Last Friday I had the pleasure to meet with policy and grassroots leaders representing the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO) at the Community Leaders Briefing Series hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement. Carolyn Colvin, Deputy Commissioner of Social Security and Dr. Jonathan Blum, Deputy Administrator and Director at the Center for Medicare joined me as we discussed President Obama’s continued commitment to seniors and their loved ones.
The Office of Public Engagement regularly hosts community leaders at the White House providing them with a unique opportunity to hear directly from senior Administration officials on the issues and policy initiatives that affect their communities. Just as important is the invaluable opportunity I had to hear directly from those who work every day with older adults, helping me to be a better, more informed advocate.
And, as advocates for older adults, we share many of the same priorities: to integrate the clinical and the non-clinical services at the local level so we’re better able to partner with older Americans and their caregivers around their health; address, in a seamless manner, the social determinants of health and aging so that we are person centered rather than system centered and; find better ways to integrate aging, public health, and prevention. This was a tremendous opportunity to meet with individuals who are “where the rubber meets the road” and to discuss ways we can better work together on behalf of our nation’s seniors.
Thank you for including my staff at the Administration on Aging and myself in this opportunity to participate in the Community Leaders Briefing Series. My staff and I left the meeting with several ‘to do’s’ and feel confident we have strengthened the Administration’s relationship with the LCAO.
Kathy Greenlee is the Assistant Secretary for Aging at the Department of Health and Human Services.