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News Release


Rosenfeld Appointed Board Chairman of the Elder Network of the Capital Region
Hartford Foundation Donates $328,000 to Fund Efforts to Integrate Elder Care Support Services

Contact: Karl Luntta (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 12, 2003) -- Harry Rosenfeld, editor-at-large of the Times Union, has been appointed the chairman of the board of the Elder Network of the Capital Region. The Elder Network, a consortium of health care and service providers to the elderly, seeks to improve the scope and delivery of necessary help to those who need it. As part of the Center for Excellence in Aging Services at the University at Albany, the Elder Network has received a $328,189 grant from the John A. Hartford Foundation. The Hartford grant underwrites the Elder Network's new approach for communities to support their aging citizens by improving the integration of medical and support services and by offering new opportunities for the aging to live fulfilling lives.

Key to this endeavor is the creation of an Information and Assistance Center database and ways for the elderly or their care givers to connect to available services via around the clock access by phone, Internet or personal contact in the Capital Region.

Rosenfeld stated, "This grant will enable the Network to establish improved systems for the delivery of very much needed services to the aging, while also supporting the development of innovative, life-affirming programs in the Capital Region that will improve the quality of life of our aging community. In a time of diminishing resources, this is a compelling undertaking, to attain the maximum results by rationalizing and coordinating care for the elderly. "

The Elder Network is an outgrowth of the Center for Excellence in Aging Services at the University at Albany's School of Social Welfare, and the New York State Office for the Aging and their planning efforts previously funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation. Philip McCallion, Center for Excellence director said, "The consortium of state agencies, local government, health networks, provider agencies, faith communities, advocacy groups and UAlbany with the active participation of older persons themselves has created an exciting plan for the future of the Capital Region. We are all committed to making it a reality and to identifying ways in which our efforts may be replicated throughout the state."

Victoria Rizzo, a native of the Capital Region, has been appointed the executive director of the Elder Network. Rizzo has many years of experience working with aging individuals as a medical social worker at Sunnyview Hospital and Rehabilitation Center in Schenectady, NY. Most recently, she worked as a research associate in the Institute of Gerontology at the University at Albany. Her work in this capacity focused on palliative care programs for individuals with advanced illnesses, and retention strategies for older workers in health care settings serving the elderly. "I encountered many of the problems identified in the planning phase of the Elder Network implementation plan in my own work with the elderly," said Rizzo. "I see this as an exciting opportunity for me to work proactively with major stakeholders and community agencies to address the issues we have identified for aging individuals in our Capital Region community."

The Neighborhood Health Advocate Program in Albany's West Hill neighborhood and Assessing Care for the Vulnerable Elderly are two of several initiatives under the Elder Network umbrella. Sponsored by the Albany Guardian Society and Community Foundation for the Capital Region, the Neighborhood Health Advocate program is designed to empower the elderly and their caregivers in the West Hill community.

Through the program, West Hill seniors will access needed health and social services in order to avoid unnecessary hospitalizations. A joint project of the New York Chapter of the American College of Physicians and the Pfizer Pharmaceutical company, Assessing Care for the Vulnerable Elderly is a self-help course designed to empower older persons and their caregivers to have open communication with their physicians about ongoing chronic illnesses, including Alzheimer's disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes. These courses are being held throughout the Capital Region this fall.


Established in 1844 and designated a center of the State University of New York in 1962, the University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages 17,000 diverse students in eight degree-granting schools and colleges. The University is engaged in a $500 million fundraising campaign, the most ambitious in its history, with the goal of placing it among the nation's top 30 public research universities by the end of the decade. For more information about this nationally ranked University, visit

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