Highlights from the Innovations in Healthy Aging Lecture Series: Fall 2022 to Spring 2023

Aug. 22, 2023

Innovations in Healthy Aging’s Lecture Series offers free public lectures on the topic of aging around monthly during the regular fall and spring school seasons. During our 2022-23 season, we had a total of six lectures that were offered both online and in-person. We had a variety of participants attend, ranging from older adults, students, researchers and professors from the community and around the world. The total number of registrants reached over 2,000, with 1,460 virtual and 629 in-person. 

In-person lectures were held on the University of Arizona campus at the Health Sciences Innovation Building forum, a unique indoor-outdoor space with complimentary parking during our events located at 1670 E. Drachman St., Tucson, AZ 85721. Here is a roundup of our past fall 2022 to spring 2023 season, with links to view our past lectures.

Sept. 21, 2022: Big Smile, Small Self: Effects of Awe on Healthy Aging

We kicked off our first lecture of the season with “Big Smile, Small Self: Effects of Awe on Healthy Aging,” by Virginia Sturm, PhD. Dr. Sturm is Associate Professor in the departments of neurology and psychiatry and the Director of the Clinical Affective Neuroscience Laboratory, which is located in the UCSF Memory and Aging Center and affiliated with the UCSF Center for Psychophysiology and Behavior. 

Sturm discussed the mental and physical health benefits of awe and summarized a study she conducted on “awe walks” for older adults. Awe is a positive emotion associated with wonder, creativity and generosity. 

Watch lecture video

Oct. 19, 2022: Aging, Immunity and COVID-19

In this fall lecture, Janko Nikolich-Žugich, MD, PhD, Bowman Professor and Department Head, Immunobiology, presented “Aging, Immunity and COVID-19.” Nikolich-Žugich is internationally recognized as a leading immunologist and gerontologist. He discussed what the immune system is, what it does, how it ages, and his own research in overcoming age-related immune decline. He also discussed the immune response in COVID and long COVID.

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Nov. 30, 2022: De-Stress Your Environment and Your Life!

Our final fall lecture was presented by Esther Sternberg, MD, and Robert L. Crocker, MD on the topic of how to “De-Stress Your Environment and Your Life!” Sternberg and Crocker discussed a framework for embedding whole person/integrative health into the built environment, starting with a conversation about how each began to work in the area of integrative health and the built environment. Audience members learned practical take-home messages to help audience members incorporate these principles into their everyday lives, to optimize their health and wellbeing.

Esther Sternberg, MD, is research director at the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine; founding director, UArizona Institute on Place, Wellbeing & Performance; inaugural Andrew Weil Chair for Research in Integrative Medicine; professor, medicine & psychology; and professor, architecture, landscape architecture and planning, University of Arizona, Tucson. Robert L. “Rocky” Crocker, MD, is director, Strategic Clinical Planning and Implementation at the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine; and clinical assistant professor of medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson.

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Feb. 22, 2023: Aging and Social Justice

In IHA’s first spring lecture, Laura M. Howard, PhD, discussed the ethics of aging, addressing important philosophical questions surrounding age and ageism with her lecture on “Aging and Social Justice.” Some questions included: What are the beliefs and concepts about time and aging that fuel negative attitudes and behaviors toward aging adults? What, if any, obligations should society have for taking care of an aging population?

Howard is a Professor of Practice at James E. Rogers College of Law, Bioethics faculty at Phoenix College of Medicine, and a retired Associate Professor of philosophy at the University of Arizona. 

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March 22, 2023: A Balancing Act: Staying Upright as We Age

This was IHA’s most popular event of the season. “A balancing act: Staying upright as we age,” by Chris Childers PT, PhD was a highly interactive presentation that looked at how the human body is designed to stay in an upright position. In this lecture, participants learned how to practice and improve aspects of balance as well as learning how our bodies maintained balance. Childers trained as a physiotherapist in her native UK before moving to the US in support of her husband, then serving in the USAF.

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April 26, 2023: Elder Abuse: Causes, Consequences, and Prevention

“Elder Abuse: Causes, Consequences, and Prevention,” by Laura Mosqueda, MD marked the final IHA lecture of the season. Mosqueda discussed how to detect abuse/neglect, what to do if you have a suspicion and how to help prevent it from occurring in the first place. 

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Looking forward to the 2023-24 season 

Innovations in Healthy Aging is now preparing for our next series of lectures, with the first being Essential Nutrients for Healthy Aging presented by Meghan Skiba, PhD. We also offer other events such as our Aging and the Arts Poetry Circle and Creative Encounters in Awe Walking. To stay updated on our events and connected to the community, sign up for our newsletter here

Check out our other upcoming events on our events page. Connect with us socially on Facebook and Instagram.

We hope to see you soon!