Join Me in Fighting Ageism... My great-great-grandma use to tell me two things daily (1) "you destined for greatness," and (2) "age is just a number." People always ask me, "How do you stay so young and active?" And, some folks have mentioned, "Every time I look on social media, you are traveling or doing something." I can sum my response up by saying... WHY NOT!?!
I grew up in Philadelphia and was fortunate to be part of a family with five generations of admirable, beautiful, caring, dedicated, exciting, fabulous, God-Fearing, hustling women of color living in the same city. I love and dearly hold the experience of having a great-great-grandmother, two great-grandmothers, six great aunts, and two grandmas for many decades. Support and wisdom were not lacking in our environment. And they were high functioning, quick-paced, and no-nonsense people. These women were illustrious matriarchs that stayed intensely focused on keeping the family together and accountable. They lived independently in their communities and were respected and loved by all. Never allowing grass to grow under their feet, you could always catch them dashing out to use public transportation
to complete daily tasks-well into their 90s. Today, my grandma is still shopping for essentials and paying bills riding the bus at 89 years old.
These women were a vital part of our family and lived extraordinary lives. They were leaders, community influencers, educators, and business-minded folks infused with determination, kindness, and value. They served as an exceptional example of how to age and be joyful along the way. Their spirits drive, fuel, and legitimize my passion, hard work, and dedication to the field of Aging Development and are the impetus for AgingForward. And now, serving as the Matriarch of the family and a geriatrician (older adult doctor) who is still blessed to have five living generations, I want to fight ageism and teach people how to age better.
Over the years, I developed a niche that bridges knowledge gaps for people 50+ and the companies that market and service this demographic. I teach how to "AgingForward" and lean into rethinking life options and designing the next phases of life. This process is simple and successful! Because, when you know better, you do better! I can help you create strategies and tactics uniquely designed to change narratives about growing older to reframe aging.
Be purposeful and age differently... Let's Fight Ageism and AgeForward Together!
"When we control the story and own our narrative, we avoid being stuck in someone else's story!"
Katrina "DoctorKatt" Polk enjoys a 30 year plus career in public policy, influencing various government legislation that benefits the aging population at local, state, national, and international levels. Her overall career dedication has focused on implementing innovative sustainable solutions for this vulnerable group, especially women and people of color. At a very young age, DoctorKatt became involved in delivering community-based support services to seniors with no family support through her great-great grandmother's church. She helped her great-great-grandmother coordinate and provided home care services to elders and navigated many government systems for them. Personal experiences drove her to believe that public service is essential to tackling social injustice, and it is a privilege and an obligation to serve. DoctorKatt is committed to enhancing adult development and the aging population's quality of life through awareness and access to supportive housing options and health services at the intersection of improving service delivery systems for every individual who seeks to age in their community. Her actions and career decisions reflect this value.
DoctorKatt is an expert on multi-generational community-building initiatives. She has 25 years of extensive knowledge and practical experiences, such as establishing, managing, and preserving community partner relationships with non-profit organizations, corporations, and government agencies across the country and in many foreign lands. Her approach consists of: (1) improving health and supportive service delivery systems, (2) creating lifespan living opportunities through the Age-Friendly innovations and initiatives, (3) enhancing neighborhood revitalization efforts, and (4) expanding an "all-inclusive" economy that helps low-income individuals/families, seniors, persons with disabilities, and veterans' participatory rights. DoctorKatt previously served as the Vice President of Strategic Alliances & Business Development and Senior Director of Aging in Community Preservation and Development Corporation (Enterprise Community Development). She raised more than $7.3 million in-kind contributions, overseen 300 partnerships, connected more than 7,000 seniors to supportive services across multiple platforms, built numerous service delivery networks, established cooperative food initiatives, and designed three senior "aging-in-place" village models.
DoctorKatt earned a Ph. D. in Public Policy with a Gerontological Health Services specialization from Walden University and her Master of Public Policy and Administration from Southeastern University. She serves as an Executive Council member of AARP DC and as the mayoral appointee of Age-FriendlyDC. She is the founder of Dynamic Solutions for the Aging, LLC, and DOCTORKATT® and co-founder of Anointed to Serve Ministries, Inc. and Legacy Collaborative Senior Village. Currently, Dr. Katt resides in the highly gentrifying neighborhood in Southeast DC, where she raises her great-niece, who often accompanies her to active community work—just as DoctorKatt's great-great-grandmother once did for her.