The IOA External Advisory Board is comprised of dynamic and dedicated individuals from all walks of life who share a common goal—to improve the quality of life for older adults. Meeting several times a year, this body of informed, hands-on, volunteer advisers is instrumental in forwarding the mission of the IOA.
David Hoefner has been a member of the Institute on Aging (IOA) External Advisory Board (EAB) since 2010 after proving to be an outstanding volunteer for the neurodegenerative disease programs at Penn Medicine. Mr. Hoefner has been actively engaged with Drs. Trojanowski and Lee sharing ideas for raising both funds and awareness of Alzheimer’s and related dementias.
How did you hear about the IOA?
My journey to the IOA was non-traditional. As the caregiver for my first wife, Mary Lou Hoefner, for over ten years, I saw firsthand what dementia could do. I wanted to do my part to help work for a solution. I grew up in the generation where we believed if we are not part of the solution, we are part of the problem. When I decided I wanted to do something about neurodegenerative diseases, I researched charities that stated their goal was to fight dementia in one form or another. As luck would have it, I came across the work of John Q. Trojanowski, MD, PhD and Virginia M.-Y. Lee, PhD, MBA at Penn Medicine’s Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research (CNDR). I learned that they conduct world-class research for the prevention and treatment of all the disorders on the dementia continuum. Their mission is insightful and comprehensive. I was hooked and started a charity whose goal was to support the CNDR’s work. I started the foundation CureDementia—a donor advised fund at the Philadelphia Foundation—with the intention of channeling all funds raised to their work (CureDementia.org). Based on my avid support and advocacy of CNDR, John asked me if I wanted to join the IOA External Advisory Board.
Why did you choose to become an EAB Member?
EAB membership gave me entry into the latest medical research and the opportunity to support next generation researchers through the IOA Pilot Program. Also, as we are all aging, I wanted to keep abreast of the latest strategies for healthy living.
What do you hope to see from your support?
My goal as member of the EAB is to gather and disseminate information about the important work of the IOA and CNDR in order to increase the financial support for Drs. Trojanowski and Lee’s award-winning research. Several years ago my wife, Louise, and I hosted an information session about the IOA and CNDR at our high-rise apartment complex featuring John and Virginia. Residents were able to hear about the latest neurodegenerativedisease research, and support this work with a donation to the programs.
Learn more about David Hoefner and the rest of the EAB members here.