USAging Honors Innovative Initiatives that Promote Successful Aging at Home and in the Community

For Immediate Release
July 11, 2022
Contact: Joellen Leavelle, and 202.872.0888

‚ÄčAUSTIN, TX—Today, USAging honored 43 innovative programs and initiatives created by Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and Title VI Native American Aging Programs that have successfully helped older adults across the country age well at home. The award-winning programs are recipients of the 2022 USAging Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards, which were distributed at USAging’s 47th Annual Conference and Tradeshow earlier today. The annual awards program, supported by iN2L, recognizes USAging members that have developed leading-edge and successful ways to demonstrate sound management practices that are replicable by others in the Aging Network.
“Through the Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards, we salute our members’ outstanding accomplishments and hold up their programs in the hopes that doing so will seed replication and additional innovation by their peers around the country,” said USAging CEO Sandy Markwood. “We applaud our members for their tireless efforts to creatively develop vital services and supports for older adults, as well as their caregivers and people with disabilities in communities nationwide.”
Lisa Taylor, CEO of iN2L, remarked, "iN2L is delighted to once again sponsor the USAging Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards program, which recognizes Area Agencies on Aging and Title VI Native American Aging Programs. Improving the quality of life of older adults through compelling initiatives and successful programs is one of the greatest parts of this business, and we are thrilled to join USAging in recognizing this year’s recipients and their achievements. Their dedication and drive to create something that furthers human connection during great change and turmoil is inspiring.”

USAging presented 30 Aging Achievement Awards and 13 Aging Innovations Awards to programs in a variety of areas, including advocacy; diversity, equity and inclusion; healthy aging; home and community-based services; social engagement; and workforce development. Descriptions of all 43 award-winning programs can be found in the USAging Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards Showcase.
The following four programs were the highest-scoring Innovations winners and received cash awards: 
Tie for First Place: Take YOUR Shot!
Agency: Pima Council on Aging, Tucson, AZ
Category: Advocacy
Description: Pima Council on Aging (PCOA) began delivering the Take YOUR Shot! campaign in December 2020 to increase access, availability and information regarding COVID-19 vaccination to a community where more than 80 percent of deaths have been people older than 60. Throughout the campaign, PCOA worked with local resources and community members to specifically address the needs of local Latinx and BIPOC communities. A media campaign featured Spanish and English television, radio and print ads, as well as Facebook, TikTok and Instagram messaging.
Tie for First Place: Operation COVID-19 Response: Take Your Best Shot
Agency: Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio, Inc., Toledo, OH
Category: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Description: Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio (AOoA) fielded more than 1,000 telephone calls daily from older adults and community members seeking information about the virus and resources to protect against it. To support underserved older adults, communities of color and individuals at high risk of morbidity and mortality, the AOoA developed Operation COVID-19 Response: Take Your Best Shot, partnering with two Federally Qualified Health Centers, the Ohio National Guard and a coalition of local for-profit and nonprofit entities to educate, dispel myths and empower targeted communities to make informed decisions related to COVID-19.
Second Place: Advanced Medication Care Coordination
Agency: Aging & Long Term Care of Eastern Washington, Spokane, WA
Category: Home & Community-Based Services
Description: Aging & Long Term Care of Eastern Washington worked with a regional education management collaborative to develop Advanced Medication Care Coordination, enabling a trained care coordinator to develop relationships with clients and advocate for their needs. This program combines a trained care coordinator who specializes in medication interventions with access to a pharmacist via telehealth. Providers work collaboratively with older adults in urban and rural communities to complete a comprehensive medication review and explore what social and medication-related changes can improve health outcomes and quality of life.
Third Place: Options for People to Address Loneliness (OPAL)
Agency Name: Rogue Valley Council of Governments Area Agency on Aging, Central Point, OR
Category: Social Engagement 
Description: Options for People to Address Loneliness (OPAL) is a short-term, person-centered behavioral health program that provides participants with support and encouragement in response to the increased social isolation and loneliness experienced by older adults and adults with disabilities because of the COVID-19 pandemic. After the program launched, staff became aware of the more complex, challenging issues faced by participants and expanded the program from four to six weekly sessions, along with two follow-up calls.

About USAging
USAging is the national association representing and supporting the network of Area Agencies on Aging and advocating for the Title VI Native American Aging Programs. Our members help older adults and people with disabilities throughout the United States live with optimal health, well-being, independence and dignity in their homes and communities. USAging is dedicated to supporting the success of our members through advancing public policy, sparking innovation, strengthening the capacity of our members, raising their visibility and working to drive excellence in the fields of aging and home and community-based services. For more information about USAging, AAAs or Title VI programs, visit
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USAging Fact: Learn about your peers’ work—and how it can fit into your agency’s goals! The AIA Awards recognizes successful and innovative programs that USAging members have developed to serve older adults. Get inspiration from our 2023 winners!