On August 14-15, the annual Connectivity Summit on Rural Aging will take place in Nashville, TN. The Summit is co-sponsored for a third year by Health eVillages, MIT AgeLab, and Jefferson College of Population Health. This year’s theme “Demystifying Social Determinants of Health to Promote Healthier Aging in the 21st Century,” focuses on the importance of personal, social, economic, and environmental factors that influence health status, particularly for those living in rural communities and how these determinants further impact social isolation.

Factors such as community support, housing, transportation, food security and health access all have a significant impact on overall quality of life and mental health, well-being and physical health.

The action-focused agenda will bring stakeholders together to discuss how social determinants of health play a significant role in rural communities as well as how to improve overall health outcomes for the rural population.

The Summit will include a range of speakers on a variety of topics, including U.S. Senator William Frist M.D., Dr. Joe Coughlin, founder and Executive Director of the MIT AgeLab, Healthcare Leadership Council President Mary Grealy, National Rural Health Association Chief Executive Officer Alan Morgan, Dr. David Nash, Founding Dean Emeritus of Jefferson College of Population Health, as well as Dr. Cara James, Director of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

We are especially excited to have Katie Couric as a special guest this year.  Couric is an award-winning journalist, producer, New York Times bestselling author, and cancer advocate and will be sharing her personal perspectives on our nation’s healthcare system.

During the Summit, Tivity Health will release a new publication Aging Well in Rural America: Stories from the Heartland that includes 19 first-hand stories of hope and promise from the Heartland. This publication is designed to empower communities around the country to join the movement in addressing key issues around rural aging, social isolation, and loneliness.  The individuals and programs featured in these stories are committed to finding success in improving social connectedness and overall personal well-being.  The need for such stories was a recommendation from last year’s Summit.  The stories and individuals highlighted are truly inspiring, and many of the individuals represented in the publication will attend the Summit and receive the first-ever ConnecTivity Award.

This year’s Summit is filled with exciting events, group breakout sessions, influential speakers, and endless knowledge on how we can all work together to empower our older friends, families and neighbors to live their healthiest life at its fullest potential.

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