On Friday, October 21st, the Office of Public Engagement in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services welcomed over 100 members of Leadership Council of Aging Organizations. The group participated in the eighteenth session of the Community leaders briefing series, a weekly series started by the Office of Public Engagement in June 2011. The briefing series is a unique opportunity for grassroots leaders to start a two way dialogue with the White House about issues that are affecting their communities and to ensure that they are well-informed about government policies and programs and how they can use or maximize these resources.
Kathy Greenlee, Assistant Secretary for Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, opened the morning briefing by thanking the participants for their hard work and advocacy. Greenlee fielded questions and made clear that she will continue to serve as a staunch ally for the senior citizen community and as an advocate for the issues that affect their daily lives.
Liz Fowler, Special Assistant to the President for Healthcare and Economic Policy, provided an economic overview to help participants better understand the complicated challenges of this economy. She shared information about the steps this administration has taken to jumpstart a faster economic recovery. Carolyn Colvin from the Social Security Administration was able to answer the questions on everyone’s mind regarding the future outlook on social security.
Members of the administration facilitated breakout sessions on three key issue areas: Integration between Aging, Public Health, and Prevention; Partnership for Patients with a focus on Care Transitions, and Addressing the Social Determinants of Health and Aging.
After a full day of discussion, a few participants offered us their perspective on the day:
“This day proved very valuable because it provided the opportunity to hear from as well as speak directly to top administration officials. The day provided me with a better idea of the positive direction the leadership is taking this country and I gained insight on specific issues such as Medicare and social security. I understand the discussion doesn’t stop here and that this day of briefings is part of the larger journey to collaborate and understand the issues our communities and organizations face daily.”
- Lynn J. from Delaware
“I came away with a more complete picture of the accomplishments this President has overseen and the challenges this country continues to face. I am excited to share what I learned with my organization and my community and appreciate the administration taking time to hear my perspective.”
- Win M. from California
Many thanks to the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations for convening this great group of advocates and to all of the participants for a productive day of discussions. We look forward to continuing the conversation.
Lauren Kelly is an Associate Director in the Office of Public Engagement.