Turning great ideas into healthier communities

Joan Twiss, MA

Project Director

Joan M. Twiss, MA, is the founding executive director of the Center for Civic Partnerships, which provides leadership and management support to build healthier communities and more effective nonprofit organizations. She has more than 30 years of experience working in both the public and private sectors at the local, state and national levels with extensive expertise in program planning, community indicators, implementation, technical support, training, policy development and evaluation.

Twiss is responsible for the center's development, strategic direction, management and program evaluation in both community and organizational development. She designed and continues to direct California Healthy Cities and Communities, the first and largest program of its kind in the United States. She researches, publishes, presents and consults on the factors that allow for aging well in communities.

Twiss currently leads the coaching support function for the National Leadership Academy for the Public's Health, another PHI program. She has extensive experience leading multiple statewide technical support programs, often as part of comprehensive community health improvement initiatives. She has authored numerous articles for peer-reviewed journals and practitioner-oriented publications.

Twiss has a master's in health education, with coursework in urban studies, from the University of Maryland. She also holds a bachelor's in public health from the University of Massachusetts. She is a certified charrette planner.

California Healthy Cities and Communities: Twenty-Five Years of Cultivating Community and Advancing a Movement (2014)

As a leader in the Healthy Communities Movement, PHI is proud to contribute to the National Civic Review's two-part editorial project hono...

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Community Gardens: The New Victory Gardens in a Public Crusade (2013)

Community gardens have long been a recognized strategy to address food shortages. From the victory gardens that supported war efforts and fed ...

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Preparing for the Retirement Boom: Aging Populations (2011)

As baby boomers start retiring in large numbers, this important demographic shift will create significant consequences, both good and bad for local...

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Aging Well Case Studies: Hayward: It Takes a Transit Village (2009)

A case study of the Hayward, California, development of a housing transit village that promotes neighborliness and ease of access for all resi...

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Aging Well Case Studies: Indio Takes the Lead in Providing Intergenerational Lifelong Learning Opportunities (2009)

This is a case study of how Indio, California, developed intergenerational learning opportunities. It is part of the Center for Civic Partnerships&...

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Aging Well Case Studies: Jacksonville: Promoting Employment Opportunities Works for Older Adults (2009)

This is a case study of how promoting employment opportunities works for older adults In Jacksonville, Texas. It is part of the...

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Aging Well Case Studies: Kirkland: Making Support Services a Priority in Tight Economic Times (2009)

This is a case study of how Kirkland, Washington, made support services for older adults a priority in tight economic times. It is part of the...

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Aging Well Case Studies: Rio Vista: Volunteers Step in with VERVE in Rio Vista (2009)

This is a case study about how Rio Vista, California, developed Volunteers Enriching Rio Vista Environments to help residents with the loss of safe...

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Aging Well Case Studies: Rochester: Riding High: Transit Agency's Public-Private Partnerships Improve Service and Increase Revenue (2009)

This is a case study of a Rochester, New York, transit agency's public-private partnerships to improve service, particularly for olde...

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Aging Well Case Studies: Warren: City of Warren Cleans Up to Enhance Neighborhood Vitality and Revenue (2009)

This is a case study of Operation Clean Sweep in Warren, Michigan, and its impact on neighborhood vitality and revenues. The program cleaned u...

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Aging Well in Communities: A Toolkit for Planning, Engagement & Action (2009)

This toolkit gives local governments the resources they need to successfully plan for people to age well in their communities. Through its work...

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Aging Well in Communities: Conducting Focus Groups (2009)

Focus groups can be an important part of planning for aging well in a community. This is a guide to how to run them effectively. You can gain m...

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California Healthy Cities and Communities - A Legacy of Accomplishments (2009)

This publication gives a brief history of the Center for Civic Partnerships and the California Healthy Cities and Communities (CHCC) program, and h...

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California Healthy Cities and Communities: Laying the Foundation, Leading the Way (2009)

A synopsis of the roots of California Healthy Cities and Communities and its impact over the past 20 years. What began in 1988 as a vision of b...

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Case Study: In Hayward, It Takes a Transit Village - Mixed Use for an Aging Community (2009)

A case study of the Hayward, Calif., development of a housing transit village that promotes neighborliness and ease of access for all residents, es...

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Case Study: In Kirkland, WA, Making Support Services a Priority in Tight Economic Times (2009)

A case study of how Kirkland, Wash., made support services for older adults a priority in tight economic times. Providing an array of accessibl...

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Community Planning for Aging Well: An Overview (2009)

This section of the Aging Well Toolkit introduces the community planning process, offers strategies for engaging baby boomers, and explains how bes...

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Conducting Aging Well Public Forums (2009)

This toolkit gives local governments a template and guide for how to conduct public forums that bring attention to gathering information about and ...

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Conducting Aging Well Resident Surveys (2009)

This toolkit gives local governments a template and guide for how to develop a survey that provides detailed quantitative information about wh...

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Evaluation Findings on Community Participation in the California Healthy Cities and Communities Program (2009)

As part of an evaluation of the California Healthy Cities and Communities (CHCC) program, the authors of this article examined resident involvement...

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Profiles of Success: A Five-Year Retrospective of the Organizational Development Services Program (2009)

This report is a five-year retrospective of the Organizational Development Services (ODS) program, which provided capacity-building and technical s...

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