Elizabeth Dugan has been appointed to a new committee that will provide advice to state officials responsible for an initiative to make it easier for older adults to live in healthy, inclusive and equitable environments.

Dugan, an associate professor of gerontology at UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School, joins the 14-member Determination of Need’s Healthy Aging advisory committee that is expected to begin meeting in March.

The committee’s charge is to assist the state Department of Public Health and the state Executive Office of Elder Affairs with setting the funding priorities for the Determination of Need’s Healthy Aging Fund. Long-term care facilities that have an approved determination of need contribute 1 percent to 3 percent of the project’s maximum capital expenditure to the fund.

“Your passion, expertise and perspective are critical to making this effort successful and impactful,” DPH Commissioner Monica Bharel and Alice Bonner, secretary of the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, wrote to Dugan. They said the committee’s role as an advisor “is critical to ensuring these resources are used in the most impactful and equitable manner.”

Dugan brings extensive aging and population health research experience to the committee. She leads a research team that has developed Healthy Aging Data Reports for Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and will release one for New Hampshire  with support by the Tufts Health Plan Foundation.

The Healthy Aging Data Report team includes professors Frank Porell and Nina Silverstein, postdoctoral fellow Jay Lee, and gerontology graduate students Bon Kim, ShuangShuang Wang, Natalie Pitheckoff, Shiva Prisad, Kusum Jasuja, and Kunyu Zhang.

“Our team works very hard to conduct research that informs policy and practice to improve the health of older adults,” said Dugan. “I am pleased to share the results of the MA Data Report  with the committee to make these important decisions.”