Program Update: Feb. 21, 2011

We’ve begun the new year with renewed focus and energy for this important community conversation. We gathered a group of us on Saturday, Feb. 5, to hone in on our vision statement and set some next steps. Below is what we’ve landed on; let us know your thoughts!

Our vision is to change the narrative of aging in Pierce County from one of “a problem to be solved” to one of “a rich opportunity to be lived for everyone involved.”

We will achieve our vision by hosting a series of community conversations on topics such as: Navigating the health care system; Advanced directives, and Empowering elders to write the next chapter of their story.

Do you have ideas for other conversation topics? How about an idea of where we should host these conversations and who should attend? Send your thoughts to Rachel Cardwell at

Our group will meet again in the next month to put these plans into action. We want you there! Let us know which of these dates you prefer, and Rachel will send out a confirmation email with the preferred choice.

  • Thursday, March 3 at 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 5 at 10 a.m.

Thank you for your commitment!

Program Update: Oct. 1, 2010

We took a little break over the summer, but we’re ready to reengage in this vital community discussion! On Saturday, Oct. 23, 9:30-11:30 a.m. in McIntyre Hall, room 103. We invite everyone, both established participants and newcomers, to attend. Come and be a part of an ongoing exploration of how Pierce County citizens can better care for our elders and ourselves now and in the future.

Program Update: July 21, 2010

Our project continues to blossom. We had another successful meeting on June 22 on the Puget Sound campus where each of the subgroups confirmed their continuing commitment to exploring our Pierce County community's needs and the development of grassroots solutions to offer for discussion. By now, everyone who has voiced interest in our progress should have received an important e-mail to which we need you to respond. We ask you to select one of the subgroups below and send an e-mail to the facilitators confirming your continued participation. Once the facilitators know of your continued interest, they will be contacting you to arrange future meetings. Our goal is for each subgroup to develop its own identity and process. The facilitators from all the subgroups will meet periodically to share our ideas and not duplicate efforts. We encourage you to share this ongoing dialogue with other community members you feel are interested in contributing to this process.


Aging in Place/Quality of Life - facilitators: Susan Keith, email: and Lois Jones, email:

Systems of Care - Facilitator: Rosemary Chaput, email:

Community Building - facilitators: Judith Nilan, email: and Steph Farber, email:

Thank you for your interest and commitment this far. Please feel free to contact Rachel Cardwell at if you have any questions!

The unusual initiative has sprung out of the community and won wide backing from local institutions in response to the recognition, as co-organizer Stuart Farber, M.D., put it, that there is “an elephant in the room”: the population is rapidly aging as baby boomers reach their senior years, and too little has been done to prepare.

The community forum kicked off on April 28, 2010, with a talk by William Hazzard, M.D., a distinguished pioneer in the field of aging. Two community gatherings followed the talk on Saturday, May 22, and Saturday, June 26, to focus on topics generated at that talk. Attendees focused on specific topics at each of these gatherings, including:

Notes from each of the discussions are found by clicking the links above.

The goal is to work toward creating a white paper on a “2020 Vision for Pierce County” and, ultimately, community action to bring that vision to reality. Community facilitators with relevant skills have been recruited, and sponsoring partners will offer support throughout the process. The end goal is to initiate projects to realize the vision.

The project is sponsored by the University of Puget Sound’s Civic Scholarship Project and community partners, including the Franciscan Health System, L’Arche Tahoma Hope, the City of Tacoma Mayor’s Office, Pierce County Health Department, Pierce County Medical Society, and Tacoma Community House. We aim to give the community the reins in determining the future of elder care in Pierce County. Organizers will seek ideas and opinions from the people on the front lines today—those heading into retirement themselves, caring for an elderly family member, or getting ready to shoulder the burden of over-stretched health and Social Security system.

If you would like more information, please fill out the form below, and someone will contact you.

Community Dialogue Registration

Community Dialogue Registration


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