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American Society
on Aging Honors LGBT Leaders

Compiled By GayToday

New Orleans, Louisiana--The American Society on Aging (ASA), the nation's largest membership organization of professionals in the field of aging, has recognized two national leaders in aging for their work on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) elders.

Lora A. Connolly and the Lesbian and Gay Senior Services Collaborative, both from Northern California, received awards presented annually to individuals or organizations who demonstrate excellence in the field of aging as a whole. The awards were presented at the First Joint Conference of ASA and the National Council on the Aging (NCOA) in New Orleans, March 8-11.

According to John Yoakam, chair of ASA's Lesbian and Gay Aging Issues Network:

"Highlighting the contributions of these individuals and programs helps bring the concerns of LGBT older adults, who are often invisible and underserved, to the attention of organizations and professionals across the country who work with older adults."

The 2001 ASA Award is being presented to Lora A. Connolly for her key role in encouraging awareness about the needs and concerns of LGBT elders. The ASA Award goes annually to an ASA member who has made outstanding contributions to aging-related advocacy, teaching or research on a national level and who has created visibility for the field and for ASA.

Connolly is an assistant secretary at the California Health and Human Services Agency, where she serves as chief advisor to the secretary and the governor on long-term care policy issues. Since 1992, Connolly has been centrally involved in the organizing and leadership of LGAIN, for which she served as founding chair from 1994 to 2000.

The Lesbian and Gay Senior Services Collaborative, a joint project of three organizations serving LGBT elders in the San Francisco Bay Area, is being honored with the 2001 ASA-Brookdale Award for Best Practices in Human Resources and Aging. The award is presented annually to an organization or agency in the field of aging that conducts exemplary activities in staff recruitment, training or management.

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Related Sites:
ASA's Lesbian and Gay Aging Issues Network

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The Lesbian and Gay Senior Services Collaborative, based in San Anselmo, California, serves hundreds of LGBT elders in and around San Francisco. Among the services offered by the collaborative is training and technical assistance for mainstream health and social services providers designed to enhance their cultural competence and make them more accessible to LGBT older adults.

ASA as an organization has long supported LGBT aging issues. The first ASA annual conference session to include a discussion of homosexuality and aging took place in 1975. Each conference hosts a "gay peer group" meeting for discussion of LGBT aging issues--a tradition that started in 1979.

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