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

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 9, 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 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 Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in Manhattan, provided information about the MPA while offering an opportunity for the public to share their thoughts and ideas.

"We are grateful for the public's interest in the Master Plan for Aging, as well as their invaluable input, as we craft a roadmap that recognizes and addresses the most important concerns of New Yorkers," State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. "Public comments ensure Governor Kathy Hochul's vision for this groundbreaking blueprint is carried out, by enabling us to create programs and supports that address the challenges and goals of all New Yorkers as they age, now and in the future."

Master Plan for Aging Chair and Department of Health Deputy Commissioner Adam Herbst, Esq., of the Office of Aging and Long Term Care said, "Today's event was a tremendous opportunity to hear from New Yorkers who are deeply invested in improving the lives of older adults and people with disabilities. These Town Hall events continue to be invaluable sources of ideas and priorities from the people we are here to serve. The people who joined us today had an impact on how we design aging and long-term care systems for the future. We are committed to a Master Plan for Aging that is representative of and responsive to people who need these services, supports and reforms. We look forward to ongoing work with the community to build a Master Plan for Aging that works for all older New Yorkers."

Master Plan for Aging Vice Chair and Office for the Aging Director Greg Olsen said, "As we begin 2024, New York State continues to make important progress on the development of a Master Plan for Aging that addresses needs and opportunities for older adults and their families. We thank B'nai Jeshurun for hosting today's forum which continues the conversation with New Yorkers across the state in helping to shape the Master Plan for Aging, its priorities, and objectives. I encourage all older adults, persons with disabilities and their families to take part in the process by providing input at an upcoming forum, on the MPA website, and through our statewide survey."

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 recently launched MPA survey and share their input on how the MPA can best serve their needs. The survey, which closes January 31, 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.