Ruth Finkelstein Named 2016 Influencer in Aging

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Columbia Aging Center Associate Director Ruth Finkelstein was recognized on October 26th as one of Next Avenue’s 2016 Influencers in Aging.  Next Avenue is the leading digital publication dedicated to covering the effects of demographic change on older Americans, from issues like health to those about finances, work and retirement. The list recognized 50 advocates, researchers, thought leaders, innovators, writers and experts at the forefront of changing how we age and think about aging. "We’ve uncovered a range of leaders who have made exceptional contributions this year,” said Susan Donley, Managing Director of Next Avenue.

In addition to her role guiding the Columbia Aging Center’s research and innovation on policy issues around aging, Dr. Finkelstein is also an assistant professor of health policy and management in the Mailman School of Public Health.  Prior to her time at the Center, she directed the Age-friendly New York City Initiative, which won the 2013 award for "The Best Existing Age Friendly Initiative in the World" from the International Federation on Ageing, as well as the Archstone Award for Excellence in Program Innovation from the American Public Health Association.  Currently, her projects include Age Boom Academy, the Age Smart Employer Awards, now in its third cycle, and the beautiful digital narrative project, Exceeding Expectations where twenty New Yorkers all over the age of 81 were followed for a year sharing their ups and downs.  The narratives are chronicled here and a brief film about the project appears below.

When asked by Next Avenue if she could change on thing about aging in America, Ruth responded:

"Currently, retirement is like crossing the rubicon — from being a person to only being. I’d like to change that so that employers value the skills, experience and knowledge of older employees and make it possible for them to work on their own terms. And that there is a whole universe of opportunity on the other side of retirement — entailing learning and contributing and leading. And that we value people whatever they decide to do."

To read more about Ruth, visit her faculty page.




One year. One city. 20 lives. Follow along. from Dorian Block on Vimeo.