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U receives prestigious Age-Friendly University designation

The Age-Friendly University Global Network Secretariat has designated the University of Utah as an Age-Friendly University. This prestigious designation reflects the institution’s unwavering commitment to creating an inclusive and supportive learning environment for individuals of all ages.

The Age-Friendly University (AFU) Global Network is an international initiative dedicated to promoting education and research that benefits older adults. It recognizes universities that actively prioritize the needs and contributions of older individuals, fostering a culture of lifelong learning, inclusion, and collaboration.

“We are deeply honored to receive the Age-Friendly University designation from the AFU Global Network. This recognition is a testament to our ongoing commitment to providing accessible educational opportunities across the life span. It highlights our dedication to creating an environment where everyone, regardless of age, can thrive, learn, and contribute to our community,” said Katarina Friberg-Felsted, Interim Assistant Dean for the Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program.

The Age-Friendly University designation reflects the university’s comprehensive approach to promoting inclusivity and engagement for learners of all ages. Current initiatives at the U align with the Age-Friendly University Global Network’s 10 Principles for an Age-Friendly University,  through the University Strategic Plan:

  • Student Success: The Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program in the College of Nursing offers educational programs in aging, including a minor, graduate and undergraduate certificates, and a Master of Science, connecting curriculum to career opportunities in aging across disciplines.
  • New Discovery: The Center on Aging sponsors interdisciplinary research and facilitates a participant registry, linking people in the community who would like to participate in research to aging-related studies at the University of Utah.
  • Statewide Service: The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute offers a rich and evolving array of courses, lectures, and special activities to persons age 50+; these are taught and facilitated by distinguished emeritus faculty, scholars, and community experts. The Utah Geriatric Education Consortium, in collaboration with the Health Resources and Services Administration, improves long-term health care through the education of the health professions workforce. The main goal of the program is to create bidirectional integration of primary care into eldercare throughout the state of Utah.

The Age-Friendly University designation not only acknowledges the University of Utah’s past efforts but also inspires future endeavors. The institution is committed to continually improving and expanding its age-friendly initiatives, ensuring that it remains a leader in promoting lifelong learning, inclusion, and collaboration for older adults.

“Equity, diversity, and inclusion are foundational University values, and we are working to become a national model of an equitable and inclusive campus where diversity thrives,” said President Taylor Randall. “Our endorsement of Age-Friendly University principles allows us to better recognize the capacity and interests of older adults and promote practices that align with their goals and needs.”

To celebrate this significant achievement, UHealth’s MEDiversity week presented “AFU at the U: What Does the Age Friendly Designation Mean for You?” For more information about the University of Utah’s Age-Friendly University designation, please contact Dr. Katarina Friberg-Felsted  or Dr. Jackie Eaton.