NHC Chair of Excellence in Nursing at MTSU feature...

NHC Chair of Excellence in Nursing at MTSU featured on NPT’s ‘Aging Matters’ [+VIDEO]

Dr. Deborah Lee, the NHC Chair of Excellence in Nursing at Middle Tennessee State University, will be a featured guest on the next episode of Nashville Public Television’s award-winning “Aging Matters” documentary series.

Dr. Deborah Lee, National Healthcare Corp. Chair of Excellence in Nursing, School of Nursing, College of Behavioral and Health Sciences
Dr. Deborah Lee

The episode, titled “Second Acts,” will air at 8 p.m. Central on Tuesday, June 20, on WNPT. The 30-minute show spotlights stories of four retirement-age Middle Tennesseans who have found their “second acts,” ranging from rollerblading and pickleball to pottery and crocheting.

“These are people who decided to take what they love and are passionate about — what gives them purpose — and do something about it in the second part of life,” Lee said.

Lee and Pam MacArthur from Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center provide commentary between segments that accentuate the importance of positive aging.

MTSU’s Lee also participates in a panel discussion on the topic in a second “Aging Matters” episode, “Positive Aging,” airing at 8:30 Central after “Second Acts,” along with Laura Grissom from Murfreesboro’s St. Clair Street Senior Center.

After he discovered the joys of pickleball, U.S. Army veteran and retired football coach Alonzo Murray of Murfreesboro plays regularly at Patterson Park Community Center. (screenshot courtesy of WNPT’s “Aging Matters”)

“I think most people have a stereotype of what older adults do in retirement: either it’s all terrible and your body and mind fall apart, or you have all this money and tour the world,” Lee said. “The reality is, most of us are in the middle.”

Finding something that gives you purpose is key to surviving — and thriving — in retirement, the .

“Dr. Lee encourages all of us to recognize that we are aging and that finding and maintaining activities that bring us purpose is especially important during our retirement years,” said “Aging Matters” producer Shawn Anfinson.

Figuring out the path of your second act takes intention and some “soul searching,” Lee said.

“You have to figure out those things that interest you,” Lee said. “The idea behind the ‘Second Act’ is you are evolving and still changing and still growing. That’s the beauty of the second act. We are reframing aging and moving away from focusing on all the bad.”

With a mission to focus on the upside of retirement and aging, Lee and Brandon Grubbs, an assistant professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance and coordinator for its Exercise Science Undergraduate Program, established the Positive Aging Consortium in 2019.

The group comprises representatives from across the university as well as community members whose expertise and research interests are in aging and older adults. The inaugural Positive Aging Conference was held in June 2022 and the next is April 5, 2024.

To learn more about the Positive Aging Consortium, visit See more “Aging Matters” episodes and learn about the show at

— Nancy DeGennaro, (