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Age-Friendly Columbus Hosts Ribbon Cutting to Celebrate New Offices, Move To Ohio State College Of Social Work

Age-Friendly Columbus, in collaboration with Franklin County and The Ohio State University College of Social Work, hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, February 26, at Blackburn Community Center, located at 263 Carpenter St., in Columbus. The ceremony celebrated Age-Friendly Columbus’ new office space at Blackburn, as well as its transition to Ohio State’s College of Social Work.

Attending dignitaries included Bill Armbruster, AARP National Age-Friendly Senior Advisor, City of Columbus Councilmember Michael Stinziano, Ohio State College of Social Work Dean Tom Gregoire and others.

In January, Age-Friendly Columbus, a collaborative initiative that serves the city’s aging population, announced its transition to the College of Social Work. Age-Friendly Columbus Director Katie White will continue to lead the initiative at the college, working alongside Assistant Dean for Strategic Initiatives and Community Engagement Lisa Durham.

With the planning phase and new strategic plan complete, the College of Social Work will oversee its implementation, which includes directing the outlined goals and strategies that will shape Columbus and Franklin County into an age-friendly community for decades to come.

“We are so pleased to not only host Age-Friendly, but to be an active partner in the work that will be happening,” says College of Social Work Dean Tom Gregoire. “Our college has a strong presence in aging research, teaching and community engagement, and we are excited by the possibilities of what we can further develop and create with Age Friendly.”

The college’s Dr. Holly Dabelko-Schoeny and Dr. Shannon Jarrott are at the forefront of aging research and expertise. They’re also involved in a one-of-a-kind, innovative intergenerational day care hosted by the college and located in a low-income neighborhood. The center blends generations and serves older adults and children together while also training students from multiple disciplines.

“The Age-Friendly initiative will provide students and faculty the opportunity to work in collaboration with older adults to support a high quality of life for people of all ages,” says Dabelko-Schoeny. “We have the opportunity to engage across disciplines and with the public and private sectors to make our community the best place to live for all generations.”

The move also comes at a crucial time. Central Ohio’s population of 65 years or older is going to double over the next 35 years. Insight2050 revealed that older adults are seeking walkable communities and a different style of home – smaller and in mixed-use neighborhoods. This single demographic change will have a huge impact on housing, transportation, and employment.

Age-Friendly Columbus previously operated under the guidance of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC). Funders for Age-Friendly Columbus include the Franklin County Office on Aging, City of Columbus, Columbus City Council, Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging and The Columbus Foundation.

About the College of Social Work
First accredited in 1919, the College of Social Work is the oldest continuously accredited public social work program in the country.  The College–through excellence in teaching, research, and service–prepares leaders who enhance individual and community well-being, celebrate difference, and promote social and economic justice for vulnerable populations. The college fosters social change through collaboration with individuals, families, communities, and other change agents to build strengths and resolve complex individual and social problems. As an internationally recognized college, it builds and applies knowledge that positively impacts Ohio, the nation, and the world. The college’s vision is to “embrace difference, seek justice, and be the change.”

For more information, contact:

  • Katie White, Age-Friendly Columbus Director, white.3073@osu.edu.
  • Frankie Jones-Harris, OSU College of Social Work Communications Director, 614-330-2206 or jones-harris.1@osu.edu.