New 6Cs Framework for Creating Age-Friendly Public Health Systems

Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) believes that every state and local health department must elevate healthy aging as a core function. To facilitate this transformation, TFAH, with support from The John A. Hartford Foundation, developed the Framework for Creating Age-Friendly Public Health Systems (AFPHS) that outlined five roles for public health engagement in healthy aging, the “5Cs Framework.” Since that framework was developed in 2017, TFAH successfully completed an AFPHS pilot in Florida and has worked with many other state and local health departments to expand their roles in healthy aging.

One of the most important lessons learned throughout these activities is the significance of having a public health leader to champion the expansion of public health department activities to meet the health and social needs of older adults. Thus, TFAH has determined that, in addition to the existing 5Cs Framework, a new component should be added that reflects the importance of leadership. The new “C” is

Creating and leading policy, systems, and environmental changes to improve older adult health and well-being.

The remaining 5Cs have also been updated to reflect a shift in practice, including numerous innovations, new collaborations, and particularly the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on public health and older adults, the need to address the social determinants of health among older adults, and all within an overarching frame of equity.

Connecting and convening multi-sector stakeholders to address the health and social needs of older adults through collective impact approaches focused on the social determinants of health. 

Coordinating existing supports and services to help older adults, families, and caregivers navigate and access services and supports, avoid duplication, and promote an integrated system of care.

Collecting, analyzing, and translating relevant and robust data on older adults to identify the needs and assets of a community and inform the development of interventions through community-wide assessment.

Communicating important public health information to promote and support older adult health and well-being, including conducting and disseminating research findings, and emerging and best practices to support healthy aging.

Complementing existing health promoting programs to ensure they are adequately meeting the needs of older adults.

TFAH will continue to provide supports, resources, and guidance to promote public health department transformation to become Age-Friendly Public Health Systems.