State Health Commissioner Conducts First Town Hall Session with Department’s New Office of Aging and Long-Term Care

Highlights the Department's Focus on Health Equity and the Needs of New Yorkers Who Require Long-Term Care Services

ALBANY, N.Y. (August 17, 2022) - As part of the New York State Department of Health's (NYSDOH) reorganization initiative, State Commissioner of Health Dr. Mary T. Bassett today conducted a virtual town hall meeting with the new Office of Aging and Long-Term Care (OALTC). Dr. Bassett was joined by Deputy Commissioner Adam S. Herbst, Esq., who is leading the new Office, which was announced in July along with other organizational changes designed to better promote and protect the health of all New Yorkers. Prior to being tapped by Dr. Bassett to lead the OALTC, Herbst served as a special advisor on aging and long-term care issues at the Department.

"Today's meeting was a first step in reviewing the mission, organizational structure and how staff can play a vital role in shaping the new Office of Aging and Long-Term Care," State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said. "The new Office of Aging and Long-Term Care will better position the Department to build a healthier, more equitable health care system in New York State."

"Older and disabled New Yorkers deserve high-quality care and services that allow them to remain as independent, safe and healthy as possible," Deputy Commissioner Adam S. Herbst, Esq., said. "Under Dr. Bassett's leadership, this cross-functional collaboration and the creation of the Office of Aging and Long-Term Care will allow the Department of Health to better meet the unique needs of disabled New Yorkers and those seniors who rely on long-term care services to remain in their communities."

The OALTC will develop policies and programs to meet the needs of older New Yorkers and people with disabilities who require long-term care services and support. To achieve this goal, the OALTC will work closely with the Office of Health Insurance Programs, the Office of Primary Care and Health Systems Management, and the NYS Office for the Aging to coordinate Department activities related to aging New Yorkers.

The OALTC will be responsible for long-term care functions related to licensure, facility surveys, data collection, and policies and analysis. In addition, it will help develop and execute the State Master Plan on Aging to improve the recruitment, retention, and training of long-term care workers, and improve the quality of long-term care. Participants were able to ask questions and provide input during the Town Hall session held today.

Read about the Department's reorganization here. The Department will continue to provide updates throughout the process.