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Continuing the Fight to Save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security

National Volunteer President says AARP will keep protecting the priorities that matter most to members

A group of people attend a rally about protecting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security

John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

En español | I come to this office as AARP celebrates its 60th anniversary, eager to carry on the ideals of our founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, who always made it clear that it was AARP members’ priorities that mattered most. I will seek to follow her example.

My professional background is in health care. I’m a professor at and chair of the Department of Nursing at Lehman College of the City University of New York. And I’m volunteer president of the National Black Nurses Foundation. Earlier in my career, I worked as a registered nurse in emergency rooms and elsewhere.

So there’s a good chance I'll occasionally get on my soapbox to battle antiquated laws that prevent many of the best educated and most experienced nurses from using all their training and talent to care for patients. That's something AARP has long advocated for, and I'll continue that fight.

But that's just one of the many concerns of our members. Taking a page from my terrific predecessor, Eric Schneidewind, I aim to amplify the voice of older Americans on all the complex issues we face.

I will continue to fight for Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security, financial resilience, livable communities and all the other areas of concern that affect the everyday quality of life of our 38 million members.

Thrilled as I am with my new role, I know that this is no small job. It's a challenging time for older Americans. Millions who are 50-plus need AARP’s trusted advice and advocacy more than ever about matters such as financial security, health care, caregiving and fraud, which can make or break people’s grip on a good life.

That means we need our volunteer army more than ever. I want our volunteers to know that we could not possibly do our work without them. I believe that deserves repeating at every opportunity, and I’m always happy to be the messenger.

I look forward to traveling to the states to meet our members, our staff and our volunteers, and to talk with all of you about what matters and what is challenging you, your families and your communities.

I promise to keep the channels of communication open — from our state offices to our Washington headquarters and back again. I’d like to hear what's on your mind. Drop me a line with your thoughts.