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Sanford Center for Aging


OLLI joins the Sanford Center; new partnership will benefit Nevada elders

OLLI building on Moana Lane in Reno

The Sanford Center for Aging and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Nevada, Reno have announced a move that will open new opportunities and expand possibilities for older adults in Northern Nevada.

Effective January 1, 2021, OLLI at the University of Nevada, Reno is part of the Sanford Center for Aging in the School of Medicine.

"The benefits are obvious," said OLLI Executive Director Kristen Kennedy. "We are about healthy aging and increasing the vibrancy of our community. That fits perfectly with the Sanford Center's mission of enhancing the quality of life for elders."

"We're excited that OLLI is joining the Sanford Center after years of working closely together," said Sanford Center Director Peter Reed. "Both OLLI members and Sanford Center participants will find a larger portfolio of programs available to them."

OLLI's $55 annual dues unlock access to as many events, discussion groups and classes as a member wishes to attend. Scholarships are available for qualified applicants. Find out more about OLLI memberships and explore the class calendar at or email Gift memberships are available.

OLLI members won't really see any changes. It will continue to operate from the current locations at 604 West Moana Lane and the University of Nevada, Reno Redfield Campus, and will continue its schedule of classes and activities just as in the past. Due to the pandemic, most OLLI and Sanford Center activities will continue to be presented online, as they have been since early 2020.

OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) at the University of Nevada, Reno offers short-term educational and recreational experiences for older adults in northern Nevada. Classes and activities range from hiking and ukulele sessions, to history and foreign language instruction, to book and movie discussions. There are 124 OLLIs around the country, and OLLI at UNR is among the largest.

Download April 2023 OLLI catalog

OLLI 2022-23 registration instructions


Baker is founding president of Nevada Pharmacy Alliance

Leslie Baker, PharmD, BCGP, of the Sanford Center for Aging has been elected the first president of the newly formed Nevada Pharmacy Alliance, the state's first affiliate of the American Pharmacists Association.

As president, Baker said she will work to represent and advance pharmacy in Nevada. The alliance will provide advocacy, communication, continuing education and events for members throughout the state. Those members potentially include pharmacists, technicians and pharmacy students.

"I am excited about the opportunity, and the lasting impact this could have on the practice of pharmacy in Nevada," Baker said. "We have a wonderful group of people working on this project."

Baker is director of pharmacy services at the Sanford Center, holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Creighton University School of Pharmacy and is a Board Certified Geriatric Pharmacist. Earlier this year, she was named Reno Preceptor of the Year by Idaho State University's College of Pharmacy.

For information on the Nevada Pharmacy Alliance, email or visit


Swager and Mazzullo will lead Disrupt Aging Classroom sessions

Patricia Swager, M.Ed., director of the Nevada Geriatric Education Center, and Natalie Mazzullo, assistant director of the center, have both been certified as Disrupt Aging Classroom facilitators.

Disrupt Aging Classroom is a nationwide curriculum designed to advance students' career and life connections with the topic of aging.

"I look forward to seeing the changes in the students' perspectives of aging," Swager said. "I also am interested in seeing their creative ideas for potential products, programs and services that are opportunities due to aging trends."

Among the reasons to "disrupt aging" in the classroom, according to Swager, is the need to empower students with accurate data about aging.

"They will be armed to address ageism personally and as they encounter ageism among friends, family members and fellow students," she said.

The program is offered at no cost to higher education institutions. It was co-created by the AARP.


Special notice to our clients, patients, students, volunteers and friends

The Sanford Center for Aging is taking seriously the public health concerns about the COVID-19 (novel Coronavirus) and the special risks this poses to elders, adults living with chronic diseases, and those who work with them. While doing everything possible to avoid panic or rash action, we are taking all prudent precautions to reduce the spread of the virus. This means we are suspending all our group programs, large events and other activities, and will seek alternate ways to deliver these programs and services.

The clinical services offered in our Geriatrics Specialty Clinic will continue as usual, with necessary precautions.

Please contact us with any questions: (775) 784-4774 or | See complete details here.


Peter S. ReedPeter Reed testifies to U.S. Senate group about elders' social isolation, loneliness during pandemic

Peter Reed, PhD, director of the Sanford Center for Aging at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, will testify June 11 before a U.S. Senate group on older adults and COVID-19.

Reed will discuss social isolation and loneliness of elders during the pandemic before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging.

"As a public health gerontologist, I find the COVID-19 disaster absolutely stunning," Reed says. "Among the many potential challenges during this time for elders, the risk of social isolation and a variety of mental health concerns are very prominent."Reed will talk to senators about the Nevada COVID-19 Aging Network (Nevada CAN), with a special emphasis on the NEST Collaborative. Nevada CAN began mobilizing in March to ensure that every elder

Nevadan has access to medical, social and daily essentials in their home, thus reducing COVID-19 exposure and impact.

The NEST (Nevada Ensures Support Together) Collaborative works to relieve social isolation during this time of physical separation. NEST provides virtual social visits to older adults who are practicing social distancing during the pandemic. The program is led by Dr. Jennifer Carson, Director of the Dementia Engagement, Education and Research Program in the UNR School of Community Health Sciences.

"Nevada CAN aims to ensure that all elders can stay safe while remaining well-supplied, socially engaged and able to receive needed telehealth services. As part of the overall effort, NEST has created numerous virtual social engagement opportunities to help keep people connected," Reed says.

The "Combating Social Isolation and Loneliness" hearing begins at 6:30 a.m. Pacific time on Thursday, June 11. It will be streamed online from a link at Other panelists include Carla Perissinotto, MD, from the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine; Betsy Sawyer-Manter, CEO of SeniorsPlus in Maine; and Najja Orr, CEO of the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging.

Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., is one of the 15 members of the Senate Committee on Aging.

Read more about the Thursday hearing:


Natalie Mazzullo named to Nevada Commission on Aging

Natalie Mazzullo

Natalie Mazzullo of the Sanford Center for Aging has been named to the Nevada Commission on Aging. Gov. Steve Sisolak appointed Mazzullo to the commission in October.

"At the Sanford Center, we're looking to change the overall landscape of what healthy aging looks like, and how we can better assist all older adults in Nevada to strive for healthy aging," Mazzullo said. That fits perfectly with the mission of the Commission on Aging, she said, which is to facilitate and enhance the quality of life and services for Nevada elders.

Mazzullo is assistant director of the Nevada Geriatric Education Center, part of the Sanford Center. She is responsible for the NGEC's Geriatric Lecture Series, including the next presentation, "Diabetes and Substance Abuse Management Post-Prison Release of Older Adults," coming up in December.

She also organized the 2020 Caregiver Conference with the Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division. The conference, "Approaches to Meet Residents' Individual Needs," was held in both Reno and Las Vegas in February.

Mazzullo is based in Las Vegas, at the University of Nevada, Reno Cooperative Extension office where she is also putting together a stakeholder group to address physical activity and nutrition education for older adults statewide. She grew up in Nevada and is starting to work toward a PhD at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on older adult learners.

The Nevada Commission on Aging is part of the state Aging and Disability Services Division.