Jodi Southerland

Jodi Southerland
Location: Rogersville, Tennessee Cohort Start Year: 2019 Project Topics: Community/Civic Engagement, Elder Care, Family Caregiving and Intergenerational Activities, Public, Population and Community Health Populations Served: Older Adults (65+), Rural Communities
Assistant Professor
East Tennessee State University

Jodi is a lifelong resident of Northeast Tennessee. She uses her platform as a family caregiver to advocate for improved services for rural older adults and the individuals who provide them with care. Jodi is founder of Connections, a network of local organizations working together to transform Hawkins and Hancock County, TN through partnerships and placed-based health equity approaches. She is an inaugural member of the American Society on Aging Health and Well-being Council.

Jodi’s vision is to bring together community champions who can develop systems of supports for rural older adults aging in place. Strengthening partnerships with local change agents, and co-creating asset-based approaches to addressing inequities, is central to transforming rural Northeast Tennessee into an age friendly community. She seeks to create a world where older adults age well, where their voices are heard and valued, and where they thrive in their homes and communities.

Jodi is a passionate preserver of Appalachian traditions, food culture, and music, and operates an angus beef cattle farm with her spouse. She finds inspiration from her family having been raised in a farming community that modeled hard work, caring for the land, and helping others.


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