OGA's 2020 Virtual Annual Conference

"Older Adults and Emergencies: Lessons Learned and Looking Forward"

Pandemics, natural disasters such as earthquakes, fires, floods, extreme heat events, and other emergencies are difficult for everyone involved. Many older adults face additional challenges at these times due to, for example, physical limitations, chronic health conditions, limited financial means, isolation, cognitive impairment, or a lifetime of racial injustice. Conversely, many older adults play a large part in overcoming the obstacles associated with emergencies through financial or in-kind donations, caring for family members, and supporting recovery efforts. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) points out that, “Including older persons in planning for and responding in emergencies thus benefits the whole community.” (WHO, 2008: Older persons in emergencies: An active ageing perspective. Download the PDF at bit.ly/Aging-Emergencies.)

This year, as we are amidst one of these disasters, the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oregon Gerontological Association (OGA) is planning a series of webinars to replace our in-person 2020 annual conference. Our theme is “Older Adults and Emergencies: Lessons Learned and Looking Forward.” The series will focus on pandemics, natural disasters and other emergencies, and how we can best plan for, support and engage older adults when catastrophe hits. Foregrounding the sessions will be issues related to diversity and equity. Join us for a wide variety of thought-provoking and interactive sessions designed for aging services providers, long-term care facility staff, policymakers, advocates, first responders, caregivers, businesses focused on older adults, researchers and educators.

Five professionally produced virtual sessions will be held on Friday mornings in October from 9:30 am-12:00 pm. Each session will feature two or more speakers and include two hours of content plus extra time for a 15-minute break, introductions, and sponsor acknowledgements/presentations. Continuing Education credits are pending.

CMEs/CEUs are pending - stay tuned and feel free to contact us with specific inquiries!

Tentative Program

October 2:
Disasters, Older Adults, and Health Disparities

Part 1: Keynote - A National Perspective
  • Sue Anne Bell, Assistant Professor, Department of Systems, Populations and Leadership, University of Michigan School of Nursing

Part 2: Panel - Perspectives from Oregon

  • Ruby Haughton Pitts, Director, AARP Oregon
  • TBN

October 9:
Using the Age-Friendly Framework for Improving Emergency Preparedness and Response

  • Bandana Shrestha, Engagement Director, AARP Oregon
  • Alan DeLaTorre, Age-Friendly Program Manager, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, City of Portland, Oregon
  • Marilyn Daily, Director, Center 50+, Salem, Oregon
  • Chuck Bennett, Mayor of Salem, Oregon (Invited)

October 16:
Lessons from the Field: Natural Disasters and Older Adults

Part 1: Panel

  • Jennifer Masotja, Emergency Manager, Multnomah County, Oregon – The Eagle Creek Fire and its Impact on Older Adults
  • Bob Wise, Vice President/General Manager, KOBI TV, Medford, Oregon – The Role of Media Coverage in Disasters
  • TBN

Part 2: A Diamond in the Rough: A Mapping Tool to Leverage Data for Equitable Emergency Response

  • Jennifer Masotja, Emergency Manager, Multnomah County, Oregon

October 23:
Oregon’s Response to COVID-19 and Older Adults in Licensed Settings

  • Jack Honey, Manager, Safety, Oversight & Quality, Aging and People with Disabilities, Oregon Department of Human Services – The View from APD
  • Fred Steele, Director, Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman – The View from the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
  • Kimberly Fuson, Chief Executive Officer, Cedar Sinai Park, Portland, Oregon – The View from the Field

October 30:
Loss and Grief in Times of Disasters – Existential and Emotional Aspects of Being Mortal

  • Elizabeth Johnson, Executive Director, The Peaceful Presence Project, Bend, Oregon
  • Kera Magarill, Older Adult Behavioral Health Specialist, Washington County, Oregon
  • Deborah Threadgill, Threadgill’s Memorial Services, Beaverton, Oregon



  • $25 per session
  • $100 for all 5 sessions

OGA Members (Professional/ Organizational):

  • $15 per session
  • $60 for all 5 sessions, including a recording of all sessions

OGA Members (Student/ Senior) & Registrants with Limited Financial Means:

  • $10 per session
  • $40 for all 5 sessions, including a recording of all sessions (members only)

If you cannot afford attending at all, please email us to learn about scholarship opportunities.


Please register through our online form. If you are registering more than one person, please contact us at [email protected]


If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for this conference, please visit the 2020 sponsorship information page!

We thank our 2020 Conference Series Sponsors: