Wednesday, November 1, 2017
LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan spoke at the Sunday morning (10/29/17) session of NACCRA's meetings in New Orleans. Having taken the reins of LeadingAge after Larry Mannix, it's long time leader who retired in 2015, Katie seems to be settling in well. She identified several themes for LeadinAge's immediate future, including:
- Advocating for an "America Freed From Ageism." Katie observing that this negative bias stands in the way of policy, philanthropy, and hiring in all of the nonprofit senior living and senior service sectors.
- Making LeadingAge "the" trusted voice for aging. She emphasized this goal is all about building relationships and she pointed to several recent high level policy meetings in DC where LeadingAge was invited as a key voice for older adults or the industry.
- Katie also reported that LeadingAge received an outpouring of donations for its disaster relief fund, with over 600 donations. So far the total is more than a half million dollars. She gave examples of how these donations were already helping nonprofit providers affected by the recent hurricanes and fires, including helping staff members who had lost their homes to find housing and helping 3 affordable senior housing communities maximize insurance relief by using donations to pay-down deductibles.
In the Q and A with NaCCRA members, Katie said that LeadingAge and NaCCRA can and should work together to identify common topics for joint efforts, especially on public policy advocacy.
I'm aware that some NaCCRA members are discouraged (or perhaps frustrated is a better word) by a perception that LeadingAge tends to ignore policy points urged by NaCCRA, while still expecting NaCCRA members to support LeadingAge's positions. Time will tell whether NaCCRA was being too tactful in raising this partnership project concern.