In November 2016, the City of Salem formally submitted its age-friendly action plan, Salem for All Ages, to the AARP and the World Health Organization. The final report and supporting materials are available below.

Salem’s Age Friendly initiative began earlier in 2016 when the City was added to the AARP’s national network of Age Friendly communities. Salem became the first City on the North Shore to join the network and only the third in Commonwealth. Acceptance to the network meant the City committed to developing an action plan that focuses on establishing a vision for each of what the AARP and WHO call the “eight domains” of an age-friendly community: civic participation and employment, communication and information, community support and health services, outdoor space and buildings, transportation, housing, social participation, and respect and social inclusion.

Within each domain, a vision statement for the future of an Age-Friendly Salem is described, followed by a series of recommendations, and corresponding specific action steps that should be taken. Following approval of the final report a permanent community stakeholders group will be formed to monitor implementation of the plan, evaluate its effectiveness, and update it as necessary.

“In Salem we are thoughtful about how we approach the future,” Mayor Kim Driscoll observes in her letter submitting the action plan. “Great cities do not happen by accident. They take careful planning, public input, and meaningful action. I am so pleased to present the Salem for All Ages Action Plan because I believe it meets all those standards. And because I believe it will truly make Salem an even greater City for all.”

To help prepare the Salem for All Ages Action Plan, the City worked closely with experts from the Center for Social & Demographic Research on Aging at the Gerontology Institute of the University of Massachusetts Boston. Those experts worked closely with a working group made up of City officials and local volunteers, to develop the draft plan. Their efforts included multiple public listening session and meetings, three focus groups, an exhaustive document review of existing plans and reports, and a community survey completed by over 400 Salem residents over the age of 50.

“The priorities represented by the Age-Friendly designation are reflective of Salem’s values as a whole,” said Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll. “The goals of a livable, safe, and vibrant city serve to lift up all our residents, no matter their age or ability. This action plan has been informed by as many perspectives as possible, so that the recommendations it puts forth for Salem can be as diverse and as forward-looking as the people who live here.”

Task Force


  • Patricia Zaido – Salem Community Representative
  • Dominick Pangallo – Chief of Staff, Office of Mayor Kimberley Driscoll


  • Theresa Arnold – Director, Salem Council on Aging
  • Amanda Chiancola – Staff Planner, Planning and Community Development
  • Hannah Skahan Diozzi – Community Representative
  • Nicholas Downing – Acting Director, Traffic and Parking
  • Russell Findley – Built Environment Coordinator, Mass in Motion
  • Charity Lezama – Executive Director, Salem YMCA
  • Debra Lobsitz – Chair, Salem Commission on Disabilities
  • Tara Mansfield – Director, Salem Public Library
  • Kerry Murphy – Healthy Living Coordinator, Mass in Motion
  • Patricia O’Brien – Director, Parks, Recreation and Community Services
  • Susan Strauss – SSU Explorers, Life Long Learning Institute, Representative
  • Kay Walsh – Immediate Past President, North Shore Elder Services

Leadership Council


  • Kimberley Driscoll – Mayor, City of Salem

Leadership Council Members

  • Margaret Brennan – Executive Director, North Shore Community Health Center
  • Mary Butler – Chief, Salem Police Department
  • Lynda Coffill – Chair, Salem Council on Aging Board
  • Jeff Cohen – Chair, Salem No Place for Hate Committee
  • Tom Daniel – Director of Planning and Community Development, City of Salem
  • Elizabeth Debski – Executive Director, Salem Partnership
  • Rosaleen Doherty – Owner, Right at Home
  • Councillor Beth Gerard – President (2018), Salem City Council
  • Lynda Hartigan – Deputy Director, Peabody Essex Museum
  • Judith Kane – Administrator, Brookhouse Home
  • John Keenan – President, Salem State University
  • Paul Lanzikos – Executive Director, North Shore Elder Services
  • Sherry Leonard – Director of Community Relations, John Bertram House
  • Mickey Northcutt – Executive Director, North Shore Community Development Coalition
  • Rinus Oosthoek – Executive Director, Salem Chamber of Commerce
  • Dr. David Roberts – CEO, North Shore Medical Center
  • Margarita Ruiz – Superintendent, Salem Public Schools
  • Joan Tobin – President, (2018) SSU Explores In Life Long Learning Institute