Erin Maruzzella, a geriatric healthcare expert and business development professional with a passion for healthy aging policy, has been named the new Executive Director of the Innovations in Aging Collaborative (IIAC). The mission of IIAC, founded in 2009, is to convene the community to promote creative approaches that address the challenges and opportunities of aging.
Maruzzella began her work at IIAC on January 3 and will oversee creation and implementation of IIAC’s next five-year Age Friendly plan, scheduled for submission in March 2023. She will be assisted by administrative professional Annelise Tullius, who joined the IIAC staff last September.
“We are thrilled to have a leader of Erin’s caliber guiding our work,” said IIAC board chair Dayton Romero. “Erin has the leadership qualities and expertise to grow IIAC into an even greater and more successful organization and to have a lasting impact on our community.” Board member Paula Pollet, who served as interim executive director, expressed high praises for Maruzzella’s talents. “Her skills and enthusiasm,” Pollet commented, “make her ideal for building a community that responds to the needs of all ages with a quality-of-life lens.”
Maruzzella, who holds a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Iowa and an executive MBA in health administration from the University of Colorado Denver Business School, has applied her healthcare leadership skills to improve the lives of older Coloradans in numerous ways. She has served as a direct patient care provider in senior care settings for over a decade, with recent focus in rural communities and telehealth programming.
For the past year, Maruzzella has participated in Jumpstart the Aging Workforce Solutions, a grant-funded initiative at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs that seeks to expand and strengthen the pool of workers caring for Colorado’s aging population. She also volunteers as a judge for the Prime Health Innovation Challenge through the Colorado Health Foundation, serves on the Marketing and Communications Committee for the Colorado Association of Healthcare Executives, and is a member of the board of Global Health Connections, a Denver-based nonprofit focused on health and economic sustainability in East Africa.
In speaking of her new role, Maruzzella says, “It is an honor to serve my community and lead the Age Friendly 2.0 strategic plan. Together, we will focus on inclusivity and accessibility to address intergenerational needs across Colorado Springs and El Paso County. I’m looking forward to working with community members, including the many talented members of the board of Innovations in Aging Collaborative.”