Meet the new chair and vice chair of the SAB

In January 2021 Johan Fritzell and Janice Keefe took over the chair and vice-chair position of the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). In this article they introduce themselves and share their views on the JPI’s work and the role of the SAB.

Johan Fritzell is Professor in Sociology and Social Gerontology and the Director of Aging Research Center (ARC), Karolinska Institutet & Stockholm University. He has published extensively on population health, social and health inequalities, poverty and ageing in relation to social policies, often from a comparative perspective. He has had commission of trust in several international organisations and to different governments. He has for long been a board and executive committee member to LIS-Cross-National Datacenter in Luxembourg, and is the Swedish coordinator and expert to the European Social Policy Network, European Commission. He is presently PI for a large-scale research programme Social Inequalities in Ageing (SIA) with leading ageing researchers from all Nordic countries.

Johan Fritzell: ‘I have always during my career felt that international collaborations are rewarding and stimulating. You learn a lot and get new ideas. It was therefore a great pleasure for me to accept the offer to chair the Scientific Advisory Board within this Joint Programming Initiative. The work we aim to do within more years, better lives, is of great importance since it focusses on major societal challenges and since we always strive for social and policy relevance in actions we take, and in the high-quality research we support. This is further reinforced by the fact that the we work closely together with stakeholders from our Societal Advisory Board’

Janice Keefe is Professor and Chair of Family Studies and Gerontology at the Mount Saint Vincent University. She holds the Lena Isabel Jodrey Chair in Gerontology and is Director of the Nova Scotia Centre on Aging. Dr. Keefe is an Adjunct Professor with Dalhousie Medicine and Affiliate Scientist with Nova Scotia Health. She sits on numerous advisory committees such as Statistics Canada’s Demography Committee, Canadian Dementia Strategy, and Canadian Institute of Health Information.  She is the Scientific Director of Seniors: Adding Life to Years (SALTY), pan-Canadian research examining quality of life for residents in long term care (LTC), PI on a National Homecare Pathways project, and leads research examining the implementation of support visitations by family during COVID. She continues to chair the NS Ministerial Expert Panel on LTC and co-authored the 2020 Royal Society of Canada’s report on the future of LTC.

Janice Keefe: ‘I am pleased to continue my involvement since 2014 with More Years Better Lives as Vice Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board. I believe collaboration and comparative science across member states is foundational to moving policies and practices forward. I have been a champion of integrated knowledge translation research where policy makers, leaders in the private and public sector as well as the end users (older people, their families and clinicians) are consulted and included in the research. Our JPI has made great strides in acknowledging the importance of these stakeholders to have input and the application of our high-quality research to evidenced-based policy. As Vice Chair of SAB, I look forward to continuing to work closely with the Societal Advisory Board and enhancing our capacity to make a positive difference in the lives of older people in our society’