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UCLA Fielding School Professor Recognized by National Council on Aging

The late Dr. Steven Wallace, Fielding School professor of community health sciences, has received the National Council on Aging’s 2021 “Change Agent Award” for his research and policy advocacy, the organization announced this month

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Tuesday, June 22, 2021
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The late Dr. Steven Wallace, Fielding School professor of community health sciences, has received the National Council on Aging’s 2021 “Change Agent Award” for his research and policy advocacy, the organization announced this month.

“Steve was committed to ensuring that older adults, especially underserved communities, have access to resources to age with health and financial security,” said Laura Trejo, general manager of the Los Angeles (City) Department of Aging. “His work in California and nationally spotlighted disparities that still need to be addressed, and we will sorely miss his leadership.”

Wallace, who passed away in March, was among six honorees recognized June 10 at a virtual ceremony for the National Council on Aging’s (NCOA) “Trailblazers in Aging Awards,” which honor individuals and organizations around the United States who are working toward a just and caring society that allows everyone to age with dignity, purpose, and security.

“We are incredibly proud to recognize these outstanding leaders who are working at the local, state, and national levels to ensure that every American can age well,” said Ramsey Alwin, the NCOA’s president. “The past year, especially, has been incredibly challenging for older adults and the people who serve them. These individuals and organizations truly stepped up when they were needed most.”

The NCOA awards committee recognized Wallace as an internationally renowned scholar on health disparities among older adults, immigrants, and communities of color. He led the effort to have California adopt the Elder Economic Security Standard Index as the official cost-of-living measure for older adults in the state.

In addition, Wallace championed teams that developed innovative, community-based methods to increase the use of clinical preventive services among older adults of color in Los Angeles. Nationally, Wallace created the consortium of Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR).

A tireless advocate for the rights of immigrants, he served as the principal investigator on the National Institutes of Health-funded RIGHTS Study that examined how Latin and Asian American populations in California were excluded in health care, social welfare, employment, education, and law enforcement. Throughout his 40-year career, Wallace was also an impactful and beloved mentor to dozens of students and professionals in the field.

Content from the National Council on Aging