— By Thomas Korosec When Elizabeth Ellis, a nurse practitioner, opened the B.I.S. Community Clinic last year, she became the first primary care provider based in the small town of Bedias in more than 80 years. “Rural health is why I became a nurse practitioner,” said Ellis, 53. During flu season this past winter, she saw about 160 patients a month—most either under 15 or older than 50, and mostly from rural Grimes County (pop. 26,000). Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) …

— By Mary Van Beusekom To raise the profile of issues important to Minnesotans age 50-plus, AARP is encouraging older voters to study candidates’ stances and to cast ballots in this year’s high-stakes elections. “It is very important to us to make sure our issues are being focused on and that candidates are providing relevant information to 50-plus voters,” said Seth Boffeli, AARP Minnesota communications director. “The candidates need to reach out to these voters, motivate them to vote and say …

— By Cynthia Pasquale Within 12 years, it’s likely that 1 in 5 Coloradans will be 65 or older. Wade Buchanan says the aging trend will have a positive impact on the state, but he doesn’t discount the challenges, either. In January, Buchanan was appointed the state’s senior adviser on aging, a new position in Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office. His task: coordinate policies that affect older residents and work with state and local governments, foundations, health care providers and others …

— By Natalie Missakian Jim O’Brien recalls missing only one election in almost 50 years of voting, and the 69-year-old Cheshire resident knows he’s not alone among people his age in Connecticut. “I’ve frequently talked to other AARP members whose voting records are as good as or better than mine,” said the AARP volunteer. Politicians know that “as a group, we go to the polls.” AARP members could play a key role in the 2018 state elections. With Democratic Gov. Dannel …

— By Joanne Cleaver Madison resident Carol Martell found a new calling after retiring in 2013 from her position as an administrative assistant with the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ. She joined the AARP advocacy team and speaks up for older residents during state legislative hearings on such topics as caregiving and health care. Even when she isn’t testifying, Martell stands, or sits, with other AARP volunteers, all wearing AARP-logo shirts. “My job is to be present,” said …

— By Melissa Preddy Annie Mae Holt has long been a citizen activist, from her days as a teenage civil rights demonstrator in Birmingham, Ala., to serving as a precinct delegate in Detroit to myriad volunteer efforts in retirement. So it’s no surprise that Holt, 71, will be among the AARP volunteers ramping up voter education efforts ahead of the Aug. 7 primary and Nov. 6 general election. She plans to lead seminars organized by staffers in the state office, giving …

— AARP Kentucky is encouraging members to vote in the primary elections on Tuesday, May 22, and reminding them to carry identification, in case it is needed. Kentucky law requires poll workers to identify voters either by personal acquaintance or with a document such as a driver’s license, Social Security card, credit card or other form of identification. Races on the ballot include seats in both houses of the state legislature, the state Supreme Court and the U.S. House of Representatives, …

— By Kelly Ganski At 59, Rosanna Márquez of Chicago has the same concerns as other 50-plus voters. As the AARP Illinois president, Márquez is in a unique position to hear from older residents about issues important to them. Turns out they’re the same issues she’s passionate about: taxation of retirement income, home- and community-based services and, mainly, the Illinois fiscal crisis. “I’ve heard a lot of seniors say, ‘We’re so concerned, and we’re so frustrated, and we’re fairly scared about …

— AARP Louisiana will host its annual Caregiver Day at the Capitol on April 18. The event honors about 660,000 unpaid family caregivers in the state—and gives them a chance to let lawmakers know what kinds of support their loved ones need. The event will include a rally, as well as meetings between legislators and their constituents. The vast majority of Louisianans want to live at home as they age, but find it difficult to do so without help with daily …

— By Drew Jubera Three years ago, Kay Argroves, a nurse anesthetist, read a story about advocacy volunteers for AARP Georgia. It intrigued her. Argroves had always been interested in the political process, and this looked like a way to become more involved. “I vote every chance I get,” said the Madison resident. “But voting can only go so far.” So Argroves contacted the AARP state office, attended training for volunteers and found herself under the Gold Dome, navigating a maze …