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

ALBANY, N.Y. (August 24, 2023) – The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) today continued their ongoing series of community engagement sessions on the State's Master Plan for Aging (MPA), with a listening session in Syracuse.

The MPA was created by Governor Kathy Hochul through Executive Order No. 23 in November 2022 to establish a process and roadmap for meeting the health and wellness needs of all generations of New Yorkers as they age. Today's event, part of the MPA public engagement process, took place at Vineyard Church in Syracuse. The listening session provided a summary of the MPA and gathered public comments and suggestions about the groundbreaking project.

"Public contributions are vital to the process of creating the Master Plan for Aging, which strives to ensure access to programs and services that will allow all New Yorkers to thrive in their communities as they age," State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. "Governor Hochul's visionary blueprint will help us identify challenges and collaborate on solutions to address issues aging New Yorkers and individuals with disabilities encounter within their lifetimes."

Master Plan for Aging Chair and Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Health's Office of Aging and Long-term Care Adam Herbst, Esq., said, "The contributions made by the public during this Syracuse listening session provide invaluable assistance as we craft the Master Plan for Aging. We are committed to ensuring the MPA process is accessible and transparent as we gather recommendations to transform the programs and services offered to aging New Yorkers and individuals with disabilities to ensure the needs, challenges, and potential solutions illuminated by these events are identified and addressed."

Master Plan for Aging Vice Chair and Director of the New York State Office for the Aging Greg Olsen said, "The development of a Master Plan for Aging, under the visionary leadership of Governor Kathy Hochul, includes many voices and perspectives though direct public engagement. We thank the people of Syracuse and Central New York for helping to further shape priorities and recommended solutions in our collaborative work with all communities to help older adults and all generations to age successfully."

The MPA process is intended to forge a strategy to ensure New York leads the nation with age- and disability-friendly policies and programs through cross-cutting approaches involving philanthropic, private, academic, and local partnerships that will ensure equity in aging and disability. Public input, coupled with collaboration among a Master Plan for Aging Council of state agencies, a Stakeholder Advisory Committee of experts in the field of aging, and an Association Resource Committee, will build the proposals and recommendations for consideration in the final MPA advisory report, which is due in early 2025.

New York is the first state to officially receive AARP's age-friendly designation. The MPA will build on that acknowledgement by integrating current 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.