Community to discuss innovative approaches to dealing with aging

OSWEGO — The Central New York health services, human services and higher education communities will gather to examine new ways to help the growing numbers of people entering their senior years Oct. 11.

SUNY Oswego alumnus Dr. Joseph Coughlin, director of the AgeLab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will be the featured speaker at a symposium at the SUNY Oswego Metro Center examining the challenges of aging and innovative approaches to easing the process.

Joseph Coughlin
Joseph Coughlin

“Innovative Aging: Can Technology Help Us Live Longer?” will begin at noon at the Metro Center at 2 Clinton Square in Syracuse. Chuckie Holstein, executive director of FOCUS Greater Syracuse, will moderate the symposium, which will include four Central New York professionals responding to Coughlin’s remarks.

The symposium is free and open to the public. To register, visit Verizon, the Onondaga County Department of Aging and Youth, and WRVO are partners in presenting the program.

Experts in innovation

Coughlin, a 1982 graduate of SUNY Oswego, is internationally known for his work in gerontology, innovation and public policy. He formed MIT’s AgeLab in 2000, engaging companies around the world to embrace technology and innovations to serve the needs of an aging population.

At MIT he is a senior lecturer for the School of Engineering’s Engineering Systems Division and MIT’s department of urban studies and planning, where he teaches policy and systems innovation. He holds a doctorate from Boston University.

Four local experts will respond to Coughlin’s presentation.

They are Dr. Lorrie Clemo, provost and vice president for academic affairs at SUNY Oswego; Dr. Julie Shimer, former chief executive officer and president of Welch Allyn, a Skaneateles-based manufacturer of medical equipment; JoAnne Spoto Decker, Onondaga County Director of Community Service Programs; and Judith Huober, director of the Institute at Menorah Park for Applied Research on Aging.

One example of the way Central New York institutions are mobilizing to improve health services for the community, including its aging population, are new academic programs at SUNY Oswego and its Metro Center.

They include graduate certificate programs in gerontology, play therapy, health information technology and integrated health systems.

For more information, call the SUNY Oswego Metro Center at 399-4100.