“Individuals should have equal access to services and benefits as they enter later life. Because of disadvantages throughout the life course, inequities exist. My research focuses on racial, ethnic and gender disparities under policy initiatives designed to assist older adults. I’m dedicated to helping students understand how programs differentially impact the aging population.”
Aging; racial, ethnic and gender disparities in later life; community based intervention programs serving older individuals; research and program evaluation; macro practice; social welfare policy; health access; health disparities
Louanne Bakk, PhD, MSW, is the DSW program director, director of the Institute on Innovative Aging Policy and Practice and a clinical assistant professor with pedagogical focus on research and program evaluation, policy, macro practice and online learning. Prior to pursing her PhD, she served the Area Agency on Aging 1-B in Southfield, Mich. for nine years, first as the director of access and benefits assistance, then as a research specialist. Her research interests in aging, with an emphasis on policy initiatives designed to assist older adults; disparities in later life; community-based intervention programs and services; and technology and older adults are heavily influenced by her practice experience where she directly observed the impact of public policy initiatives designed to assist older individuals.
Bakk’s research and community service focus on racial, ethnic and gender disparities in cost-related medication nonadherence under Medicare Part D and factors impacting older adults’ ability to maintain adherence. In addition to acting as co-investigator for “Coalesce and Connect: Building a National Network of Dementia Care Voices," a project funded by a Retirement Research Foundation Grant, Bakk is also investigating the impact of the Town Square for Aging. This integrative model of care provides frail, older adults with an array of services designed to maintain their health, independence and quality of life.
With a doctorate from Michigan State University, Bakk also holds an MSW from the University of Michigan with a Certificate of Specialization in Aging. The recipient of several grants and honors, Bakk was most recently granted the Innovations Achievement Award from the National Area Agencies on Aging Association for her work on the Recognizing Personal Emergency Response System Program.