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Elevate Eldercare

Jun 16, 2021

In the mid-1980s, Jennie Chin Hansen decided to move her ailing parents from Boston to her home in San Francisco so that they could live out their remaining years surrounded by family – and not in an institutional nursing home.

Hansen’s care journey for her father, who had suffered several strokes, was a continuation of the work she’d already done with On Lok, an innovative community program in San Francisco’s Chinatown that offered comprehensive outpatient services. Through On Lok, Hansen’s father, Wing Chin, was able to receive the high-level care he needed while still returning home each night to share a bed with his wife.

Hansen went on to become the CEO of On Lok, and thanks to her tireless efforts, the model has been replicated in 250 programs across 31 states under the federal Program for All-inclusive Care for the Elderly, known as PACE.

And PACE is only one small part of Hansen’s career, which has included stints as the president of AARP and a stakeholder in the state of California’s first-ever Master Plan on Aging. 

Susan Ryan sat down with Hansen to discuss that ambitious master plan, as well as her deeply personal history with On Lok – which is informed by her interest in the connections between aging and cultural identity. Hansen also explores how she sees PACE, which fills a unique middle ground between home care and communal eldercare settings, fitting into the post-COVID aging services landscape. 


Read about the PACE program here:


Learn more about the history of On Lok:


Read a 1998 profile of Jennie Chin Hansen that describes her personal caregiving experience and the development of PACE: