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Dixon Arnett and Wende Dawson Chan
authors of The Wisdom to Choose

Dixon Arnett served for thirty years in public office. His most recent assignment was as Director of the California Department of Aging, the largest state unit on aging in the nation. There, through California's 33 area agencies on aging, he administered the Older Americans Act and presided over the first major revision in the Older Californians Act since its inception. During his tenure he successfully pushed an initiative that resulted in the first funding increases in Older Californians Act services in almost a decade.

Previously, Arnett served in local, state and federal offices in posts that focused on health, social services and education. He served on the staff of the U.S. Senate, was Deputy Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and was a California State Assemblyman in the 70s.

Wende Dawson Chan has been active in aging programs in San Francisco spanning services from advocacy for nursing home residents to hospice care. She has been a caregiver to the end of life in her own home and for friends.

Chan has served three terms as a member of the federally-mandated Advisory Council to the San Francisco Commission on Aging and three years as an Ombudsman -- part of the Older Americans Act that provides for a highly trained volunteer force to act as friends and advocates for residents in nursing homes.

Chan recently was elected Convener of the San Francisco Gray Panthers, an activist advocacy organization whose slogan is, "Youth and Age in Action." Her credentials include managing dental offices and serving on the Speakers' Bureau for the League of Women Voters.

Both Arnett and Chan have been project directors for "Community Outreach for Independent Living (COIL)," a California State-funded outreach effort to older and functionally-impaired adults. COIL reaches out through the use of community InfoVans and other means so that seniors can make informed choices about lifestyle and social services.