NCOA Connect

Senior Center Summit – Celebrating Senior Centers Strengthening Community Connections

Join us on September 23, 2022 from 1-4 EST Via Zoom as we celebrate senior centers together! Featuring updates from the Modernizing Senior Centers Resource Center including insights from our Environmental Scan of Senior Centers, introductions to other ACL resource centers you can use and an opportunity for small group networking with your colleagues!

Dianne Stone

Associate Director of Network Development and Engagement, Modernizing Senior Centers Resource Center and NISC

National Council on Aging

Dianne Stone has more than 20 years of experience with senior centers and aging issues, primarily as the Director of the Newington Senior and Disabled Center in Newington, Connecticut. Stone has also worked, volunteered, and held leadership positions with a variety of organizations in Connecticut, including Connecticut AgeWell Collaborative, the ADA Coalition of Connecticut, Connecticut Medicaid Oversight Council, and the Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity and Opportunity. She joined NCOA in January 2022, as a member of the Center for Healthy Aging, where she is primarily focused on supporting senior centers throughout the country through the ACL-funded Modernizing Senior Centers Resource Center and NISC. 

Ramsey Alwin

President & CEO

National Council on Aging

As President and CEO of the National Council on Aging, Ramsey Alwin is leading a nationwide movement to ensure equitable aging for every American. 

Building on NCOA’s 70 years of service and advocacy for older adults, Alwin is renewing the organization’s commitment to improving the lives of millions, especially those who are struggling. She is sparking critical conversations about the resources every American deserves to age well—and what needs to change to ensure all have access.

A seasoned thought leader and policy advocate, Alwin has changed the way people think about older adult poverty and economic security. She designed a new measure of economic security for older adults that better accounts for out-of-pocket health costs and worked to introduce the Measuring American Poverty Act in Congress to redefine the federal poverty measure for the older population. Thanks to Alwin’s efforts, the U.S. Census Bureau formally implemented the Supplemental Poverty Measure nationwide, virtually doubling the elder poverty count and better demonstrating true needs among this population. 

Prior to leading NCOA, Alwin directed financial resilience global thought leadership at AARP and served as Director of National Economic Security Programs at Wider Opportunities for Women. Currently, she serves on the Executive Committee of the UN NGO Committee on Aging, the America250 Health and Wellness Advisory Council, and the National Academy of Social Insurance Finance Committee.


Edwin Walker, J.D.

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aging

U.S. Administration for Community Living

As the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aging of the Administration on Aging (AoA) within the Administration for Community Living, Mr. Edwin L. Walker serves as the chief career official for the federal agency responsible for advocating on behalf of older Americans.

In this capacity, he guides and promotes the development of home and community-based long-term care programs, policies, and services designed to afford older people and their caregivers the ability to age with dignity and independence and to have a broad array of options available for an enhanced quality of life. This includes the promotion and implementation of evidence-based prevention interventions proven effective in avoiding or delaying the onset of chronic disease and illness.

Prior to joining the Administration on Aging, Mr. Walker served as the Director of the Missouri Division of Aging, responsible for administering a comprehensive set of human service programs for older persons and adults with disabilities.

He received a Juris Doctor degree in law from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Media Arts from Hampton University. 

Manoj Pardasani, PhD, LCSW, ACSW

Dean & Professor, School of Social Work

Adelphi University

Manoj Pardasani, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., is the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Hunter College, City University of New York.  He was a Dean and Professor at the School of Social Work.  He has also served as an Associate Provost (Graduate and Professional Schools) and Professor of Social Work at Hunter College in New York, and a Faculty Research Scholar at the Ravazzin Center for Social Work Research in Aging and Senior Associate Dean at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. He held the rank of Full Professor at Fordham University, Hunter College and Adelphi University.

He has a Master's of Social Work degree and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University. 

He started his social work career in senior centers and that sparked his lifelong passion for the study of senior centers and community-based services for older adults.   As one of the nation’s foremost researchers on senior centers, he has studied the designs, programs and services offered, participant profiles, and impact of senior centers across the US.  He has also served as a social worker, and then as an administrator, in a number of organizations serving the homeless, individuals living with HIV/AIDS and individuals diagnosed with serious and persistent mental illness. 

