RD37 - Report of the Virginia Aging Services Work Group – December 1, 2021
The General Assembly directed the Secretary of Health and Human Resources (HHR) to convene a workgroup to review and develop an optimal organizational structure for aging services within state government. Pursuant to the language in Item 291 (F) of the 2021 Acts of Assembly, the intent of the General Assembly is to ensure "that aging services be elevated in importance within state government." The workgroup was directed to "include consideration of reestablishing a separate agency on aging under the Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Resources" as well as the appropriate placement for aging services, adult services, adult protective services, and auxiliary grant. Guided by the budget language, workgroup members were the Commissioner of the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (OARS), representatives from Virginia's Area Agencies on Aging (AAA), and staff from the House Appropriations Committee, Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee, Division of Legislative of Services, and Department of Planning and Budget (DPB). The complete budget language and workgroup membership are listed in the Appendix (Exhibit A).
The Secretary of HHR, with the concurrence of other workgroup members, conducted a stakeholder engagement process focused on elevating aging. The process was overseen by HHR and facilitated by ADvancing States, an association representing the nation's 56 state and territorial agencies on aging, disabilities, and long term services and supports (LTSS) directors. The Executive Director of ADvancing States, Martha Roherty, also co-facilitated the workgroup with HHR by providing national trends, a panel of aging directors in other states, and her observations from a national perspective.