The Pennsylvania Department of Aging today announced registration is now open for its virtual LGBTQ Aging Summit and Institute on HIV and Aging, which will take place Thursday, October 6 and Friday, October 7. All LGBTQ older adults, stakeholders, aging service providers, advocates and allies are encouraged to attend.
The first statewide Pennsylvania LGBTQ Aging Summit, convened in 2018, drew more than 300 participants from across the commonwealth to raise awareness and mobilize collaborative efforts. Since that historic event, the department and the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs have continued to work on issues raised by community advocates, Area Agencies on Aging staff, providers, and other stakeholders. The department anticipates even larger attendance for this year’s summit.
“The LGBTQ Aging Summit is a great opportunity to highlight the department’s ongoing commitment to building more inclusive, age-friendly communities for LGBTQ older adults. The summit is offering tools for LGBTQ older adults to live happy, healthy lives and for allies and service providers to learn how to further support LGBTQ communities,” said Secretary of Aging Robert Torres. “I encourage everyone to register for this informative summit. I would like to thank our LGBTQ-affiliated partners for their continuous support in helping the department provide supportive and affirming services for LGBTQ older adults.”
Day one of the virtual summit will include a keynote speech by Michael Adams, CEO of SAGE (Advocacy and Services for LGBT Elders), an overview of the Pennsylvania LGBTQ Health Needs Assessment Results, a panel discussion on elder equity, and working sessions with two separate tracks concentrating on supporting LGBTQ older adults and on community issues. The second day will focus on aging and living with HIV and include a panel of speakers who will discuss their experiences with growing older and living with HIV, research trends in HIV and aging and the legal landscape of HIV in the commonwealth.
The department partnered with the following organizations to plan this year’s summit: The Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs, Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Office of Health Equity, the Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging, SAGE, AARP Pennsylvania, CARIE, LeadingAge PA, Alzheimer’s Association of Pennsylvania, the Elder Initiative at William Way LGBT Community Center, Persad Center, LGBT Center of Central PA, LGBT Center of Greater Reading, Bradbury Sullivan LGBT Center, Montgomery County Office of Senior Services, Southwestern PA Area Agency on Aging, and Union-Snyder Area Agency on Aging.
“The 2018 LGBTQ Aging Summit built tremendous momentum for LGBTQ aging issues in the commonwealth, and it’s been amazing to see the progress made over the past four years to improve services for our LGBTQ communities as we age,” said Heshie Zinman, co-founder of the LGBT Elder Initiative. “We are excited for the 2022 Summit and HIV & Aging Institute as opportunities to reconvene aging services providers and LGBTQ older Pennsylvanians to share ideas and resources that will help us to thrive as we grow older.”