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Knoebel Institute for Healthy Aging

Knoebel Institute

Knoebel Institute for Healthy Aging

Strategic Objectives

Develop interdisciplinary research programs on aging

Achieved by building interdisciplinary research teams that involve students and postdoctoral researchers across the DU campus and with other institutions. Developing and maintaining Colorado Coalition for Aging Research and Education (COCARE). Functioning as an information hub for basic, translational and clinical research, providing support to all DU faculty and students interested in the aging area. Providing pilot funding in the area of aging research, preferentially in interdisciplinary studies with mentoring of junior faculty and students. Develop a Biobank and Data repository for research collaboration at KIHA. Provide grant writing support and collaboration to organizations and companies who share the common interest in aging-related issues for interdisciplinary grant programs, including training grants and program project grants, as well as individual federal grant funding in all areas of research with assistance in grantmanship, including budget/forms/submission processes. Developing partnerships in programmatic grant funding, and participate in community and government housing, transportation, and education programs.

Transform public policy and attitudes on aging

Achieved by developing a multi-disciplinary and intergenerational think tank on aging to expand and support a community outreach network. Collaborating closely with the Colorado Commission on Aging, Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, and other organizations regarding the future of aging policies and laws in Colorado. Providing and enhancing student immersion projects in the community while integrating DU into a community for successful aging in Colorado. Working with the Alzheimer's Association and other organizations on engaging and educating the community about dementia and support the Dementia Friendly Community programs and engaging media, AARP, and NGOs regarding the stereotypical thinking about aging issues, including end of life planning, attitudes about Alzheimer's disease, elder law, abuse and aging, and other issues. Building strong relationships with intergenerational organizations, including Generations United, to support intergenerational programming locally and become a national thought leader on intergenerational issues and opportunities. Opening doors to intergenerational communities around learning and cultural opportunities at DU and building a neighborhood multi-generational living facility. Participating in leadership activities and educational processes with nonprofit organizations.

Expand and increase competency of the workforce for aging

Achieved by supporting academic departments, schools, career services and programs in the development of interdisciplinary educational opportunities at the University of Denver and with other institutions. Working with the DU Center for Professional Development and other community education programs at DU (including the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), the Enrichment Program, and Daniels Executive Education, etc.) to expand learning opportunities on aging-related issues for the community and to expand specialty training aimed at the workforce (e.g., "Encore" career preparation). Promoting interdisciplinary education on aging that translates into greater numbers of graduating students and trained community members who can meet workforce needs for eldercare and other services while integrating health and wellness disparities into educational and research activities and ensure that the audiences reflect diversity with inclusion of other languages, cultures, and ages. Providing experiential and service learning opportunities (including internships, volunteer experience, project support, etc.) to the current and future workforce in aging-related settings with the help of a curriculum coordinator at the Institute functioning as the student/community liaison to ensure that those student experiences meet expectations. Supporting efforts to secure funding for student training (e.g., fellowships and scholarships), educational programming (e.g., sponsorships and grant funds) and community projects (e.g., internships, service learning, or mentor programs) and developing materials for teaching and other information in the form of newsletters, seminar series, and website content.

Support business development and innovation related to aging

Achieved by providing expertise to funding sources (Venture Capital, Angel investors, etc.) as they evaluate the impact and validity of potential technology that affects aging. Developing an aging-related incubator for innovative product ideas and partner with other entities on campus such as the Daniels Entrepreneurship Department and the Maker Space in new building supported by co-hosting events with Colorado Bioscience/PrimeHealth/Catalyst HTI, Motor Disorders Foundation and other organizations. Facilitating interactive focus groups (elderly and/or caregivers) for businesses to obtain feedback on their product ideas and providing evaluative and participating partnership to businesses and institutions that are targeting SBIR/STTR funding (perhaps in terms of expertise, or even a place to test their products). Hosting an annual forum on new technologies in aging targeted for the community and offering a multi-disciplinary approach to helping government, service industries, and businesses to re-envision and innovate their programs.