New York State Department Of Health and Office For The Aging Hold Town Hall In New York City To Outline the Master Plan For Aging and Receive Public Input

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 22, 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 the New York City borough of Manhattan.

The MPA is a roadmap which builds 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 the Church of the Epiphany in Manhattan, provided information about the MPA while offering an opportunity for the public to share their thoughts and ideas.

"Public suggestions and feedback are pivotal to creating a Master Plan for Aging that recognizes and addresses the most important concerns of New Yorkers of all ages," State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. "The ideas shared at these events will help us create and adapt programs and supports that will allow all New Yorkers to remain in the communities of their choice, by being responsive to their needs now and in the future, as outlined by Governor Kathy Hochul in her mandate to create the MPA."

Master Plan for Aging Vice Chair and Office for the Aging Director Greg Olsen said, "New York State implemented the Master Plan for Aging to ensure older adults lead healthy, fulfilling, and independent lives for as long as possible. New Yorkers' engagement in the process is important because their feedback will help shape equitable policies and services that will 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."

Director of the Center for the Master Plan for Aging Andrew Lebwohl said, "To ensure the Master Plan for Aging is a tangible, accessible plan that will provide for the changing needs of older adults, caregivers, and individuals with disabilities, public participation in the process is vital. Comments from participants at today's Town Hall hosted by the Archdiocese of New York will guide our efforts to create a blueprint that addresses the myriad challenges all New Yorkers face as they age."

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.

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.

Input from 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 is helping advance proposals and recommendations for consideration in the MPA. These deliberations will be informed by community input in the development of a final MPA report, due in 2025.

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