Nathan Fernandes is a Masters in Public Health (MPH) candidate at the UT Health Science Center Austin Campus concentrating in Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences, and actively works with Medicare Advantage populations in the Austin community, through a social and behavioral case management program called Aetna Community Care, a first of its kind for major American health insurance companies. Through the recent merger with CVS Health, Nathan has worked on developing pilot initiatives that target social determinants of health in under-served communities as well as developing partnerships with local community resources to leverage the vast support that the Austin community is actively working to address barriers in the way of healthy aging-in-place.
Nathan's passion project of which he has worked on as a graduate research assistant for the LBJ School of Public Affairs, aims to establish a public-private intergenerational community care center that would combine low-income adult and child day care services, co-located, under one roof on city-owned property. This initiative is the result of the city of Austin's Aging-in-Place action plan that is a result of Mayor Adler's task force on Aging established in 2013, to address the glaring gap of low-income senior day care in the city. This project has many local organizations on board, both governmental and non-governmental, and access to the network of the Keep Families Giving Foundation would further add to the goal of leveraging local community resources. The model is to create a one-of-a-kind senior and child day center that would provide an array of services for our most vulnerable populations on Austin's east side that would help remove the barriers to healthy aging-in-place while fostering a positive social environment which research has shown positive effects for both the aging seniors, young children, and their adult caregivers who struggle handling both roles.