New York State Department of Health and Office for the Aging Hold Town Hall On Long Island to Outline the Master Plan for Aging and Receive Public Input

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 27, 2024) – The New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) continued their series of statewide meetings on the State's Master Plan for Aging (MPA), with a Town Hall event today in Hauppauge on Long Island.

The MPA is a blueprint that will build on decades of work and partnerships among state agencies, local governments, and stakeholders and is designed to meet the health and wellness needs of individuals with disabilities and all generations of New Yorkers as they age. Today's meeting, which took place at LGBT Network Hauppauge Center, provided information about the MPA and offered an opportunity for the public to share their thoughts and ideas.

"Contributions from the public are vital to the process of creating the Master Plan for Aging, a blueprint that will guide the creation and adaptation of 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 created a visionary blueprint that will help us identify challenges and work together on solutions to ensure every New Yorker can live a healthy, fulfilling life while aging with dignity and independence."

Master Plan for Aging Chair and Department of Health Deputy Commissioner Adam Herbst, Esq., of the Office of Aging and Long Term Care said, "We continue to be impressed by the commitment, passion and insight that older New Yorkers show us at the Master Plan for Aging Town Halls. Our event in Hauppauge brought the community together to help ensure that Long Islanders have their needs recognized in the Master Plan for Aging. Participating in our Town Halls makes you a partner in the mission of the Master Plan for Aging to revolutionize aging and long-term care. With the Master Plan for Aging, Governor Hochul has given us a tool to build coalitions and engage New Yorkers' creativity for addressing the needs of older adults and people with disabilities."

Master Plan for Aging Vice Chair and Office for the Aging Director Greg Olsen said, "Under Governor Hochul's guidance, the Master Plan for Aging was initiated to help older adults and their families lead healthy, fulfilling, and independent lives for as long as possible. Public and stakeholder engagement are vital to this process, as we work to implement polices and services that improve quality of life and quality of care across the age spectrum. We encourage everyone to participate in this process by attending our public engagement sessions and providing input."

The MPA was established by Governor Kathy under Executive Order 23 in November 2022 with the goals of improving the lives of today's older New Yorkers and people with disabilities, and building a better system of care and more inclusive communities for the future. The MPA is also focused on improving the recruitment, retention, and training of long-term care workers.

During the Town Hall, MPA Chair and the Department of Health's Office of Aging and Long Term Care Deputy Commissioner Adam Herbst led the discussion. Together, DOH and NYSOFA officials outlined the short and long-term goals of the MPA and sought comments and questions about MPA focus areas from those attending in-person and online.

The Department and NYSOFA also urged those attending the Town Hall and the public to complete the MPA survey and share their input on how the MPA can best serve their needs. The survey, which closes February 29, is available online in English and 16 additional languages here.

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

The MPA process involves 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 that are working together to advance proposals and recommendations for consideration in the final MPA report, which is expected in early 2025.

Information about upcoming and past MPA community engagement sessions, including archive recordings of previous town halls and printable resources, is available on the State's MPA website, where you can also learn more about the Master Plan for Aging.