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Archive November 2023

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ACTION ITEMS: Urge Congress to Fund MIPPA and OAA!

Attention USAging members! We need all AAAs, Title VI Native American programs and local allies to reach out to your congressional delegations this month to ensure that key programs are properly funded early in 2024, specifically OAA and continuation of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) program. MIPPA allows AAAs, SHIPs and ADRCs to conduct targeted outreach to beneficiaries who are most in need of Medicare’s cost-saving programs. The program was left out of the recently passed continuing resolution (CR), leaving it unauthorized and unfunded. Our Advocacy Alert outlines the implications of this oversight and how you can engage with your members of Congress on this critical issue.  
 
The most recent CR extended funding into early 2024, giving us time to engage with Congress on increased funding for OAA programs and services, as well. So, this holiday season, we must act now to ensure there are no OAA funding cuts in the next spending package. Use USAging’s customizable template and advocacy tools to contact your members of Congress today!  
 
If you have any questions, please email policy@usaging.org.

#USAgingHere4You: Sara Maloney

Sara Maloney joined USAging in May 2022 as Program Manager, Commit to Connect and currently serves as Director of the Aging and Disability Vaccination Collaborative (ADVC). In her role, Sara manages the work of the ADVC, a national effort funded by the U.S. Administration for Community Living that focuses on flu and COVID-19 vaccine uptake among older adults and people with disabilities. 
 
“I have over 14 years of experience in the Aging Network and have always been a dedicated advocate for older adults. Growing up with multiple grandparents, great-grandparents and other older adult family members, I was drawn to a career in gerontology. This was solidified after a summer of serving meals in a Continuing Care Retirement Community dining room. Developing relationships with older adults and learning their stories is what I enjoyed during my early years of direct-service work.” 
 
Prior to joining USAging, Sara managed programs and services at Centralina Area Agency on Aging (AAA) in Charlotte, NC, including the Family Caregiver Support Program and Dementia Friends/Dementia Friendly Initiatives. She was drawn to the work that AAAs do during her Aging Programs and Services class in graduate school. While completing her Master’s in Gerontology, she worked in many areas of direct service, including long-term care, adult day care and care management. 
 
“USAging has provided a broader platform for me to continue working closely with AAAs and leading national programs. I have enjoyed learning more about the wide variety of creative services and programs offered by AAAs across the country.” 
 
As Director of the ADVC, Sara hopes to increase vaccine equity among older adults and people with disabilities while providing support to those organizations doing the work in communities. Hearing the stories of ingenuity and resiliency following the pandemic has fueled her motivation to help vaccination efforts become a new line of service of AAAs and CILs.  
 
Sara resides in North Carolina with her husband and two daughters, ages six and eight, where she enjoys traveling to the beach or the mountains on long weekends. She also enjoys reading, rewatching movie classics and fried green tomatoes. 
 
To learn more about the ADVC visit USAging's website, email advc@usaging.org or consider contacting Sara and her team. 
 
USAging’s Aging and Disability Vaccination Collaborative Team

Congress Funds Government Until Early Next Year

On Wednesday, Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government at last year’s levels until early 2024, yet again averting a shutdown. The CR sets up two deadlines with funding for some agencies expiring on January 19 and the rest, including ACL’s programs, on February 2. However, the CR did not include an important source of funding for AAAs: the reauthorization and funding of MIPPA low-income outreach activities fell out of the bill at the last minute. To ensure you can continue your important outreach work in 2024, we need all hands on deck to push Congress to include an update in the next funding bill. We will send out an Advocacy Alert next week with more details on this situation and steps on how you can make your voice heard! 

New State TA Opportunity—Housing and Services Partnership Accelerator

State agencies and organizations—in partnership with aging, disability, health and housing/homelessness entities—have an opportunity to apply to participate in the year-long 2024 Housing and Services Partnership Accelerator. This technical assistance (TA) opportunity will serve up to four eligible states. AAAs can encourage state Medicaid, aging, disability, health and housing agencies to submit an application that includes them as partners.

The accelerator aims to help states and their partners to set up or strengthen use of Medicaid resources to increase housing stability and improve health outcomes for people with disabilities and older adults experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. Applications are due December 1, 2023.

USAging is a major technical assistance provider in the accelerator, which is an activity of the federal Housing and Services Resource Center

#USAgingHere4You: Deborah Stone-Walls

Deborah Stone-Walls joined USAging in September 2021 in the role of Chief, Programs and Services. In this capacity, she oversees the association’s portfolio of programs that help its Area Agency on Aging and Title VI Native American Aging Program members support older adults and people with disabilities as they live independently in the communities of their choosing. These programs span services such as transportation, information and referral, housing resources, research, social engagement, caregiving and vaccinations.
 
Prior to joining USAging, Deborah served for 13 years as the Executive on Aging for the County of Maui in Hawaii. During this time, she also served for eight years on the USAging Board of Directors, including three years as the President of the Board. Before this she was a Geriatric Mental Health Specialist. Prior to moving into the aging field, she worked as a therapist focused on families, youth and children for more than twenty years.
 
“The University of Hawaii received a grant to pilot a Geriatric Mental Health Initiative on Maui. They patiently recruited me to leave my beloved position working with youth—it took them two years to convince me to give older adult services a try. Although I was slow to accept the offer, once I was engaged with older adults there was simply no looking back! I was hooked!”
 
Deborah’s favorite part about working at USAging is the people. She also loves that the mission and vision of USAging so closely align with her personal values. And she appreciates that there is NEVER a boring day at USAging!
 
“I hope to inspire and energize others to continue to do the ongoing and important work of creating an age-friendly world in which older adults feel dignified and supported to make the choices that feel right for them.”
 
In her free time Deborah enjoys reading historical fiction books, listening to true crime podcasts and any film that makes her laugh (or have a “good" cry!). Currently, she is bouncing between reading novels about Ireland and World War II.
 
Visit www.usaging.org/initiatives for an overview of the many grant programs Deborah and her team support across a spectrum of vital issues of interest to our members and the older adults, people with disabilities and the caregivers they serve.

Advocates Needed: Urge Congress to Uphold OAA Funding for FY 2024

Attention USAging members! We need all AAAs, Title VI Native American programs and local allies to raise their voices in support of Older Americans Act funding in FY 2024 spending bills. The House Labor/HHS appropriations bill is scheduled for a vote the week of November 13, so now is the time to make your voices heard to push Congress to protect OAA funding. 
 
The Senate passed its funding bill out of the committee earlier this fall, but both chambers will need to come together to reconcile after the initial round of spending proposals. USAging sent another appropriations request letter to Congress this week reiterating our funding asks and urging appropriators not to cut funding. However, we need you to engage your members of Congress now!  
 
Use USAging’s customizable template and advocacy tools to contact your members of Congress and ask them to support OAA programs and services. Please ensure your asks reflect your agency/program and outline what this funding means for the older adults and caregivers in your community, tribe or state. 
 
If you have any questions, please email policy@usaging.org.  

Contributors

Contributors

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!