The late Steven Wallace, who was a professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and associate director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, was recognized posthumously with the Trailblazers in Aging’s Change Agent Award from the National Council on Aging. The award recognizes an individual or organization working to ensure that every person — regardless of race, income or background — has the resources to age well.
Wallace was an internationally renowned scholar on health disparities among older adults, immigrants and communities of color. He led the effort to have California adopt the Elder Economic Security Standard Index as the official cost-of-living measure for older adults in the state. He championed teams that developed innovative, community-based methods to increase the use of clinical preventive services among older adults of color in Los Angeles. Nationally, he created the consortium of Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research with a goal of increasing the diversity of the workforce on aging research. A tireless advocate for the rights of immigrants, he served as the principal investigator on the National Institutes of Health–funded RIGHTS Study that examined how Latin and Asian American populations in California were excluded in health care, social welfare, employment, education and law enforcement. Throughout his 40-year career, Wallace was also an impactful and beloved mentor to dozens of students and professionals in the field.