He is passionate about public policy reforms and his current research is utilized to inform his policy advocacy endeavors in the fields of aging and social welfare. He has published over 37 published articles in peer-reviewed journals, 7 book chapters and two additional manuscripts under review. His research has garnered over $1.3 million in grants and has resulted in significant increases in public funding for gerontological social services in New York City and program innovations in senior centers nationwide. He has also received an additional $4 million in training grants in order to promote a diverse social work workforce.

In addition to senior centers, Dr. Pardasani has documented the impact of diverse program models among immigrants, refugees and other oppressed groups with reference to HIV/AIDS, chronic mental illness and homelessness. His scholarship, teaching and service have always adopted the lens of social justice and human rights.

He is the recipient of several honors including the Mid-Career Exemplary Social Work Leader Award from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and Fulbright Specialist award.  He is a Fulbright Specialist and has taught as a Visiting Professor in China, Germany, Chile and the United Kingdom.  He has been invited across the US and to Chile, South Korea, Taiwan and India to share his research on social welfare policies and services for the rapidly aging population worldwide. He is the past chair of the Social Welfare Action Alliance, past president of the Southwestern Social Science Association and the New York State Society on Aging. Currently, he is a 1st Vice President on the NYC Chapter of NASW, a board member of the NY State Society on Aging and the Chair of the National Nominating Committee of CSWE.

Jill Hall

Division Chief & Acting Nutrition Program Manager Senior Centers and Community Services

Baltimore County Department of Aging

Jill Hall is Chief of the Senior Centers and Community Services Division for the Baltimore County Department of Aging. For the past 14 years, Jill has managed the operations of 21 senior centers, 36 nutrition sites, and the delivery of county-wide evidence-based health and wellness programs. Prior to Baltimore County, Jill was the supervisor of the Rockville Senior Center for 10 years and a senior recreation planning consultant for 15 years. Jill has twice served as the President of the Maryland Association of Senior Centers and been involved with the NCOA’s National Institute of Senior Centers in various capacities for 25 years. She takes on the role of NISC Chair in July.

Kathleen Zuke, MPH

Associate Director, Center for Healthy Aging

National Council on Aging

Kathleen Zuke was privileged to grow up with eight loving grandparents and developed a passion for supportive services for older adults as a caregiver for her grandfather. She has been a Senior Program Manager with the Center for Healthy Aging since 2015. In this role, she works collaboratively with community-based partners across the country to identify, implement, and sustain evidence-based programs that support older adults in staying well and aging in the community, including chronic disease self-management education, falls prevention, and behavioral health. She has a Master’s degree in Public Health from Hunter College and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

Jennifer Tripken, Ed.D., CHES

Associate Director, Center for Healthy Aging

National Council on Aging

Dr. Jennifer L. Tripken is an Associate Director, Center for Healthy Aging at the National Council on Aging. In this role, Jennifer supports the expansion and sustainability of evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention programs in the community and online through collaboration with national, state, and community partners. Prior to joining NCOA, Jennifer worked for eight years as a university professor in Health Education and Promotion. Before that, Jennifer spent six years as a middle and high school Health Education teacher in New York. 

Jennifer earned her Ed.D. in Health Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, her M.Ed. in Health Education at Boston University, and her B.S. in Athletic Training at Pennsylvania State University.

Ann Kayrish

Senior Program Manager for Medicare

National Council on Aging

Ann is the Senior Program Manager, for Medicare at NCOA where she helps local, state and regional organizations develop and implement strategies to find, counsel and assist Medicare beneficiaries apply and enroll in benefits for which they may be eligible.  Over the past 25 years Ann has had the opportunity to work in many parts of the health care industry including managed care, patient assistance programs, and provider and sales force relations.  Prior to joining NCOA, Ann managed the operations for the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) in Montgomery County, Maryland helping the most vulnerable populations gain access to the health care benefits and services.  Ann received her B.S. in Health Care Management from Kings College in Wilke-Barre, PA and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN.

