Rollins Center for Health Innovation Receives New Grant for Conference on Aging

A new grant from the Winter Park Health Foundation will allow Rollins to help Central Florida become more age-friendly for older adults.

(Photo by Scott Cook) (Photo by Scott Cook)

The Rollins College Center for Health Innovation (CHI) at the Hamilton Holt School has been awarded a $30,116 grant from the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) to fund a regional conference on aging. The conference, to be held in the Central Florida area in November 2015, will educate local businesses and communities on how they can better serve their older adult customers and residents.

The plans for the conference were inspired by the results of a research study conducted for Rollins College by SalterMitchell Research Company that asked older adults what barriers they faced in their activities with local business and government agencies. Results of the study indicated that older adult respondents like living in Central Florida, but there are areas in need of improvement, including transportation and attitudes in the community about older residents.

“We are grateful to the Winter Park Health Foundation for supporting our efforts to address aging issues in our community with the upcoming conference,” Executive Director for CHI Chet Evans said. “For Orange County, the population aged 65 and older will nearly double from 74,873 in 2015 to 148,013 in 2040. This will have considerable implications for our communities in planning for the health care, living arrangements, shopping, social, education, leisure activities and other life needs of our older population.”

Celebrating its 55th anniversary, the Hamilton Holt School at Rollins College has reached out to meet the educational needs and interests of thousands of community residents through its nontraditional adult education programs and degrees.  In 2014, as part of the Holt School mission, CHI began to develop degrees in health care management and leadership to prepare health care leaders and administrators to serve in area medical organizations, in particular, the Lake Nona Medical City, projected to employ 30,000 health care workers by 2030.  The aging conference is a part of the CHI outreach mission.

“As we advocate  for all our community residents, we want to educate business and government leaders about their older customers or constituents to help them improve service to them, help the older adults remain independent, and help improve their quality of life,” Diana Silvey said, who serves as the WPHF program director for older adults. “We believe the Rollins CHI will do a tremendous job in leading this effort in collaboration with UCF, AARP and others.”

CHI recently received a $20,000 grant from the WPHF to support the CHI quarterly Health Forum Lecture Series which has featured community lectures on diabetes and obesity, heart health, and brain health. Through the new grant, the conference in November will help create action roadmaps for business and community leaders to implement plans for becoming more age-friendly for older adults.