Age-Friendly Public Health Systems

Learn more about the Age-Friendly Public Health System process and how to make healthy aging a core function of your health department. Visit TFAH's Age-Friendly Public Health System site.

The Important Role Public Health Can Play to Support Healthy Aging

Every day, 10,000 Americans turn 65. The public health sector’s focus on prevention has had a profound impact on longevity in the U.S., but there is more the public health system can do to help create age-friendly communities that allow older adults to thrive. As the demographics of our population continue to shift, public health should elevate healthy aging as a core public health function, including a foundational focus on equity. TFAH’s Age-Friendly Public Health Systems Initiative is designed to help state and local health departments support healthy aging.

Age-Friendly Recognition Program

To encourage the adoption of healthy aging as a core public health function, TFAH has created the AFPHS Recognition Program that recognizes healthy aging programs and priorities within health departments, public health organizations, and by individuals.

Access to the COVID-19 Vaccine for Homebound Older Adults

TFAH is working to better understand the challenges, explore potential solutions, and identify innovative vaccine distribution mechanisms for older adults and people with disabilities who are homebound. Please read our policy brief  and one-pager on this issue .

Guide to Innovative Practices
COVID-19 vaccination efforts for those who are homebound continue to be implemented, and there is an ongoing evolution of practices to support them. This guide is designed to assist entities organizing homebound COVID-19 vaccination programs and details innovative practices in use across the country, including the essential role of non-traditional partnerships.

Huddle Calls
In partnership with The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Cambia Health Foundation, TFAH hosted a series of “Huddle” calls. These 30 minute calls provide just-in-time information on innovative practices, as well as a platform for discussion and brainstorming among participants.

Recordings of previous Huddle calls can be accessed here: Access to the COVID-19 Vaccine for Older Adults who are Homebound


AFPHS and State Partners


The AFPHS initiative began with a successful pilot of the AFPHS framework in partnership with the Florida Department of Health. During this pilot, TFAH worked directly with 37 of Florida’s 67 county health departments as they explored and expanded their roles in older adult health. This effort has included creating and supporting collaborations between the public health and aging sectors, collecting, and disseminating data on the state’s older adult population, and ensuring all planning and programming is done with an aging lens. Phase I of this work was made possible with generous funding from The John A. Hartford Foundation. Phase II of the Florida initiative will focus on public health’s engagement with local partners, improving emergency preparedness, and mitigating the consequences of social isolation and loneliness on older adults.


In partnership with the Michigan Public Health Institute, and with funding from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, TFAH will help to facilitate and coordinate Michigan’s AFPHS initiative. Local health departments will work in collaboration with aging sector partners.

Mississippi and Washington

Mississippi and Washington were selected as AFPHS Expansion States in 2020. With funding from The John A. Hartford Foundation, TFAH is working with the health departments in both states to further explore public health’s roles in aging, including a deeper focus on addressing health disparities among older adults. This project will outline success strategies that will be shared with public health systems in other states. 

TFAH is also partnering with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help facilitate collaboration among state public health and aging services leaders. This collaboration is crucial to sustain the healthy aging efforts initiated at the 2018 Healthy Aging Summit hosted by the American College of Preventative Medicine.


Three Keys to Cross-Sector Age-Friendly Care

Watch the webinar