Erin Hoisington, RDN, LDN

Nutrition and Aging Content Director

Iowa Department on Aging

Erin Hoisington is a registered and licensed dietitian nutritionist and content director for the Nutrition and Aging Resource Center.  In her role, she works closely with the rest of the team to disseminate existing content and create new resources to support the aging nutrition network. Erin has been with the Nutrition and Aging Resource Center since November 2021. She holds bachelor’s degrees in both Agricultural Education from Oklahoma State University and dietetics from Iowa State University. Previous to her current role, she worked in the agricultural sector, outpatient counseling, hospital acute care, and long-term care facilities. Erin is a wife and mother to two girls, 9 and 5 years old, as well as Ruby the dog and Irene the cat.

Nanette Relave, MSW

Senior Director, National I&R Support Center

ADvancing States

Nanette Relave serves as the Senior Director of the National Information and Referral Support Center administered by ADvancing States. The I&R Support Center provides training, technical assistance, and information resources to build capacity and promote continuing development of aging and disability information and referral services nationwide. In this capacity, Ms. Relave provides technical assistance to aging and disability information and referral/assistance (I&R/A) agencies, provides I&R basic and AIRS certification training to I&R specialists, develops training materials to improve the quality of I&R/A services, supports agencies’ efforts to develop I&R/A systems at the community and state levels, and coordinates workshops, intensives, and other events at ADvancing States and partner conferences. Ms. Relave holds a Master of Social Work degree from the Catholic University of America, and a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Georgetown University.

Meredith Hanley

Director, Community Capacity Building

USAging

Meredith Hanley joined USAging in 2016 and serves as the Director of Community Capacity Building. In this role, she oversees engAGED: The National Resource Center for Engaging Older Adults, a national effort funded by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) to increase the social engagement of older adults, people with disabilities and caregivers by expanding and enhancing the Aging Network’s capacity to offer social engagement programs and services. She also provides leadership for Commit to Connect, an ACL-funded initiative building a network of champions committed to addressing social isolation and loneliness. Meredith also oversees USAging’s role in the Grandfamilies and Kinship Support Network: A National Technical Assistance Center, which is led by Generations United in collaboration with five key partners including USAging, to increase the capacity and effectiveness of states, territories, tribes/tribal organizations, nonprofits and other community-based organizations to serve and support grandfamilies and kinship families.

Prior to joining USAging, Meredith worked for the Arlington County, VA Aging and Disability Services Division  where she oversaw program performance metrics and quality improvement for the Division and worked on a variety of special projects. She has also served as the Co-Director of the Gero-Ed Center at the Council on Social Work and worked as a contractor for RTI International.

Meredith has a master’s degree in social work with a focus in gerontology from Washington University in St. Louis.

Mario Rubano

Policy Associate

New York Academy of Medicine Center for Healthy Aging

Mario is a Policy Associate at the New York Academy of Medicine’s Center for Healthy Aging. He has a decade of experience in aging services and has worked in a variety of capacities, including clinical service provision, community-life development, program management, and policy analysis. He plays a role in implementation and evaluation for several initiatives, including Age-friendly Neighborhoods, digital inclusion, the ACL-funded Older Adults’ Equity Collaborative, and nursing home infection prevention and control. 

Before this role, Mario worked in New York City independent senior housing at The New Jewish Home, a nonprofit, mission-driven health care system serving older adults. He entered the aging services field as a Board-Certified Music Therapist leading individual and group music therapy programs in long-term skilled nursing facilities in The Bronx. 

He holds an MPH from the City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy with a concentration in Health Policy and Management.

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Modernizing Senior Centers Resource Center /Environmental Scan
09/23/2022 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  50 minutes
09/23/2022 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  50 minutes
Meet the ACL Resource Centers
09/23/2022 at 2:00 PM (EDT)   |  50 minutes
09/23/2022 at 2:00 PM (EDT)   |  50 minutes
Senior Center Professionals Roundtable
09/23/2022 at 3:00 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes
09/23/2022 at 3:00 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes