HHS Awards Additional $9 Million to Help States Develop Aging and Disability Resource

  1. hhs awards additional $9 million to help states develop aging and disability resource centers

    hhs secretary tommy g. thompson today announced 12 grants totaling nearly $9 million to support state efforts to create "one stop" centers to help consumers learn about and access long-term supports ranging from in-home services to nursing facility care.

    these new grants represent the second round of funding of aging and disability resource center programs. a total of 24 states have now received hhs grants to develop streamlined access to long-term support services under this program.

    "these resource centers serve as visible and trusted places people can turn for information on a full range of long-term support options, as well as assistance in accessing those options," secretary thompson said. "these grants offer 12 more states and territories this opportunity to assist consumers in making appropriate choices based on medical need for themselves and their families."

    the grants announced today are being awarded to state or territorial agencies in alaska, arkansas, california, florida, georgia, illinois, indiana, iowa, new mexico, north carolina, northern mariana islands and wisconsin. in september 2003, hhs awards similar grants to louisiana, maine, maryland, massachusetts, minnesota, montana, new hampshire, new jersey, pennsylvania, rhode island, south carolina and west virginia.

    the aging and disability resource center grant program is part of the president's new freedom initiative, which works to overcome barriers to community living for people with disabilities of all ages. the program is a joint effort involving hhs' administration on aging (aoa) and centers for medicare & medicaid services (cms), and provides states with an opportunity to effectively integrate their long-term support resources for consumers into a single coordinated system.

    "aoa is very excited to partner with cms on this important effort, designed to promote greater balance in long-term care between home and community-based services and institutional care," assistant secretary for aging josefina carbonell said. "a single, coordinated system of access for persons with disabilities, including seniors, seeking long-term support will minimize confusion, enhance individual choice and support informed decision making."

    "these centers will offer assistance to families often desperate to find appropriate and affordable support for a loved one," cms administrator mark b. mcclellan, m.d., ph.d., said. "the grants will assist states in their efforts to streamline access to multiple public and private programs and ensure that families can find the assistance they need through a single point of entry into the long-term support system."

    more information on the aging and disability resource centers grant program, including descriptions of grantee projects, is available at http://www.aoa.gov and at www.cms.hhs.gov/newfreedom/.

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