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ASU's Bushfield tapped as board member for Area Agency on Aging

May 18, 2007

Suzanne Bushfield was recently appointed to serve as board member for the Area Agency on Aging, Region One. Bushfield is a clinical associate professor for the department of Social Work, Arizona State University’s College of Human Services. She also serves as coordinator for the department’s Bachelor of Social Work program.

The Area Agency on Aging is part of a national network of organizations established under the Older Americans Act to respond to the needs of older adults. There are more than 650 Area Agencies on Aging throughout the United States. As a private non-profit corporation, the Area Agency advocates, plans, coordinates, develops, and delivers services for seniors (60 years and older), persons of any age who are HIV positive, adults (18-59 years) with disabilities and long-term care needs, and family caregivers of older adults.

The Area Agency is also involved in the development and implementation of Maricopa County's Area Plan. In this role, the agency is responsible for determining the demographic characteristics of the county's elderly population, identifying and evaluating their needs, and turning that captured information into a system of service delivery.

Bushfield has 25 years of social work practice experience in health care, hospice, and mental health across the lifespan, in both public and private sectors. She has presented at numerous national conferences of National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, and the Council on Social Work Education on a variety of aspects of social work practice, teaching, and research.

As a member of the board, Bushfield will review and approve annual budgets, establish goals and objectives, and provide direction through the following standing committees: Executive, Board Development, Fund Development, Marketing/Public Relations, and Personnel. Members are elected for three-year terms and may be re-elected for one additional term.

An expert in lifespan issues, Bushfield examines the risks from significant life events across the lifespan, with an emphasis on end of life decision making, and the role of spirituality and hope as well as the impact of social work interventions in fostering resiliency. She has taught across the curriculum for advanced generalist practice, with an emphasis on human behavior in the social environment, advanced practice with individuals, families and groups, and research.