William A. Haseltine and Chang Liu Speak at Conference on Creating Age Friendly Cities

William A. Haseltine and Chang Liu (rear, center) were among several eminent speakers at the inaugural conference on Creating Age Friendly Communities, organized by the Chinese University of Hong Kong Jockey Club.


ACCESS Health International President and Chairman William A. Haseltine and Chang Liu, Managing Director for Singapore, Mainland China, and Hong Kong, were featured speakers at the launch of a new conference on aging on October 8, in Hong Kong. The conference, titled “Creating Age Friendly Communities,” was organized by the Chinese University of Hong Kong Jockey Club Institute of Ageing.

The conference brought together prominent scholars from the United States, Japan, Singapore, mainland China, and Hong Kong, as well as participants of renowned not for profit organizations, to share their vision. Topics covered in the conference included Redesigning Communities for an Aged Society, the Age Friendly City movement, Frailty and Geriatric Syndromes, and Age Friendly Hospital and Services.

Jockey Club Deputy Chairman Anthony WK Chow joined Secretary for Labor and Welfare Matthew Cheung and Joseph Sung, Vice Chancellor and President of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, at the opening of the conference. “Elderly for Care” is a strategic focus area for the Jockey Club in the next three to five years. Leong Cheung, Executive Director for Charities and Community, detailed the Elderly for Care strategy being developed by the Jockey Club. The approach promotes active aging and engaging younger generations to help address the needs of an aging population.

During the first session, Dr. Haseltine presented the work of ACCESS Health International and our global activities on aging. He described our collaborations with the public sector and engagement of the private sector to improve access to high quality, affordable healthcare and elder care.

Next, Dr. Chang Liu presented several programs that highlight our current and future aging related work in Singapore, Hong Kong, mainland China, and the region. These include Modern Aging, an ACCESS Health program designed to inspire and empower entrepreneurs to create businesses to serve the needs of the elderly, and  Stay Young Navigators. Stay Young Navigators is a community empowerment social support program that trains independent elders to act as “navigators” for others. ACCESS Health is piloting the program in collaboration with the Alexandra Health System in Singapore. Dr. Liu also described our work bringing together experts and organizations that are facing similar challenges to share their experience in a joint learning program. He also spoke about our work in other aging population related areas, including caregiver training and education, community engagement, quality measures, monitoring and information systems, and housing and urban planning.

Dr. Wong Sweet Fun of Alexandra Heath System in Singapore gave a presentation on the health and aging strategy of the heath system. Alexandra is a public healthcare system that serves seven hundred thousand residents and works across ministries and agencies to create age and dementia friendly communities and environments.  Dr. Wong spoke about Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, a hospital in the Alexandra Health System that serves as a “living laboratory” for healthy living and active aging. Dr. Wong also spoke about the Stay Young Navigators program and the partnership between her team and ACCESS Health Singapore.