ACT for NJ - Central Region

Notes from Central Regional Advisory Council Meeting]
June 20, 2012
Somerset Office on Aging Conference Room

Discussion Items

• Welcome and introductions of attendees
It was readily decided that the best way of communication among the attendees is email. Action Step: Jim Bullard of the Middlesex County Advisory Council would be the chairperson of the Central Regional Advisory Group. Through him much of the communication will come forth, including the coordination of some advocacy efforts as well as future meeting opportunities. Thank you Jim for coming forth in this leadership role! Jim’s email address is bullard.james© .

• Reauthorization of Older Americans Act – Following the stellar example of the Somerset Office on Aging, the other counties present agreed to continue/support the ACT for NJ initiative of sending the flyer urging legislators to reauthorize the Older American’s Act. Successfully done in several counties, Somerset shared a copy of their flyer and it was agreed that we’d further this initiative on the goldenrod color paper. Action Step: It was agreed upon that the flyer will be emailed to all and the counties will coordinate the dissemination of the flyer. Clearly, educating legislators about the issues is an extraordinarily important task that Advisory Councils can undertake.

• Identifying Networking Groups in Central NJ and Statewide that can assist in getting the word out about Senior Issues - Although familiar with some advocacy groups already in existence, this group spent some time discussing how to share our message with others who are advocating on behalf of older adults both in Central NJ and Statewide. Action Step: Members will submit information about groups to edoremus© and she will assist in compiling what is sent. Those who agreed to share information are the following:
 NJ Senior Center Directors – Bonnie Liebowitz
 United Way Coalition – Cynthia Voorhees
 Coalition for Vulnerable Adults – Cynthia Voorhees/Mildred Potenza
 SAIL from Somerset Medical Center – Cynthia Voorhees
 NJ Partners in Aging, Mental Health and Substance Abuse – Cynthia Voorhees
 CARES – Mildred Potenza
 Each county reported that there are regularly scheduled Aging Network Provider meetings held and these are proven venues to communicate information.

• Middlesex and Mercer Counties announced that this Friday, June 22 there will be two specially planned meetings that Rush Holt will be hosting. Monroe Township and Mercer County Office on Aging are sites hosts for the Town Hall meeting and Focus group, respectively. Expected to come from Washington and joining Congressman Rush Holt will be: Daniel Adcock, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, National Physicians Alliance Members. This will be an opportunity to share information about the Older Americans Act Reauthorization.

• American Community Survey – will resend to all the talking points about the possibility of the survey’s dissolution. Need to decide if we are to take any action on this issue.

• Other pertinent issues needing Advisory Council attention:

o SNAP Program Outreach – better understanding of the program as a benefit to older adults; underutilized by older adults population
o Social Security Checks – Direct Deposit or EBT cards will be how older adults receive their Social Security checks come March of 2013. How do we get the word out?
o ListServ – can a listserv be established with the Regional Councils and

To be done:
• Send ACT for NJ form to all members
• Send links to American Community Survey and Policy Priorities 2012 to all members
• Consider listserv for members
• Schedule next meeting

Respectfully submitted:
Eileen E. Doremus