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Updates from Commit to Connect


Commit to Connect Updates

Join the Nationwide Network of Champions

The Commit to Connect Nationwide Network of Champions welcomed seven new Champions in September, bringing the total number of Champions to 215! Champions in the Network share ideas and resources related to social connection. Join the Network to connect with your peers across the United States and learn more about innovative programs and ideas. 

Ready to connect? The Nationwide Network of Champions is growing, and it needs your help to thrive! Increase your engagement on the Network by posting a question in the discussion section or responding to others who are looking for input on their post threads. Not comfortable making a post? Reach out to for assistance. 

Meet the Champions

We’re proud to highlight a Commit to Connect Champion in this monthly spotlight. Meet Janet Miller, Program Specialist for the Idaho Commission on Aging, which uses an intergenerational approach to fighting social isolation and loneliness. An example of this work is a partnership with local schools to send letters to home-delivered meal clients, which has received positive feedback from participants. Learn more about the great things Janet does for her community by reaching out on the Champion Network Hub or connecting with her on LinkedIn.

Janet Miller

Highlights from the Intergenerational Engagement Community of Practice

This fall Commit to Connect launched its first Community of Practice. The Intergenerational Engagement Community of Practice welcomed 32 community-based organizations across the country that are interested in operating intergenerational programs. Dr. Shannon Jarrott, Health and Aging Policy Fellow and Professor of Social Work at Ohio State University, facilitates the Intergenerational Community of Practice as an expert on intergenerational program practices. The group meets in hour and a half long sessions across a four-month span and communicates frequently through the Nationwide Network.

Guest speaker Nancy Henkin, founder and former Executive Director of the Intergenerational Center at Temple University, joined the Community of Practice to highlight the importance of partnerships: finding the right partner, bringing in the right partner at the right time and the idea of mutual benefit. Nancy is currently serving as a Senior Fellow at Generations United and is a national consultant in intergenerational practice, policy and research. 

Nancy Henkin

Recent Resources and Research

  • engAGED: The National Resource Center for Engaging Older Adults partnered with the Eldercare Locator to produce a new consumer brochure, Staying OK: Tips for Supporting Your Social Connections and Emotional Wellness. The brochure provides tips and tools to help older adults stay connected to their communities during difficult times. Available in English and Spanish, the brochure is also customizable—allowing your organization to add its logo and contact information before sharing with the older adults you serve.
  • A recent article published by The Gerontologist outlines the potential impact neighborhood factors such as accessibility, security and social cohesion can have on older adult's feelings of loneliness.  
  • The Coalition to End Social Isolation & Loneliness (CESIL) published a blog post by Dr. Carla Perissinotto, Professor of Medicine at University of California, San Francisco. In the blog post, Dr. Perissinotto addresses the importance of identifying social isolation and loneliness as the cause of health issues or death from a public health perspective.
  • Healthy Places by Design, an organization that advances community-led action and proven, place-based strategies to ensure health and well-being for all, published a blog post by Jamie Elliot highlighting ways to use intergenerational strategies to tackle social isolation.
  • Featuring over 50 speakers and 20 sessions, the Foundation for Social Connection and its sister organization, CESIL, convened the third annual End Social Isolation & Loneliness Action Forum last month. Check out organizations’ commitments to action and recorded sessions.
  • The Foundation for Social Connection released a report on the opportunities to advance social connection and fill gaps in understanding and addressing social isolation and loneliness in the education sector. There will be a public comment period open for 60 days for readers to provide input and feedback on the report.

Help Spread the Word!

  1. Become a Commit to Connect Champion by joining the Nationwide Network of Champions. Tell your story and join the conversation!
  2. Invite your friends and colleagues to join you as a Commit to Connect Champion! 

Upcoming Events and Deadlines

  • Feedback Requested: engAGED: The National Resource Center for Engaging Older Adults launched a poll to learn more about social engagement program trends. Please take 10 minutes to complete the poll by Friday, December 2. 

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.