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Brian W. Lindberg, BSW ‘80

School of Social Work 2015 Award Recipient

Brian W. Lindberg headshot

As a Temple undergraduate student, Brian W. Lindberg was gripped by the possibility that social work embodies for creating change and improving lives. He was fortunate to have a mentor in the late Curt Leonard, Dean of the School of Social Work. As a student, Mr. Lindberg served as a student trustee on the Temple University Board of Trustees, at the time chaired by Fitz Eugene Dixon, Jr., who also provided valued guidance.

After earning his bachelor of social work degree from Temple, Mr. Lindberg received a master’s degree in management of human services from Brandeis University, and studied social and health care policy at the University of Stockholm.

Mr. Lindberg felt his skills and interests were best suited to public policy and advocacy. After finishing his master’s degree, he set his sights on a legislative position on Capitol Hill. He resolved to use the legislative process to effect laws that affect programs and systems and improve the quality of life of low‐ income persons, older individuals, and those with special needs. He developed expertise in the fields of aging, housing, legal services, veterans’ affairs, and long‐term care. Mr. Lindberg worked for both of Pennsylvania’s senators at that time: as legislative assistant for the late Arlen Specter, and as staff on the late Senator John Heinz’s Senate Special Committee on Aging. He also worked on the House Select Committee on Aging.

Among Mr. Lindberg’s professional accomplishments is his work to revamp the Older Americans Act to better serve Native Americans; this has resulted in tens of millions of dollars serving this often ignored population. Another is a provision that preserved Medicare payment for post‐cataract surgery eyeglasses. Improvements to the Congregate Housing Services Program, home equity conversion programs, and funding for the Long‐Term Care Ombudsman Program also occurred during his years on Capitol Hill.

After working on the House and Senate Aging Committees, Mr. Lindberg saw the need for consumers to have a voice in the developing health care reform movement (the first one, under First Lady Hillary Clinton). He led the Consumer Coalition for Quality Health Care in advocacy for consumer oriented health care system reform and was involved in the formation of the National Quality Forum. He was appointed by Vice President Gore to serve on its planning committee and later served on its Board of Directors.

Mr. Lindberg advocates for improvements in elder justice, geriatric education, end‐of‐life care, civic engagement, and special needs. He drafted legislative language that became part of the Elder Justice Act, Older Americans Act. He has worked on the 1995, 2005, and 2015 White House Conferences on Aging, and with foundations and key players in the health and aging fields.

One of Mr. Lindberg’s proudest accomplishments has been creating and conducting the Policy Leadership Institute for the John A. Hartford Foundation Geriatric Social Work Initiative and, more recently, its Change AGEnts Initiative Institute, under the leadership of The Gerontological Society of America. These institutes bring social workers, nurses, physicians, and researchers in the fields of health and aging to Washington, D.C., for an intensive course on policy advocacy.

Mr. Lindberg was the recipient of the Temple University Alumni Association Certificate of Honor in 2012, and was is currently serving on the College of Public Health’s Board of Visitors.