Dr. Luz, PhD, Associate Professor, Family and Community Medicine, MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine, and founding director of both MSU AgeAlive and IMPART Alliance, is a gerontologist whose research focuses on quality of life for vulnerable older adults, long-term care health services, particularly the eldercare workforce shortage, and the intersection of aging, health, and the arts. AgeAlive is dedicated to elevating aging-related research, teaching, and outreach, in partnership with community, to promote wellbeing for all people of all ages and abilities. IMPART Alliance is an organization dedicated to helping MI build an infrastructure that expands and supports direct care workers (DCW). She Co-chairs both the statewide MDHHS DCW Advisory committee and the statewide MI DCW Coalition comprised of employers, DCWs, clients and other stakeholders who are jointly generating innovative, feasible, affordable strategies to tackle the critical DCW shortage. Dr. Luz has served on the Michigan Long-Term Supports and Services Advisory Commission, the Michigan Society of Gerontology board, and the National Quality Forum’s Home and Community-Based Care Committee.
Shannon Harkins-Padgitt, MLIR, MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine, Department of Family and Community Medicine is the Projects and Operations Coordinator for AgeAlive and IMPART Alliance. Shannon has worked in outreach and continuing education for more than 25 years and specifically in the aging field for 20 years, most recently for the Area Agencies on Aging Association and the Michigan Society of Gerontology. Her deep appreciation for direct care workers stems in part from the many compassionate caregivers who assisted her father while he was living with dementia. Ms. Harkins-Padgitt is responsible for operations, project coordination, supporting research activities, reporting and supervising volunteers.