Center for Engaging Older Adults is organizing a social media fill-in-the-blank social media campaign. Learn how to participate.
  • Did you miss the 2023 engAGED and Commit to Connect Social Engagement Virtual Summit? This two-day event, held on May 9 and 10, highlighted the topics of social engagement of older adults and people with disabilities in rural communities and supporting the social connectedness needs of family caregivers. The Surgeon General provided opening remarks at the Summit, which also featured a keynote address by Dr. Julianne Holt-Lundstad who provided insights on the Surgeon General’s Advisory on social connection. The summit also included a keynote address from Acting ACL Administrator and Assistant Secretary for Aging Alison Barkoff. Find recordings and slides from both days here.
  • Commit to Connect hosted a Peer-to-Peer Exchange on April 19 focused on outreach and social engagement. During the session, attendees discussed challenges, strategies and best practices to effectively identify and reach program participants for social engagement and connection programs. Check out the Nationwide Network of Champions Hub for a resource recap and discussion thread on this topic.
  • The Coalition to End Social Isolation and Loneliness (CESIL) unveiled its 2023-2024 policy priorities and recommendations for the 118th Congress and the Biden Administration. Learn more about these recommendations in this short blog post and watch the policy priorities video.
  • Watch the recording from Commit to Connect's April webinar focused on assessing self-directed community participation interests of adults with psychiatric disabilities and autistic adults to guide community inclusion supports planning. This webinar addressed the origins and use of the Temple University Community Participation measure. The Alliance of Disability Advocates in North Carolina also shared how they implement the tool to promote community participation. To access the presentation slides and the Temple University Community Participation measure, check here.

Help Spread the Word!

Commit to Connect’s Virtual Hub for the Nationwide Network of Champions has now grown to include 266 Champions who represent 238 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. Become a Commit to Connect Champion. Tell your story and join the conversation.  
  2. Invite your friends and colleagues to join you as a Commit to Connect Champion.
  3. Visit the Commit to Connect website to check out the latest events and resources.
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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.