Neighborhood and Built Environment

208 - Exploring Neighborhoods and the Built Environment: Opportunities and Challenges

Tuesday, July 17
1:00 PM - 2:15 PM
Location: Regency Ballroom-Lower Level

James Woods, BS, MS, PhD-A Credible Method for Dynamically Balancing Occupant Responses, Exposures, and Environmental System Performance in Occupied Elder Care Facilitates
Del Peterson, BA MS-Aging in Place in Small Urban and Rural Communities
Nikki Bellamy, BA, MA, PhD-Analysis of a Crisis Counseling Approach for Disaster Recovery in Older Adults
Rachel Beyerle, BS, MA-Aging in the Community: Assessing Transportation Options and Walkability

The American population continues to mature with an impending ‘aging tsunami’ just a few years away. It is projected that by 2050, the number of Americans sixty-five years old or older will increase to more than 83 million, nearly double its current population of 43 million. According to 2014 AARP statistics, 87% of adults age 65 and older want to stay in their current home or community as they age. Among those ages 50 to 64, 71% want to age in place. While many people think about downsizing their home, moving to a one-level residence or discuss alterations to their bathroom or kitchen, not as many people openly discuss transportation access. When choosing where to live, walkability (e.g., availability of sidewalks, curb ramps, pedestrian crossings), transit routes, older adult-friendly ride hailing or volunteer driver programs, or walking groups need to be considered.

This session will explore recent trends and resources related to assessing mobility options for those who prefer to age in place, how to find information about transportation options in both urban and rural areas, the role of national resource centers in disseminating information, and how the public can advocate for driver and pedestrian education and safety.

The session will then present results from three studies looking at opportunities and challenges facing older adults in the context of place. The first study looks at aging in place in small urban and rural settings throughout the country and quantifies the costs for residents to live at home and ride public transportation versus moving to an assisted living facility. The second study presents information from a federal grant that supports short-term interventions that involve assisting survivors of disasters in understanding their current situation and reactions, mitigating stress, developing coping strategies, providing emotional support, and encouraging linkages. And lastly, the third study describes susceptibilities to environmental exposure that elder residents face in facilities, the differences between primary and secondary outcomes, exposures and system performance, and develop an approach to evaluating the dynamic balance for a site-specific eldercare facility.

Learning Objectives:

James E. Woods, BS, MS, PhD

James E. Woods, Ph.D., P.E.

James E. Woods, Ph.D., P.E., is an Indoor Environments Consultant. In 1997 he retired as the William E. Jamerson Professor of Building Construction at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Previously, he was Senior Engineering Manager and Senior Staff Scientist at Honeywell (1983-1989), and Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Architecture at Iowa State University (1974-1983). He has over 50 years experience in energy and environmental analyses, and has been responsible for more than 30 research projects and 250 investigations related to indoor environmental quality, energy utilization, and human responses in residences, office buildings, public assembly and monumental buildings, hospitals, and schoolst. He has authored or co-authored seven books and 200+ technical papers, and is co-holder of two patents. Dr. Woods is Fellow and Distinguished 50-year Member of the American Society of Heating Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (1962) from the University of New Mexico, and. hi M.S. in Physiological Sciences (1971) and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering (1974) from Kansas State University. He has maintained his professional registration as a Mechanical Engineer in Iowa since 1979.


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Del Peterson, BA MS

Associate Research Fellow / Small Urban & Rural Transit Center, Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute
North Dakota State University

Del is an associate research fellow with the Small Urban and Rural Transit Center (SURTC) located at North Dakota State University (NDSU). He began working with SURTC in February, 2003. He has conducted research pertaining to senior transportation, the transit vehicle industry, veteran mobility, alternative fuels, the built environment, and passenger mobility enhancements utilizing geographic information systems (GIS) and similar technologies. He holds a B.A. in business management and economics and an M.S. in agribusiness and applied economics with an emphasis in transportation economics.


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Nikki Bellamy, BA, MA, PhD

Public Health Analyst

Dr. Bellamy joined SAMHSA in 2000. She currently serves as a federal project officer with SAMHSA CMHS EMHTSSB. Dr. Bellamy is the lead for the interagency agreement between SAMHSA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program (CCP), and maintains a portfolio of CCP grants. She also directs the CCP data and evaluation effort, which includes an online, remote mobile device data entry and reporting website. Additionally, Dr. Bellamy is a co-project officer on the SAMHSA Disaster Technical Assistance Center contract. She holds a B.A. in psychology from Spelman College in Atlanta; an M.A. in psychology from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.; and a Ph.D. in health promotion and education/psychology from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.


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Rachel Beyerle, BS, MA

Communications Director
National Aging and Disability Transportation Center

Rachel Beyerle is the Communications Director for the Easterseals Transportation Group which supports the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC). Rachel conducts research, produces original content for print and web, provides editorial support, and coordinates marketing and communications outreach to professionals who provide and promote the availability and accessibility of transportation options that serve the needs of people with disabilities, seniors and caregivers. Rachel has over 20 years of experience in the transportation industry having served as a city and regional planner in both Louisville, Kentucky and Janesville, Wisconsin, and as a program coordinator for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Rachel holds degrees from the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville and is currently pursuing a master's degree in contemporary communication at Notre Dame of Maryland University.


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Rochelle Rollins, PhD, MPH

Senior Policy Advisor

Dr. Rochelle Rollins is a Senior Policy Advisor in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). For over 25 years she has worked at the local, state, and federal level on health care and social service issues related to vulnerable populations and the social determinates of health. Within HHS, she has led work on cancer health disparities, Healthy People 2020, the prevention of human trafficking, and oral health. In the HHS Office of Minority Health, she led efforts to improve health disparities research coordination, performance measurement, and data collection including chairing the federal team for the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities. Currently she is focused is on improving information about oral health and oral health disparities. Dr. Rollins received her Bachelor of Science from Wellesley College, her Master of Public Health from Boston University, and her doctorate from Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management where she was a Pew health policy fellow.


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208 - Exploring Neighborhoods and the Built Environment: Opportunities and Challenges

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