Ohio among six states to participate in Aging Policy Academy

Press Staff Writer

        The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) has chosen Ohio as one of just six states across the country to participate in the organization’s 2023 Aging Policy Academy.
        The Ohio Department of Aging (ODA), Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM), and Ohio Department of Health (ODH) submitted a joint application to take part in the program, which will allow Ohio to team up with a select group of lawmakers from across the nation to develop and strengthen policies to support older adults everywhere.
        Policies developed from the Academy will be shared with other states across the nation.
        “We are honored that Ohio has been chosen as one of a select few states to participate in NASHP’s 2023 Aging Policy Academy,” said ODA Director Ursel J. McElroy. “The Academy will provide us with a valuable opportunity to work alongside some of the brightest minds in the nation to develop policies and best practices that will ultimately improve the quality of life for older Ohioans and provide much-needed support for those who assist in caring for them.”
        McElroy will lead Ohio’s team, which also includes ODM Director Maureen Corcoran, ODH Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, and ODA/ODH Medical Director Dr. John Weigand.
        Ohio’s team will focus its work on nursing home reform during the course of the 2023 program year, one of several priority tracks offered through the Academy.
        “The Academy’s focus on quality improvement resonates with Ohio’s commitment to nursing home quality as expressed by Gov. Mike DeWine in his State of the State Address. We look forward to collaborating with other selected states in developing strategies to support older adults across our state,” Dr. Vanderhoff said.
        “There is much work to do to improve experiences for all Ohioans being served by nursing facilities and Medicaid is excited to embark on this challenging but very needed endeavor,” Corcoran said. “With the departments of Aging, Health, and Medicaid partnering with the national leadership of NASHP, we have tremendous opportunity to improve Ohio’s current system of nursing home care.”
        By the end of the Academy, Ohio will have a plan in place with specific activities and goals designed to help improve the quality of care and quality of life offered in nursing homes across the state. The state will also receive technical assistance from expert consultants to make progress on these goals.
        In addition to Ohio’s participation in the Academy, DeWine recently established the Nursing Home Quality and Accountability Task Force – a group of leading experts in the fields of aging, healthcare, and other disciplines – to study opportunities to improve Ohio’s nursing homes.
        “We are all-in on making our nursing homes better,” McElroy said. “Through our combined efforts with the Academy and the Task Force, we will be engaging state and national experts, as well as residents and caregivers with lived experiences, to find solutions that will make a meaningful difference and improve lives.”
        Other states chosen for NASHP’s 2023 Aging Policy Academy include Arizona, Indiana, Louisiana, Montana, and New Jersey. Participating states will focus on certain priority tracks, including nursing home system reform, home- and community-based services, and the direct care workforce.
        About ODA – The Ohio Department of Aging serves and advocates for the needs of Ohioans age 60 and older, as well as their families, caregivers and communities. Programs include home and community based long-term supports and services, as well as initiatives to promote health and wellness throughout the lifespan. Visit www.aging.ohio.gov.


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