REPORT ON THE MICHIGAN COMMISSION ON SERVICES TO THE AGING MEETING
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services/Aging and Adult Services Agency
300 E. Michigan Avenue, 3rd Floor Large Conference Room
Lansing, MI 48933
January 15, 2016 @9:00 AM
Dona Wishart, Commission Chair Report
Pending merger between Time-Warner and Charter Communication may bring low-cost broadband access to seniors.
Kari Sederburg, Aging & Adult Services Agency (AASA) Executive Director Report
Flint Water Update
On Jan. 5 Gov. Rick Snyder declared a state of emergency for Genesee County due to the health and safety issues caused by lead in the city of Flint’s drinking water.
The declaration makes available all state resources to help the county deal with the issue and authorizes the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) to coordinate efforts.
AASA has been in communication with Region 5: Valley Area Agency on Aging (VAAA), which covers the affected area. Kudos to Kathy Boles and her team at VAAA for their work on this critically important issue. They have been delivering bottled water and installing water filters for older adults who need clean water. They have also been designated as a call center for older adults with questions.
Our office continues to work with VAAA and the MSP/EMHSA (mentioned above) to ensure older adults in Flint have clean, safe water. Steve Betterly in our office will be at the commission meeting and will give a more detailed update.
AASA Staff Updates
We are still in the process of hiring a deputy director. We had such a qualified pool of applicants, it is taking longer than expected. In the midst of this transition, Dawne Velianoff, the manager of our Elder Rights section, left for a position with the Veterans Health System. We are working on a transition plan related to her duties as well. In the meantime, if you have any questions related to what she was working on, you can direct them to me.
Also, we have learned that Diana Evans in our State Long-Term Care Ombudsman division has accepted a position with the Developmental Disabilities Council. Her last day with the office is this Friday. Sarah Slocum will be working on a transition plan. In the meantime, feel free to talk to her if you have any questions.
Fiscal Year 2017 State Budget
The governor will announce his FY 17 budget in the upcoming weeks. We do not have any indication will receive any reductions. On the flip side, we also do not have any indication we will have any increases either. We will keep you posted as the process unfolds.
Governor Snyder’s State of the State Address
The governor’s State of the State Address will be on Tuesday, January 19th at 7 p.m. As it gets closer we will send out information on where you can watch his address.
Radio Spot Warns Older Residents of Scams
Over the holidays the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services ran a radio spot in five major media markets to warn older residents to be on the lookout for scams.
The radio spot ran in the Detroit, Saginaw, Traverse City, Alpena, and Marquette/Sault Ste. Marie media markets from the middle of December and it will end this week. If you have any questions please direct them to Phil Lewis in our office, he’s been coordinating with the larger department.
Lean Process Improvement – BOLD Coordinating Council
As you may recall, AASA received a federal grant to work on developing a streamlined system of long-term supports and services (LTSS). Through this grant we have worked with all areas of state government that are involved in LTSS including Medicaid, Veterans Affairs Agency, Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, Michigan Rehabilitative Services, Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and others to create an inter-departmental coordinating council – the BOLD Coordinating Council.
Through the input from Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon, the council has begun focusing on three programs: MI Choice waiver, Home Help and Adult Protective Services. Three groups of subject matter experts convene weekly to discuss systemic improvements to these program areas.
Wendi Middleton, AASA’s lead on this initiative, can provide more information on this process if you are interested. Otherwise we will provide a more detailed report at a future meeting when we have more concrete deliverables.
Secretary of State Launches New Aging Driver Website
Last month Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and a coalition of stakeholders launched the Safe Drivers Smart Options: Keys to Lifelong Mobility website to provide residents with information about driving, mobility and aging. To view the website please click on the link below – and feel free to share with friends and colleagues.
Legislative Update (Phil Lewis)
Budget process in full swing; AASA will address the budget committee.
Health care for aging prisoners is of concern to our State. HB 5078 involves paroling medically frail prisoners.
AASA’s scam campaign played in 6 media markets.
Financial Update (Scott Walmsley)
There will probably be a flat State budget for senior issues in 2016.
a) Request for Approval of the Harbor Country Application for Community For a Lifetime (CFL) Recognition Presented by Dan Doezema, AASA Staff The review panel cited exceptional collaboration, a large number of seniors on municipal boards and committees, a large pool of talent that has migrated to the community, socio-economic diversity, and plentiful hiking and biking trails.
b) Request for Approval of Title VII-A Federal Ombudsman Funding
Presented by Sarah Slocum, AASA Staff
Title VII-A Federal Ombudsman funding in the amount of $140,000 is available for AAAs to use for local long term care ombudsman functions.
c) Request for Approval of Local Long Term Care Ombudsman Mentoring and Training Presented by Sarah Slocum, AASA Staff
Federal Title VII-A grant in the amount of $15,000 is available to bidders to mentor and train ombudsmen.
d) Request for Approval of Revisions to State Long Term Care Ombudsman (SLTCO) Policies and Procedures Presented by Sarah Slocum, AASA Staff
Federal Title VII-A in the amount of $10,000 is available to bidders to review and revise as necessary SLTCO policies and procedures to comply with new federal regulations.
Update Previously Approved Funding/Grants on Associated Ongoing Activities
Scott Walmsley: There are 4 eligible agencies prepared to take on RSVP.
Wendi Middleton: The LEAN process is progressing as it tries to better coordinate
the long term care system. [http://michiganlean.org/]
The next Commission on Services to the Aging meeting is tentatively scheduled for Friday, February 19, 2016, at 9:00 A.M. at the MDHHS, Aging and Adult Services Agency located at 300 E. Michigan Avenue, 3rd floor in Lansing.
These meetings are open to the public. Those needing accommodations to attend should contact Carol Dye at (517) 373-8268 at least five (5) business days prior to meeting date.
The next State Advisory Council on Aging meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, March 17, 2016, at the Ramada Hotel & Conference Center located at 7501 W. Saginaw Hwy., in Lansing.
Submitted by Commissioner Michael J. Sheehan
Michigan Commission on Services to the Aging and
Chairman, State Advisory Council on Aging
Michael J. Sheehan
WEBSITE — The Senior Corner: theseniorcorner.weebly.com