Tuesday, November 15, 2022


This is a virtual event. Login information will be included in your confirmation email.

The event is free; a donation of $10 is suggested.

As part of NYAM’s 175th anniversary and our “Then & Now” series, this event will focus on a discussion of the politics and history of aging through the voices of older New Yorkers. Our guest historians will contextualize the experiences of today’s older adults through the lens of New York City history, seeking to understand pathways to better, healthier lives and strengthen generational, cultural, and community ties. Discussion themes will center on the 8 Domains of Healthy Aging in the World Health Organization’s Age-friendly Cities Framework.

NYAM gratefully acknowledges the Drs. Barry and Bobbi Coller Programming Fund for support of this program.


Elana Kieffer, MBA, is the Director of NYAM’s Center for Healthy Aging. She has nearly 15 years of experience working in a wide range of older adult services, with a focus on project management, program development, and sales and marketing. Prior to her time at the Academy, Elana worked at The New Jewish Home and at MJHS Hospice and Palliative Care. She also worked in affordable and market-rate senior housing for two Boston-based organizations, The Community Builders and Hebrew SeniorLife. Elana has an MBA in nonprofit management with a concentration in aging services from the Heller School at Brandeis University.

Mario Rubano, MPH, is a Policy Associate at The New York Academy of Medicine’s Center for Healthy Aging. He has a decade of experience in aging services and has worked in a variety of capacities including clinical service provision, community-life development, and program management. He plays a role in implementation and evaluation for several Center initiatives including Age-friendly Neighborhoods, digital inclusion, the ACL-funded Older Adults’ Equity Collaborative, and nursing home infection prevention and control. Before NYAM, Mario worked in New York City independent senior housing at The New Jewish Home, a non-profit, mission-driven healthcare system serving older adults. He entered the aging services field as a Board-Certified Music Therapist leading individual and group music therapy programs in long-term skilled nursing facilities in The Bronx. He holds an MPH from the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy with a concentration in Health Policy and Management.

Kavita Sivaramakrishnan, PhD, is Associate Professor of History at Columbia University and of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She is a historian of public health and science, focusing on the politics of health and disease crises and lifecourse and aging in the global South, with a focus on South Asia and comparative research, with South Africa, SE Asia, and New York City. Her most recent research is supported by an NSF RAPID grant on COVID-19 in NYC, the global politics of aging, which she published in As the World Ages: Rethinking a Demographic Crisis (Harvard University Press, 2018). Her prior research has focused on the politics of ‘indigenous’ Ayurvedic medicine in late colonial India; social histories of epidemics; and cultures of aging and cognitive decline in India and South Africa. Prior to joining Columbia University, she graduated with a Tripos at Trinity College, Cambridge, and held fellowships at Harvard University and University College London. Her formal training in history and experience in archival work, policy debates, and public health practice provide a rich interdisciplinary perspective anchored in rigorous historical method.

Paul Theerman, PhD, serves as Director of the NYAM Library and Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health, a role he took up in 2018. In this capacity he oversees library operations, including cataloging and description, digitization, collection development, preservation and conservation, and user services, with a special emphasis on public engagement. Over a 40+ year career in museums, archives, libraries, and academia he has focused his efforts on connecting the interested and knowledgeable public with contemporary issues in science, technology, and medicine. He regularly teaches the history of public health in the Graduate Program in Public Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

David G. Troyansky, PhD, is Professor of History at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is author of Old Age in the Old Regime: Image and Experience in Eighteenth-Century France (Cornell University Press, 1989) and Aging in World History (Routledge, 2016), as well as a book to be published next year on career and retirement in post-Revolutionary France (forthcoming from Oxford University Press). He has published numerous articles on the history of old age and aspects of French cultural history and co-edited three books on French history and Francophone culture. He is currently co-editing, with Tim Parkin of the University of Melbourne, a 6-volume Cultural History of Old Age for Bloomsbury Press. As a native New Yorker who, in 2005, returned to the city after thirty years away, he is delighted to be bringing his scholarly expertise to an event that is focusing on aging in the city.