Long Beach has a large, diverse, and vibrant senior population, which is expected to grow significantly over the next decade. The city’s Community Health Bureau partnered with FUSE Executive Fellow Karen Doolittle to help Long Beach improve quality of life for senior residents by linking them to a more coordinated continuum of care.
Karen conducted extensive primary and secondary research to identify gaps in programming for the city’s aging population and develop more comprehensive approaches to meeting their needs. To better understand the landscape of available resources, she produced a series of heat maps showing where service providers were located throughout the city, and cross-referenced this data with the senior population by zip code and income level. Karen provided strategic direction across a range of initiatives, including the establishment of the city’s new Healthy Aging Center, and supported the rollout and adoption of an online referral system that further streamlines the referral process for seniors in need of services. These and other efforts helped advance Long Beach’s goal to be one of the most livable cities for seniors.