AFS Blog

Celebrating Four (4) Age-Friendly Designations!

Celebrating Four (4) Age-Friendly Designations!

Celebrating Four Age-Friendly Designations!

  1. Age-Friendly Community
  2. Age-Friendly Public Health System
  3. Age-Friendly Medical System
  4. Age-Friendly State

Given The Patterson Foundation’s approach to strengthening people, organizations, and communities and catalyzing efforts toward shared aspirations, it is no surprise that TPF began supporting Age-Friendly Sarasota from inception in 2015. Under the collaborative leadership of the Sarasota County Government and The Patterson Foundation, Age-Friendly Sarasota promotes healthy and active living for generations of residents and supports the development of a more livable community.

Much has happened since Age-Friendly Sarasota’s inception. Fast forward to 2021, aspirations to create a community where all ages can live well have continued to evolve as new possibilities emerge, allowing the implementation of meaningful change.

With much happiness and pride, we are thrilled to share that the positive transformations made by The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County (DOH-Sarasota) have paved the way for it to become the first local health department in the nation to receive recognition as an Age-Friendly Public Health System by Trust for America’s Health (TFAH)!

Achieving TFAH’s Age-Friendly Public Health Systems (AFPHS) recognition is no small endeavor. DOH-Sarasota received this esteemed honor after completing ten significant action steps as part of TFAH’s Age-Friendly Public Health Systems (AFPHS) Recognition Program:

  • conducting several assessments, including a citizens’ opinion survey
  • developing a county-wide, multi-agency program to provide food to residents during the pandemic
  • developing a multi-year Community Health Improvement Plan
  • completing a five-year cycle as a member of AARP’s Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities.

“Sarasota County, Florida, is on the vanguard of communities that are recognizing the importance of creating an age-friendly ecosystem across sectors to meet the unique needs of older adults,” said Terry Fulmer, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, president of The John A. Hartford Foundation. “Becoming the first local health department recognized as an Age-Friendly Public Health System shows a deep commitment to supporting healthy aging, which will benefit all the county’s residents. We congratulate the Sarasota County Department of Health, under the leadership of Health Officer Charles H. Henry, for achieving this recognition.”

DOH-Sarasota’s exemplary efforts to amplify and enhance positive influences to live well at any age is one from which we can all learn and grow through our involvement and participation. Individuals and businesses can get involved in the Age-Friendly movement by providing feedback to the Age-Friendly Sarasota Action Plan here or sharing efforts to make our communities in Sarasota more age-friendly. Opportunities to create and support liveable communities also exist with the UPLIFT Florida Network, a hub organization strengthening community-based villages that support aging interdependently, enhance interdependence, and promote healthy living.

Creating an inviting and inclusive community for all ages is an aspiration we look forward to working towards for many years to come.

Sarasota County’s designation as an Age-Friendly Community, an Age-Friendly Public Health System, Sarasota Memorial Healthcare System’s designation as an Age-Friendly Medical System, and Florida’s designation as (the fourth) Age-Friendly State in the nation provides an auspicious opportunity for extraordinary age-friendly developments in the future!


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