New York State Department of Health and Office for the Aging Hold Listening Session In Rochester to Outline the Master Plan for Aging and Welcome Public Input

ALBANY, N.Y. (August 10, 2023) – The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) continued their series of community engagement sessions on the State's Master Plan for Aging (MPA), with a listening session today in Rochester.

Governor Kathy Hochul created the MPA through Executive Order No. 23 in November 2022, establishing a process and blueprint for meeting the health and wellness needs of individuals with disabilities and all generations of New Yorkers as they age. Today's event, as part of the MPA public engagement process, took place at Pieters Family Life Center in Rochester, providing information on the MPA while offering an opportunity for the public to add their comments and suggestions.

"As we strive to ensure access to programs and services that will allow New Yorkers to thrive in their communities as they age, input from the public and community stakeholders is crucial to the Master Plan for Aging process," State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. "The MPA is Governor Hochul's visionary blueprint that will help us identify challenges and collaborate on solutions that address issues all New Yorkers encounter within their lifetimes."

Master Plan for Aging Chairman and Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Health's Office of Aging and Long-term Care Adam Herbst, Esq., said, "Through the invaluable insights received from this listening session, we aim to gather transformative recommendations that will resonate with the diverse spectrum of communities we serve throughout New York. Our unwavering commitment to transparency and accessibility for older adults from all walks of life remains paramount. As we navigate the intricate landscape of needs, challenges, and potential solutions illuminated by these events, we collectively endeavor to forge a harmonious consensus. This collective effort will pave the way for a visionary roadmap, a testament to Governor Hochul's foresight, designed to empower forthcoming generations of New Yorkers."

Master Plan for Aging Vice Chairman and Director of the New York State Office for the Aging Greg Olsen said, "Our listening sessions offer an opportunity to hear directly from individuals in the greater Rochester community about their priorities for the state's Master Plan for Aging. Public feedback will directly inform near and long-term strategies to support healthy aging in Rochester and across the state, bolstering our collective work to advance the best interests of all New Yorkers as they age."

A Master Plan for Aging Council of state agencies and a Stakeholder Advisory Committee of experts in the field of aging are working together to advance proposals and recommendations for consideration in the MPA. These deliberations will be informed by community input in the development of a draft final MPA advisory report, due in early 2024.

New York is the first state to officially receive AARP's age-friendly designation. The MPA will build on that recognition by coordinating existing and new state policies and programs for older adults and their families and those living with disabilities, while also addressing challenges related to communication, coordination, caregiving, long-term care financing, and innovative care models. Ultimately, the MPA will provide guidance for building healthy, livable communities that offer opportunities for older adults, with sustained attention on ensuring equity in aging and disability.

Future public input events are being planned in other regions of the state throughout the coming months.

To learn more about the Master Plan for Aging, visit the MPA website here.