June 27, 2018

Bestselling author, MacArthur genius, and executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people

The National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs today named advocate Ai-jen Poo keynote speaker at its third annual Putting Care At the Center Conference in Chicago. The conference, scheduled for December 5-7, will bring together clinicians, social service providers, policy experts, and others to envision the next steps for the field of complex care centered around the people who need it the most. Poo brings movement building expertise, experience uplifting the perspectives of those often ignored to address entrenched inequities, and a commitment to uplifting innovative strategies that create opportunities for better care.

“The field of complex care has a goal of creating person-centered, integrated care across the country, and this goes beyond healthcare to the fundamental questions of what we value as a nation,” Poo said. “We are living in a time of change and opportunity, a moment where we can use the power of story and relationships to bring people together around shared values like democracy, respect, and equity. The population of the country is aging rapidly, and it’s up to all of us to build a better, more caring America.”

Poo is co-director of Caring Across Generations, a campaign to build a movement to shift how our culture values and approaches care for aging populations. In 2010, as co-founder of the Domestic Workers United, a city-wide, multiracial organization of domestic workers, Poo helped pass the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, legislation that now extends basic labor protections to more than 200,000 domestic workers in New York state. She was recognized as a 2014 MacArthur Foundation “genius” Fellow, and a 2013 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. She was named to TIME magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World and Newsweek’s 150 Fearless Women list, both in 2012. In 2015 she was recognized as one of Fortune.com’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders. Her work has been featured in many publications, including Marie Claire, The New York Times, Washington Post, TIME, Glamour, and CNN.com. She is author of the bestselling book, “The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America.”

People with complex health and social needs experience poor outcomes despite extreme patterns of hospitalizations or emergency care. Although significant healthcare resources are spent on these individuals, the care they receive has not made them healthy or well. There’s a growing recognition – coinciding with efforts to reform how we pay for care – that to see different results we must deliver care differently. Care must bridge sectors and disciplines so that it can be flexible and centered on the needs, goals, and circumstances of the consumer. This is the philosophy behind care for individuals with complex health and social needs.

Putting Care at the Center, co-hosted with Rush University Medical Center and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is an opportunity for innovators and advocates for healthcare delivery reform from across the country, both pioneers and newcomers, to meet, network, and create a shared agenda for the emerging field of complex care. The three-day conference will bring together organizations and individuals who are actively working to improve the care for people with complex needs through coordinated, data-driven, and person-centered approaches. These innovators focus on integrating traditional healthcare with behavioral healthcare and social services such as housing, transportation, and educational support. The National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs serves as a professional home for this diverse community, uniting and amplifying their efforts to improve care nationwide.

For more information about the conference, visit the website at www.centering.care.

Download the press release