Task Force on Healthy Aging

The North Carolina Institute of Medicine's Task Force on Healthy Aging will identify policies and practices to support falls prevention, food and nutrition security, mobility, and social connections for older adults living in North Carolina communities. This work to address important topics for aging in North Carolina is supported by The Duke Endowment, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Divisions of Public Health and Aging and Adult Services, and AARP North Carolina.

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Task Force Leadership



Tamara Baker, PhD, MA

Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Becki Gray

Director of Government Affairs

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina

Dennis Streets - Head Shot

Dennis Streets

Retired, Former Executive Director

Chatham County Council on Aging


Project Staff


Brieanne Lyda-McDonald, MSPH

Project Director

North Carolina Institute of Medicine


Rachel Smith, BA

Research Assistant

North Carolina Institute of Medicine


The population aged 65 and over in North Carolina is expected to grow more than 60% by 2037. With this growing population, and spotlights that the COVID-19 pandemic has put on the needs of older adults living in the community, NCIOM is excited to convene this task force to identify policies and practices to make North Carolina a great place to grow older. This work will focus on four specific topics related to aging in the community setting – social connections, falls prevention, food and nutrition security, and mobility.

Social isolation is an issue that has long been known as a risk factor for dementia, heart disease, stroke, premature death of all causes, and mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and suicide in older adults. The pandemic has highlighted challenges that many older adults have in accessing needed services to support healthy nutrition. There is also a growing need for attention to the development of communities and homes that provide a safe environment for mobility and falls prevention. Through this task force, state and local leaders will work together to develop comprehensive recommendations for these complex health challenges.