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PHI Vice President Appointed to National Academies’ Committee on Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults

December 11, 2018

NEW YORK — PHI Vice President of Policy Robert Espinoza has been appointed as a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (the Academies) Committee on the Health and Medical Dimensions of Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults.

Espinoza is the vice president of policy at PHI, the nation’s leading expert on the direct care workforce, where he oversees its national advocacy, research, and strategic communications division. In 2017, he designed PHI’s #60CaregiverIssues campaign, which is identifying 60 solutions to the workforce shortage in home care, and which received a 2018 Communicator Award from the Academy of Interactive Visual Arts.

Formed in October, this ad hoc committee will examine how social isolation and loneliness impact health outcomes in older adults aged 50 and older, particularly among low-income, underserved, and vulnerable populations.

Among other charges, this committee will summarize and examine the evidence that social isolation and loneliness predict poor health outcomes and increase a person’s risk for premature morbidity, and it will make evidence-based recommendations on translating research into practice within the clinical setting.

Espinoza is a nationally recognized expert and frequent speaker on aging, long-term care, and workforce issues. For more than 20 years, he has spearheaded high-profile advocacy campaigns and written landmark reports on aging and long-term care, the direct care workforce, LGBT rights, racial justice, and immigration, among other topics.

In 2015, Espinoza was appointed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to its Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education, as well as by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to its Forum on Aging, Disability and Independence.

“I am honored to join an esteemed committee of experts to explore the profound challenges of isolation and loneliness among older people in this country,” said Espinoza.

This committee, chaired by Dan G. Blazer, II, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., of Duke University and the University of North Carolina, includes researchers and professors from Johns Hopkins University, University of Pennsylvania, and Vanderbilt University, among other institutions.

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