Appointed Board Chairman of the Elder Network of the Capital
Foundation Donates $328,000 to Fund Efforts to Integrate Elder
Care Support Services
Karl Luntta (518) 437-4980
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.
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.
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. "
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."
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."
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.
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.