- Listen to Ron's Interview with Ann Monroe -
A Relentless Advocate Relates her Lifelong Fight Against Ageism
Many experts who study aging in America today come away with one inescapable conclusion: We live in a mostly ageist society. We make pronouncements about the perspective and wisdom we gain as we age, and it’s true. The larger truth, however, is that our culture simply values its young people over older folks. We’re profoundly afraid of getting old. But in today’s episode, Ann Monroe offers a powerful antidote to society’s negative stereotypes about getting older. For more than 40 years, Ann has been a passionate advocate for all of us who strive to age with safety, dignity and grace. She has led public and private sector programs in mental health, community health, managed care, and philanthropy, sparking lasting improvements for vulnerable older people and young children. She has vigorously fought against the misperception that younger people are “givers,” while older people are “takers.” Ann will talk about her how her many experiences have informed her personal mission to change our public policies to invest in the future of all generations, and support productive lives in our later years, despite the hardships and losses we often face. She’ll share some of the personal lessons she’s learned along the way—issues of long-term care, the challenges of aging in rural versus urban communities—and, oh yes, the unforgettable story of how she decided to create her own “Grateful Live Tour” as a testament to those who made a difference in her life.
Ann F. Monroe served from 2003 – 2016 as the first President of the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York, an independent private foundation committed to sparking lasting improvement for vulnerable older people and young children and increasing community health capacity. She continues to invest her time in important community health initiatives across New York. Ann is a member of the NY Public Health and Health Planning Council; served as Co-Chair of the Project Approval and Oversight Panel for NY State’s $6 billion DSRIP Program; and was a member of the Medicaid Redesign Team for MRT 1. She has more than 40 years of experience leading public and private sector programs in mental health, community health, managed care, and philanthropy. She was previously the Director of the Quality Initiative at the California HealthCare Foundation and a Senior Vice President of Blue Cross of California. She is currently a board and executive committee member of the Center for Elder Law and Justice; member of the Executive Council of AARP New York; and board secretary of the Garret Club in Buffalo. She is a former Board Chair of Grantmakers in Aging; former Board and Executive Committee member of the New York eHealth Collaborative; and Vice Chair of Grantmakers in Health. Ann has a BA from University of Illinois-Chicago in Political Science and an MA from University of Illinois-Springfield in Human Development. She is the mother of two, grandmother of two, and servant of one well-loved dog.