Advancing Health Equity in Aging

We aim to reduce health inequities for our priority populations by shifting power to community and harmonizing across the aging, disability, racial equity and social justice systems in pursuit of shared goals.

The Problem

Nationwide, older adults from marginalized communities face persistent inequities in health outcomes and access to essential healthcare services. Historically, attempts to address these inequities have remained fragmented and siloed, and have failed to consistently center the voices and lived experiences of the most affected populations.

The Opportunity

Launched in October 2022, the Advancing Health Equity in Aging initiative aims to identify the root causes of health inequities as people age, address the structural inequities caused by an uneven distribution of power, and harness interventions directly from the community to improve the lives of our priority populations. While our intention is to expand this work nationally, our initial focus is on older adults in the state of California.

Within this initiative, we seek to convene, organize, and harmonize efforts by activating and sustaining a diverse, cross-sector network of leaders and accelerators to develop and design solutions targeting the specific drivers of inequities. Simultaneously, we are dedicated to engaging those with lived experience at each phase of the work to consistently ensure an approach that is person-centered and as equitable as possible.

Across the initiative, we aim to:

  • Build a movement that aligns multiple sectors across shared goals.
  • Inspire action among cross sector audiences via storytelling and data collection.
  • Sustain funding by securing public and private investment that builds long-term capacity for this work.
  • Reduce inequities via launching and scaling models that share power and center the community, as well as engaging collaboration across the aging and non-aging sectors.

California Priority Actions

The SCAN Foundation is focusing on the following interrelated activities to address health inequities among older adults of color in the state of California.


Health Equity Advisors

This cross-sector group represents leaders spanning the nonprofit, philanthropy, healthcare, social justice, aging justice and multicultural communications sectors. Each advisor serves a one-year term and will guide all facets of the Health Equity in Aging Initiative to support our shared goals.




Equity Community Organizing Groups (ECO Groups)

The SCAN Foundation, with co-funding from the California Health Care Foundation and Metta Fund, have funded four California-based organizations to form “Equity Community Organizing Groups” (ECO Groups) after a thoughtful application process that attracted interest from more than 70 organizations statewide. From January 2024 through June 2025, each organization will leverage a community organizing approach to support communities in addressing the health inequities older adults face in their community. Key aspects of their work will elevate and center the voices and lived experiences of older adults in an effort to shift power back to the community.


The following organizations will form ECO Groups:



United for Health Equity in Aging Summit

In its second year, the annual United for Health Equity in Aging Summit unites leaders across California’s aging and disability sectors, and social and racial justice movements to advance bold, equitable change in how older adults age in both home and community. The full day experience elevates the voices, perspectives, and needs of our priority populations while encouraging cross-sector innovation to tackle the biggest barriers to health equity right now. Join us to forge new connections, learn, and collaborate.



California Collaborative for Long Term Services and Supports

We have built an influential and dynamic statewide network of long term services and supports (LTSS) advocates. The Sacramento-based California Collaborative for LTSS (CCLTSS) and 21 county-based Regional Coalitions connect more than 1,000 organizations and consumers with direct insight into the daily lived experience of older adults and their families and serve nearly 95% of the state’s population. Together, they are the go-to resource for state administration, legislature, and federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services about California policies and programs affecting older adults, people with disabilities, family caregivers, and the broader LTSS provider community.


The CCLTSS is focusing on the following areas:

  • Building and harmonizing representation across aging, disability, and racial and social justice sectors
  • Growing community voice in local and statewide policy and decision-making
  • Driving system change to strengthen equitable aging and health systems
  • Identifying and engaging a new generation of legislative LTSS champion


Harnessing Momentum

The Harnessing Momentum campaign offers cross-sector advocates and leaders meaningful opportunities to join the health equity in aging conversation through virtual webinars, roundtables, in-person community roundtables, workshops and timely resources leading up to our annual United for Health Equity in Aging Summit.

From February 2024 – September 2024, join us to explore the key topics of: Choice around aging in place, affording aging, and healthcare access and delivery. Live webinars and roundtables will explore the key drivers of health inequities among older adults (linked to the Greater Good Studio Stories of a Movement research), while creating cross-sector synergies and community-centered solutions.



Elevating Community Voices

With our partners, The SCAN Foundation is investing in several opportunities to elevate the voices and lived experiences of our priority populations through research, storytelling, and educational campaigns:



Social impact design firm Greater Good Studio conducted a robust and inclusive research process with older adults throughout California. Their resulting report surfaced patterns around health equity and inequities in aging, clarifying three essential themes and nine opportunity areas for how cross-sector leaders and advocates might transform the state of health equity in aging. GET THE REPORT


PC3: People-Centered Communication Collective

The People-Centered Communication Collective (PC3) is represented by California-based communications leaders with deep expertise in one or more of our priority populations. As a collective, members serve as strategic advisors to The SCAN Foundation (TSF) across all of our capabilities, working alongside us to engage, capture, and elevate the voices and lived experiences of our priority populations. PC3 will also highlight the lives and stories of family caregivers to effectively tell the full experience of the health disparities among older adults.


PC3 aims to inform and strengthen TSF’s Community Voice capability by: utilizing communication methods centered in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI); leveraging community engagement to connect to the needs and experiences of TSF’s priority populations; and guiding TSF’s strategic investments.


PC3 member organizations: