TFAH Applauds the Introduction of the Bipartisan Protecting the Health of America’s Older Adults During COVID-19 and Beyond Act


(Washington, DC – May 26) – Trust for America’s Health, a non-partisan, nonprofit public health policy, research and advocacy organization, applauds the introduction of the bipartisan Protecting the Health of America’s Older Adults During COVID-19 and Beyond Act by Representatives Lois Frankel (CA-44), Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) and Debbie Dingell (MI-12) Donna Shalala (FL-27).  The bill would address the unique needs of seniors during the current crisis and establish innovative new public health strategies to better promote the health of this population moving forward.

Older adults represent a high-risk group for COVID-19, with higher hospitalization and mortality rates than any other population, with more COVID-19 deaths occurring in nursing homes than any other location.   For older adults confined to their homes, isolation can exacerbate health challenges such as mental distress, injuries, and worsening of chronic conditions.  If enacted, this legislation would create a National COVID-19 Resource Center for Older Adults, led by the Secretary of Health and Human Services and composed of senior officials from several agencies that work with older Americans. The work of the Resource Center would include developing best practices for older adult health and well-being during the COVID-19 response and beyond and creating and disseminating tools and technical assistance to adopt these best practices throughout the nation.

The bill would also establish a Healthy Aging Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Through grants to health departments, the program would help states and local communities coordinate multi-sector efforts to promote the health of older adults and develop aging expertise at state and local health departments that would allow them to apply an aging lens to all of their work. As the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated, older adults have unique health challenges, and public health must have the resources and expertise to address their needs.

The President and CEO of Trust for America’s Health, John Auerbach, congratulates Representatives Frankel, Bilirakis, and Dingell on the introduction of the bill, stating:

“There would be great value in the creation of a National Center to help meet the needs of older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Such a Center would bring the different federal agencies around a single table and assure a unified commitment to elder health.   The Center could collaborate with funded state and local health departments to address the urgent needs of older adults such as protecting residents and workers in nursing homes, preventing new infections and addressing the public health needs that arise when older adults are confined to their homes.”


In addition to TFAH, original endorsing national organizations include:

  • Age-Friendly Portland
  • Alliance for Aging Research
  • American Association on Health and Disability
  • American Lung Association
  • American Muslim Health Professionals
  • American Public Health Association
  • APLA Health
  • Anthem Lakes
  • Anthemcare Tennessee
  • Arise Veteran Foundation
  • Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health
  • Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
  • Berean Wellness & Community Support Center
  • Communities for Older Adult Health
  • Equality California
  • Equality North Carolina
  • Families USA
  • Florida Public Health Association
  • The Gerontological Society of America
  • Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice
  • Hispanic Health Initiatives, Inc.
  • Impetus – Let’s Get Started LLC
  • The Jewish Federations of North America
  • Lakeshore Foundation
  • Maine Public Health Association
  • National Alliance for Caregiving
  • National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
  • National Hispanic Medical Association
  • National Network of Public Health Institutes
  • National REACH Coalition
  • Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies
  • The Praxis Project
  • Prevent Blindness
  • QEC Partners LLC
  • RSS Riverdale Senior Services
  • Reliance Home Care, Inc.
  • Silver State Equality-Nevada
  • Society for Public Health Education
  • Trust for America’s Health
  • The Washington State Department of Health
  • We All Rise

Read TFAH’s summary of the bill.   For more information on Protecting the Health of America’s Older Adults During COVID-19 and Beyond Act, please contact Kevin McIntyre at [email protected].



Kevin McIntyre [email protected]