Multisector Plan for Aging

ASA Conference Wrap-Up

Last week, the American Society on Aging celebrated its 70th birthday at the On Aging conference in San Francisco. Throughout the week, attendees heard about the momentum happening on Multisector Plans for Aging across states, as well as updates on the strategic framework being created for a national plan on aging. Read on to learn what highlights and insights were shared during these sessions.

Closing Keynote: Building a National Movement for Aging with Health, Dignity and Connection 

During the closing keynote on March 28th, West Health’s Chief Medical Officer, Zia Agha, opened the session by sharing the importance of MPAs in ensuring that all older adults, no matter their zip code, have access to the services and supports they need. Kim McCoy Wade, Senior Advisor for Aging, Disability, and Alzheimer’s, Office of Governor Gavin Newsom, was the keynote speaker. She described California’s history of advocacy and the need to put power behind the MPA momentum sweeping across the nation. Referencing campaigns such as #MeToo, #dreamers, and Black Lives Matter, McCoy Wade pointed to the need to change our language, define a call to action, and create “good trouble” in order to rally solidarity around the movement. Additionally, she noted that elections matter, and that having the right people in charge is key. Kim McCoy Wade was also presented with the 2024 ASA Award, recognizing an individual who has made outstanding contributions to aging-related research, administration or advocacy. To close out, Rani Snyder, Vice President, Program at The John A. Hartford Foundation interviewed Kari Benson, the new Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aging at the Administration for Community Living. Benson, who was described as being “full of both gravitas and levity”, updated attendees on the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Healthy Aging and Age-Friendly Communities’ development of a strategic framework for a national plan on aging. The session left audience members feeling empowered to take action in their own communities to spread the goals of state MPAs, as well as support the movement towards a national plan on aging. 

Hitting the Ground Running after an Executive Order: Developing a Multisector Plan for Aging 

During this session, Amy Herr, Director of Health Policy at West Health, provided an overview of recent state and federal activity around MPAs. Attendees learned about the importance of having an Executive Order or legislation for their MPA, as well as how to build momentum once one has been secured. Jennifer Crawley, Deputy Secretary of the Maryland Department of Aging, shared insights into Maryland’s journey from realizing the need for an MPA, to acquiring an Executive Order, to now moving into the development phase for the plan. Similarly, Rebecca Freeman, Consumer Advocacy Program Manager at the North Carolina Division of Aging, took audience members through North Carolina’s MPA development process, including what happened before and after getting an Executive Order. Both speakers also detailed the tailwinds and headwinds that accompany the implementation of an MPA. Torshira Moffett, Senior Program Officer at the Center for Health Care Strategies moderated the panel.

Better Together: Area Agencies on Aging as Key Partners in the Multisector Plan for Aging Development Process 

At this session, attendees learned about the importance of including Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) in the MPA development process. Along with receiving a general overview of the MPA process, audience members learned how MPA development can look at different levels, including both local and state. Divya Venkataganesan, Lead Planner/Evaluator at the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services, discussed how North Carolina’s MPA is both distinct and built upon other aging initiatives within the state, and how collaboration with AAAs helped advanced the MPA development process. Dayna Wilde, Division Manager, Adult Services, and Director of the Kings Tulare AAA, provided insights into the development of a local MPA in California, and how the involvement of AAAs helped support this process. Finally, Mary Hayden, Executive Director at the Vermont Associations of Area Agencies on Aging, described how the development and implementation process for Vermont’s MPA has carried out. 

Engaging Stakeholders to Develop a Strategic Framework for a National Plan on Aging 

During this session, the Administration for Community Living’s Kari Benson (Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aging), Kelly Cronin (Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Partnership) and Jennifer Baker (Advisor to Principal Deputy Administrator Alison Barkoff) spoke about the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Healthy Aging and Age-Friendly Communities and shared updates on its work to develop a strategic framework for a national plan on aging. In addition, members of the Community Engagement Collaborative (West Health, the SCAN Foundation, and The John A. Hartford Foundation) provided insights into how the unique private-public partnership is accelerating work being done across the nation to improve the lives of older adults. Attendees received a preview of the framework and had the opportunity to share initial reactions. The session was filled with meaningful stakeholder engagement, which will help inform efforts and strengthen the approach to a national plan on aging. 

A New National MPA Survey is In the Field: Results to Come Late Spring 

The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) is conducting a survey to collect updated information on MPA activity across all 50 states in order to update the “MPA Activity Across States” map and inform future MPA efforts. They want to hear from all states regardless of whether or not the state is currently engaging in an MPA. If you have received this survey, please make sure to complete it or send it along to someone who can accurately complete it on behalf of your state. If you would like to request a link to the survey or have any questions, contact Matthew Phan ( or Emma Rauscher ( Results will be released late this Spring.


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