Elizabeth Dugan was sworn in Wednesday with other members of the new Governor’s Council to Address Aging in Massachusetts, created to develop plans for improved public and private support of healthy aging in the state.
Dugan, an associate professor of Gerontology at the McCormack Graduate School at UMass Boston, is well known for her research on senior transportation and healthy aging issues. She joined the panel that includes elder service providers, medical professionals, financial experts, public officials and others.
Gov. Charlie Baker signed an Executive Order establishing the council on Wednesday. The governor had first publicly outlined his plans for the panel during his State of the State address in January.
“The notion that people are fully retired at the age of 65 is inconsistent with what I see around Massachusetts every day,” Baker said Wednesday. “I look forward to the council’s work considering ways for the state to improve public and private means for supporting and engaging with older adults.”
In her research and service, Dugan has studied how to re-engineer the nation, state and local communities to become more age friendly.
Dugan’s senior transportation research focuses on state policies related to older driver safety and issues related to the medical fitness to drive. She is also the author of The Driving Dilemma: The complete Resource Guide for Older Drivers and Their Families.
Her research on healthy aging is developing and reporting indicators of healthy aging. It is also investigating the role of community factors that contribute to healthy aging.
“I’m honored to be selected to serve on the governor’s commission and will work hard to help make Massachusetts a model for the nation,” Dugan said Wednesday. “Recognizing the value and opportunities of the aging of the population is a key first step in building an age-friendly state.”