n4a Members, Leaders in Aging Gather Online for n4a’s Virtual Conference and Tradeshow
Thursday, October 1, 2020
Section: September Associate Newsletter

Last week, more than 1,000 Aging Network leaders and innovators from around the country attended n4a's first-ever Virtual Conference and Tradeshow. During the Virtual Conference, aging professionals and experts led a variety of insightful panels, sessions and workshops exploring issues ranging from social equity to policy developments to new contracting opportunities for community-based organizations, and the impact of COVID-19 on n4a members and the communities they serve.

The Virtual Conference kicked off on Monday, September 21 with The World Turned Upside Down: The Aging Network’s Response to COVID-19, a General Session presentation from Assistant Secretary for Aging and ACL Administrator Lance Robertson as well as a conversation on all that the Aging Network has accomplished during COVID-19, early lessons learned, the many examples of the Aging Network’s resiliency in the face of continued risk and challenges from COVID-19. Following the General Session, n4a opened the Tradeshow and Virtual Exhibit Hall to provide attendees with an opportunity to make new connections with exhibitors and Aging Network colleagues.
Tuesday’s General Session, Driving Change: Tackling the Critical Issues of Our Time—Ageism and Racism, featured three leaders in the movement to address ageism Ashton Applewhite, activist and author; Jean Accius, Senior Vice President, Thought Leadership, AARP International and Robert Espinoza, Vice President of Policy, PHI. The session tackled the case for why racial equity in aging has never been more important. Also during Tuesday’s General Session, n4a CEO Sandy Markwood announced the winners of n4a's 2020 Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards, including the top three Innovations winners, who received cash awards. 
On Wednesday, the Virtual Conference began with Now More Than Ever: Engaging Communities on Prevention and the Social Determinants of Health, a General Session address by Dr. Anand Parekh, Chief Medical Advisor of the Bipartisan Policy Center who led attendees through a discussion of how communities are finding new and exciting ways to braid and leverage funding, technology and programs to address these needs at the individual and community levels and impact policy. The session also featured a panel of leaders who are drivers of change in the movement to address social determinants of health. Following the panel discussion, the winner and runners-up of The John A. Hartford Foundation 2020 Business Innovation Award were recognized.
To wrap things up on Thursday, the Closing General Session, Redefining Normal: Creating the Next Version of the Aging Network, featured Aging Network leaders for a robust discussion on what the Aging Network 2.0 may look like. Also on Thursday, n4a's Excellence in Leadership Award was presented to Laura Trejo, General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Aging, CA and the President’s Award was presented to Kealoha Takahashi, Executive Director, County of Kaua’i Agency on Elderly Affairs, Kauai, HI.
Throughout the Conference, attendees enjoyed access to more than 70 Workshops, Intensives, Fast-Tracks and Hot Topics on a wide range of topics pertinent to aging professionals. Were you unable to attend this year’s n4a Virtual Conference and Tradeshow? Register now for access to all Virtual Conference content through the end of the year at n4aconference.org.
And save the date for next year's Conference, which will be held July 18-21, 2021 in Tampa, FL!