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Senior Lifestyles

West Akron resident inducted into Senior Citizens Hall of Fame

6/5/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Harvey Sterns
Photo courtesy of the Ohio Department of Aging
COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Aging (ODA), the Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging and members of the Ohio General Assembly inducted 12 older Ohioans into the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame during a special ceremony May 20 in Columbus.

They join more than 400 individuals who have been inducted since 1978, according to ODA officials.

“The Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame recognizes the important roles that our elders can play when they continue to grow, thrive and contribute throughout their lives,” said ODA Director Bonnie Burman. “True Golden Buckeyes are not defined by their age; they are inspired by it. This year’s honorees have helped Ohio prepare for its growing and changing aging population, are recognized as leaders in their fields and have bolstered their community and their state through their good works.”

The only area resident to be inducted was West Akron resident Harvey Sterns, Ph.D., who has dedicated his life to the advancement of services, care, research and education concerning adults and older adults, according to a biography of him provided by the ODA.

Sterns earned his Ph.D. from West Virginia University in 1971 with a focus on lifespan developmental psychology and a minor in statistics and research design, received his master’s degree in psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1968 and his bachelor’s degree in psychology and biology from Bard College in 1965, according to his biography. He testified before the state legislature in 1978 for funding that has supported offices of geriatric medicine and gerontology in all seven of Ohio’s medical schools.

He currently is professor of psychology, as well as the founding director and senior fellow of the Institute for Life-Span Development and Gerontology at The University of Akron, and research professor of Gerontology, Family and Community Medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University.

As a researcher and teacher, Sterns has tackled elder issues, such as late-life employment, multigenerational workplaces and personal mobility, according to his biography. His work also has explored many dilemmas faced by families, such as knowing when and how to ask a loved one to stop driving, how to support grandparents raising grandchildren and what types of housing choices are available for elders. His other research includes alcohol treatment and aging and life-planning issues for older adults with developmental disabilities. He has contributed to more than 45 research grants, totaling more than $10 million in funding. According to his biography, he is proud of his work with the Memory Magic Therapeutic Intervention for people with Alzheimer’s disease that is now in more than 2,000 facilities around the world.

To read more about Sterns and the other inductees, visit www.aging.ohio.gov/news/halloffame.

The hall honors individuals age 60 and older who are native-born Ohioans or who have been Ohio residents for at least 10 years, according to ODA officials. Nominations are evaluated on the impact of current contributions or a continuation of work and accomplishments begun before age 60. This year’s nominees range in age from 72 to 95, according to ODA officials.


Kathleen Collins contributed to this report.

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