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UAlbany School of Social Welfare Receives Retirement Community Development Grant from NYS Office for the Aging

Contact: Catherine Herman (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (December 16, 2005) -- The School of Social Welfare at the University at Albany has received a $144,000 grant from the New York State Office of the Aging to help seniors maintain independence and gain access to support services. The grant was awarded to UAlbany's Center for Mental Health and Aging through the Albany Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NNORC) program. This is the first NORC award for Albany County.

Albany Neighborhood NORC-ACES (Albany Community Elder Support), a collaborative partnership of Jewish Family Services (Lead Agency), Senior Services of Albany, St. Peter's Hospital and Home Care, Catholic Charities, United Jewish Federation, and Albany Jewish Community Center, will implement a NNORC supportive services program for older adults (60+ years) in Albany. It also includes partners with expertise in the organization and administration of bio-behavioral health services and the National Institute of Mental Health funded Intervention Center on Mental Health and Aging at the UAlbany School of Social Welfare.

The program goals are to enable older adults living in the Albany Southwest NNORC site to (1) access a continuum of supportive services which will assist them to "age in place" in their homes, and (2) maintain independence, and connection to the community, thus improving quality of life. The supportive services are delivered through a partnership in which older adults, local social service providers, spiritual leaders, and other community agencies come together to create a coordinated menu of services and programs that build on the strengths of older adults living in the Albany Southwest NNORC site. NNORC-ACES program will have a website with information and links to the New York State Office on the Aging.

Zvi Gellis, an associate professor at the UAlbany School of Social Welfare, will take a lead role in this project. Gellis' research focus is on aging and mental health. This focus has relevance for social welfare especially among demographics involving growing aging populations. Gellis, who has published several articles and two book chapters, is a Research Fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health.

UAlbany's School of Social Welfare is ranked second in per capita scholarly productivity among the social work programs in the nation. The school's mission is to further social and economic justice and to serve people who are vulnerable, marginalized or oppressed. This mission is implemented through education, knowledge development, and service that promote leadership for evidence-based social work with a global perspective. As a recognized national and international leader in developing innovative and creative programs, along with facilitating public-private partnerships, the school has been able to attract premier students, providing them with an unsurpassed educational experience at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral level.


The University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages more than 17,000 diverse students in nine degree-granting schools and colleges. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit

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