This MEDiversity Week edition of Reframing the Conversation focuses on aging and policy in Utah. University of Utah Health was recently designated an Age Friendly Health System (AFHS), a label that demonstrates the commitment of the UUHC system to anti-ageist practices and high-quality care for all ages. One recent report showed that the number of older adults (+65 years) in Utah will double by 2060, growing to 25% of the population.
The AFHS designation is part of an initiative by The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Health Care Improvement (IHI) in partnership with the American Hospital Association and the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA) to cultivate systems that “reliably provide evidence-based practice to every older adult at every care interaction.” But how can we ensure our state is best prepared to deliver the highest quality care for Utahans at any age? Which practices will help prevent ageism or other harmful attitudes that worsen health outcomes for older Utahans? And most importantly, which policy measures will help the state’s health care systems best care for an increasingly older population?
Reframing the Conversation is a monthly hybrid series. Attendees can join in person at the Hinckley Caucus Room (GC 2018) or virtually on the Reframing the Conversation webpage.
ASL interpretation will be provided and auto-captions will be available. All requests for event access support and other questions or concerns may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rob Ence (he/him) is the Executive Director of the Utah Commission on Aging connecting research, policy, and community resources on behalf of older adults and all who encounter the challenges and opportunities of the aging journey. He is responsible for Utah’s multi-sector aging plan and established Utah’s unique virtual resource center, UtahAging.org.
Ence also manages the Bateman Horne Center, a non-profit clinical research center of excellence that also leads in provider education regarding multi-system chronic complex diseases such as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, long COVID, post-viral syndromes, and related comorbidities.
Ence served as the West Regional Vice President for AARP until 2015 after serving nearly a decade as AARP Utah State Director. His other career work includes local nonprofits, work in the financial services industry, and Marriott Corporation.
Ence has an MBA and BA Psychology from the University of Utah. He lectures on advance care planning, financial security, and other issues. Ence served on several boards of directors including Comagine Health, Envision Utah, Alzheimer’s Association Utah, Community Counseling Center, and Repertory Dance Theater.
Ence resides with his spouse Liz in Cottonwood Heights. They have four children and sixteen grandchildren. They love travel, exercise, and the performing arts.
Ivan is a 4th year undergraduate student at the University of Utah majoring in Kinesiology and minors in global health and nutrition. Ivan is deeply interested in learning about the intersections between nutrition and health and hopes to one day integrate that passion into his future endeavors as he prepares to apply to medical school.
Xia Litz Erickson (she/her) received a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 2005, then a Masters of Social Work in 2010. Xia started as a guardian for the Office of Public Guardian in 2011, then the Program Administrator in 2015, and Director of OPG in 2018. Xia started with Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services as the Associate Director in November of 2022.
Angelo P. Giardino, MD, PhD, MPH, is the Wilma T. Gibson Presidential Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Utah’s Spencer F. Eccles School of Medicine and Chief Medical Officer at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. He received his medical degree and doctorate in education from the University of Pennsylvania, completed his residency and fellowship training at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), and earned a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Massachusetts, a Master’s in Theology from Catholic Distance University and a Master’s in Public Administration from University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley. He holds subspecialty certifications in Pediatrics and Child Abuse Pediatrics from the American Board of Pediatrics. His academic accomplishments include published articles, chapters, and textbooks on child abuse and neglect, contributions to several national curricula on the evaluation of child maltreatment, and presentations on a variety of pediatric topics at both national and regional conferences. In May 2022, he was appointed to a three-year term as a commissioner on the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC).
Celia Peña (she/her) is an Adjunct Instructor of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics and a member of Latino Physicians of Utah, the Consejo Asesor de Profesionales de la Salud de Mexico en Utah and the American Geriatrics Society. Dr. Peña works as a Primary Care Provider at Redwood Clinic, where she takes care of a predominantly non-white and non-English speaking geriatric population. As a clinician, she has witnessed how health disparities can lead to poor health outcomes. Therefore, she strives to be an advocate and a voice against racism and ageism for her underrepresented patients.