Archive September 2023

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Replicable Cross Sector Housing Partnership Models for Your Agency

Looking to form a new housing partnership or enhance an existing one? Use these two-page partnership snapshots from the Housing and Services Resource Center (HSRC; administered by USAging) to learn about various aging, disability and housing collaborations.
Access each of them under the HSRC-Featured Cross-Sector Partnerships section at:

CMS Finalizes Rule to Streamline Medicare Savings Program Enrollment

On September 18, CMS issued a final rule to simplify enrollment in Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs), which cover Medicare premiums for eligible older adults and people with disabilities. CMS estimates the changes will make coverage more affordable for approximately 860,000 people. 

According to MACPAC, only around half of people currently eligible for MSPs are enrolled due to the unwieldy and difficult application process. To make it easier for eligible people to receive MSP benefits, MSPs will now automatically enroll many eligible SSI recipients into MSP coverage that covers cost sharing and Medicare premiums. Furthermore, states will now be required to use data from the Medicare Part D Low Income Subsidy to encourage eligible people to also enroll in MSPs. The rule is set to go into effect on November 17, 2023.  

Great Actions to Take During World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

Become a Dementia Friend or start a Dementia Friendly Community Initiative! Find out how you can use World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month to leverage support for making your agency and community more dementia-friendly. 
Dementia Friendly America (DFA) is the U.S. licensee of the international Dementia Friends program developed by the Alzheimer’s Society in the United Kingdom. Dementia Friends is a global movement working to change the way people think, act and talk about dementia. In honor of World Alzheimer’s Month, help us spread the word to help communities understand what dementia is and how it affects people. There are more than 140,000 Dementia Friends across the country. Becoming a Dementia Friend is quick and easy. In fact, you can do so at!
DFA is a national network of communities, organizations and individuals seeking to ensure that communities across the U.S. are equipped to support people living with dementia and their caregivers. If your village, town, city or county is interested in joining DFA, complete the community application and feel free to contact the DFA team for any questions or additional information. Dementia Friendly America and Dementia Friends are both administered by USAging.

#USAgingHere4You: Connor Kelly

Connor Kelly joined USAging in February 2021 and serves as Membership and Outreach Associate. In his role, Connor assists with a wide range of activities to support USAging's members, including membership outreach, database management, educational trainings and events, and special projects, such as USAging's Aging Innovations & Achievement Awards.
“Before joining USAging, I held management roles in various customer service industry jobs. I ended up in the Aging Network because of USAging! I found USAging (at the time, n4a) through a job posting while I was looking to transition fields. I didn’t know much about AAAs or the Aging Network in general at the time, and I fell down a rabbit hole learning about it while investigating the job, coming out of the other end with a lot of interest. Luckily, I ended up getting the job!”
If agencies have general questions about USAging or questions about their membership, such as when it expires, what it includes or how to renew, Connor is the best person to go to! “Our members are engaged in so much at any given time, and I hope that USAging and my place in it can help make the important work our members do easier for them.”
Connor’s favorite films include Rocky and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and his favorite books are Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. If you listen to podcasts, he recommends If Books Could Kill and Sawbones.
To learn more about the benefits of USAging membership, visit USAging’s website or consider contacting Connor and the Membership team. 
USAging’s Membership Team

#USAgingHere4You: Rebecca Levine

Rebecca Levine joined USAging in 2014 and serves as Senior Manager, Membership, and Senior Program Manager, engAGED: The National Resource Center for Engaging Older Adults. In her role as Senior Manager, Membership, Rebecca manages member relations, which includes overseeing the Aging Innovations & Achievement Awards program; facilitating peer learning and connection between USAging members; and supporting member training, engagement and external affairs activities. As Senior Program Manager, engAGED: The National Resource Center for Engaging Older Adults, Rebecca helps identify and disseminate resources and best practices to help the Aging Network increase the social engagement of older adults.
Prior to joining USAging, Rebecca attended graduate school for social work and completed an internship at USAging (then n4a) focused on volunteer engagement.
“At the conclusion of my internship, I learned that USAging was hiring a Membership and Outreach Associate. When I read the job description it felt like the perfect fit for me given the mission of USAging and the chance to be connected to the local level through the work of our members. I applied and have been with USAging ever since.”
Rebecca’s favorite part about working at USAging is the people. For her, it is a privilege to build relationships with staff and members who are kind, passionate, genuine and hard-working. In her nine years, she’s learned the importance of teamwork, collaboration and relationships. As USAging has grown over time, she has seen the organization maintain a supportive and an all-hands on deck culture where everyone is happy to pitch in and help one another. Rebecca notes that this attitude is also reflected in our members.
“Through my work on both the Membership and engAGED teams, I hope to make an impact on our members and the Aging Network by connecting them to best and emerging practices. Collaboration and shared learning are some of the many benefits of having a national association, and there are so many innovative examples throughout our network that can serve as inspiration for others.”
Rebecca wants members to always feel like they can come to her with any questions they may have. Whether they want to connect to a peer, learn more about what others are doing around a specific topic or just want to know who they should reach out to within USAging, she’s always happy to help.
Outside of USAging, Rebecca loves to read; she read over 100 books last year! She loves any book by Katherine Center. She also enjoys the Normal Gossip podcast and loves to watch When Harry Met Sally.
Have questions about USAging membership, visit USAging’s website or consider contacting Rebecca and the Membership team. 
To learn more about emerging trends and to find resources and replication strategies that the Aging Network can use and tailor in their communities, visit
USAging’s Membership Team  
engAGED: The National Resource Center for Engaging Older Adults

HHS Proposes to Strengthen Protections Against Discrimination Based on Disability

Yesterday, the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced a proposed rule that would update regulations implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities by recipients of federal funding.
The Rehab Act was the first civil rights legislation protecting people with disabilities from discrimination—and Section 504 covers all programs and activities funded by HHS, including hospitals and doctors that accept Medicare or Medicaid. the Rehab Act protects people with disabilities of all ages—which includes older adults who need assistance with activities of daily living. Highlights of new areas that would be covered by the proposed rule include discrimination in medical treatment, community integration and value assessment methods.
OCR and ACL will jointly host a webinar for stakeholders on the proposed rule on September 11 at 1:00 PM ET (register here). For 60 days starting on September 14, HHS will be seeking public comment on the proposed rule. USAging will be reviewing the proposed rule and we welcome feedback from members regarding the impact on older adults, people of all ages with disabilities, as well as AAAs and Title VI programs. Send your thoughts to



USAging Fact: Learn about your peers’ work—and how it can fit into your agency’s goals! The AIA Awards recognizes successful and innovative programs that USAging members have developed to serve older adults. Get inspiration from our 2023 winners!