Earlier this year, with Hartford and SCAN Foundation support, Grantmakers In Aging (GIA) hosted two webinars as part of their new “Conversations with GIA” webinar series. This exciting, year-long series of monthly webinars focuses on topics critical to funders and others interested in improving the experience of aging in America. The first webinar featured Kathy Greenlee, Assistant Secretary for Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Assistant Secretary Greenlee’s “Conversation” pointed to the importance of GIA’s growing membership of grantmakers in today’s policy environment (Click here to listen to the entire screencast). Particularly, the discussion examined the role of philanthropy vis-à-vis the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act and the federal budget for aging programs. Greenlee encouraged funders and others in the aging network to serve as “ambassadors for seniors,” to talk with others and advocate for the aging services needed in this country (such as Medicaid, low-income housing, and transportation). Funders, particularly at the local level, she noted, can play important roles with their counterparts in government and senior serving agencies. “I’m a big fan of GIA and the foundations that you work with,” Greenlee said.
The February 2012 “Conversation with GIA” continued to explore policy questions, this time from the states’ perspective. Entitled “More With Less: Developing Innovative State-Level Programs to Serve Older Persons in the Community,” the webinar featured Sue Birch, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, a cabinet-level position in the administration of Governor John Hickenlooper.