The Ohio State University College of Social Work is pleased to announce the appointment of Eunha Suh as Technical Assistance Program (TAP) coordinator for the Age-Friendly Innovation Center (AFIC).
Prior to her new role, Suh has served diverse populations of older adults in both California and Utah. Including working for UCLA Center for Health Policy Research in Aging, the Asian Pacific Counseling & Treatment Centers, and as a mental health therapist and educator on the Vital Aging Project. Most recently, Suh has been a CSW field co-instructor and liaison supporting undergraduate and graduate social work students. She received her MSW from UCLA in 2013.
As coordinator, Suh will be responsible for implementing TAP across diverse populations and geographic locations in the state of Ohio. This will include promoting and developing TAP resources, including the Age-Friendly Communities Certificate, an educational program designed to demonstrate competency in the foundational tenets of creating an age-friendly community. Suh will collaborate with new communities entering or exploring the age-friendly network and providing training on developing age-friendly communities. She will also focus on increasing the equity and inclusion of older adults into local and statewide AFIC, across all outreach, education and research efforts as well as manage and coordinate focus groups in targeted impact communities.
TAP is a first-of-its-kind initiative to increase the number of and support to Ohio Communities working toward age-friendly goals. Through the generous support of the HealthPath Foundation of Ohio, this program and unique investment will expand the World Health Organization’s and AARP’s age-friendly framework across the state by engaging older adults as experts in creating innovative, evidence-based solutions to make Ohio a better place to live for people of all ages and abilities. TAP will focus on the HealthPath Foundation’s 36-county service area and extends the work of the Coalition of Age-Friendly Communities of Ohio, a grassroots collaboration of existing age-friendly communities in the state.
AFIC is the first university-based center in the nation to embrace the full spectrum of needs, opportunities and complex issues related to age-friendly communities—bringing to bear the resources, partnerships, and brainpower of a top-tier research university with the expertise of older residents to transform our communities and make them more livable for all. Its mission is to innovate with older adults through research, education, and engagement to ensure inclusion and build resiliency to make communities more age friendly–all achieved through collaborating with Ohio State interdisciplinary faculty, students, and community partners.
Building off more than six years of work, the AFIC continues to prioritize the contributions of older residents to improve social, built and health environments that support livability for people of all ages and abilities. The community impacts of this work reverberate beyond older adults, increasing quality of life for individuals of all age groups and abilities within and outside central Ohio, and its results are shared with partners across the United States and around the globe.
AFIC is recognized as a national leader in the age-friendly network, having secured over $2 million from public and private funders, AFIC has published nine manuscripts and numerous reports in partnership with students, interdisciplinary faculty and community members. AFIC has reached over 16,000 individuals through community-based participatory research, presentations, surveys, focus groups or walk audits. Through the Scholars Program, course collaborations and internships, AFIC has engaged 120 students representing 17 disciplines.
Last year, Dr. Holly Dabelko-Schoeny, associate professor and AFIC director of research, received Ohio State’s Community Engagement Scholar award and the initiative was also honored with the university’s Outreach and Engagement award in 2020. The CSWE Commission for Diversity and Social Economic Justice honored Age-Friendly with the Community Partnership Action Award in 2019.
Before receiving center designation in 2021, AFIC operated as Age-Friendly Columbus and Franklin County under the college for three years and joined the World Health Organization and AARP International Network of Age-Friendly Communities in 2016. Age-Friendly Columbus previously operated under the guidance of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC).
The AFIC is located at Rev1 Labs, 1275 Kinnear Road. Suh joins new AFIC Director Marisa Sheldon, who was recently appointed, succeeding Katie White who led the initiative and succeeding center since 2016.
For more information about AFIC, click here.