Advancing Health Equity in Aging
Health disparities among older adults abound and are further exacerbated for individuals from historically marginalized communities. Efforts to address racial and ethnic disparities in aging exist, but there is an opportunity for further cohesion, expedition, and inclusion of older adults with lived experience.
The SCAN Foundation partnered with Greater Good Studio (GGS), a social impact design firm, to explore health inequities and disparities with older adults, their families, and care teams in Butte, Imperial, San Diego, San Francisco, and Shasta counties. This work elevates three opportunity areas identified by older adults with lived experience that was further expanded to include insights from national experts and attendees at our inaugural United for Health Equity Summit.
ECO Group RPF
We are accepting applications to support community organizing, where older adults are at the center and share power in codesigning solutions, to address the drivers of health inequities.
Building a Movement
“As we are looking to change systems to improve access to care and through the process, address ableism, ageism, and even other forms of discrimination, our hope is to create a movement from one single voice to thousands of voices …”
–Rigo J. Saborio, VP of Programs, Equity, and Community Impact,
The SCAN Foundation
Watch to learn more about the project.
The Advancing Health Equity in Aging initiative aims to reduce health inequities and improve the lives of older adults from historically marginalized communities, with an emphasis on older adults of color.
Launched in October 2022, The SCAN Foundation seeks 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 poor health outcomes. Simultaneously, we are dedicated to engaging those with lived experience at each phase of the work to consistently ensure a person-centered, equitable approach.
With an initial focus on California’s older adults, the Foundation will convene and coordinate the initiative to achieve the following goals:
- BUILD A MOVEMENT: We are building a movement that aligns the aging and disability sectors with the racial equity and social justice movements to establish a sustained focus on advancing health equity for older adults from marginalized communities. On July 19, we held the United for Health Equity in Aging Summit. Materials and next steps from the meeting will be shared here in the coming weeks.
- INSPIRE ACTION: Through data collection and storytelling, we will equip and inspire policymakers, public and private sector funders, advocates, and other messengers across all generations to act.
- SUSTAIN FUNDING: We will secure financial support from the public and private sectors to build long-term capacity for the work.
- REDUCE INEQUITIES: Through the establishment of Equity Community Organizing (ECO) Groups, we will empower people and communities to create and offer targeted policy, practice, and programmatic solutions that address factors leading to inequities. The longer-term goal is to scale and replicate this model.
The goal of the ECO Groups is to reduce health inequities for older adults with an emphasis on communities of color as well as those communities where race and ethnicity intersect with other factors – such as age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, language, or immigration status – that lead to inequities.
People-Centered Communications Collective
The People-Centered Communications Collective (PC3) is designed to develop, implement, and build structures to effectively capture and engage voices from the community to advance The SCAN Foundation’s (TSF’s) strategic goals and objectives. PC3 aims to inform and strengthen TSF’s Community Voice capability, by utilizing DEI communications and community engagement methods to connect to the needs and experiences of TSF’s priority populations guide strategic investments and community-led solutions to inform policy.
Harnessing momentum will build upon movements, network through storytelling, elevate universal experiences, and promote cross-sector partnerships within a virtual community. Stakeholders, partners, and community champions are invited to visualize health equity, explore movement making strategies, test data-driven methods to promote social change, examine the systems creating barriers to health equity, and provide pathways to partnerships to drive the Initiative’s work forward.
A Steering Committee was established in late 2022 to guide all facets of the initiative, informing critical discussions and making key decisions. They represent diverse sectors and perspectives and meet regularly. In December, they voted to focus our human-centered design research on three initial areas: 1) choice around aging in place; 2) affording aging; and 3) health care access and delivery.
We partnered with Greater Good Studio (GGS), a social impact design firm, to explore health inequities and disparities across our three themes by interviewing and shadowing older adults, their families, and care teams in Butte, Imperial, San Diego, San Francisco, and Shasta counties. They also met with national experts and community-based providers for additional insights.
We held a private Summit in July 2023 to convene individuals and organizations interested in and working at the intersection of aging, disability, racial equity, and social justice. We heard from older adults – as the experts of their own lived experience – to inspire action and fuel our commitment to advancing health equity for all. Outcomes from this meeting and next steps will be shared in the coming weeks.