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Analysis adds to evidence that Better Choices, Better Health® – Diabetes is both effective and scalable

NCOA Media Contact

Vanessa Sink
Public Affairs Manager
571.527.4020
press@ncoa.org

Arlington, VA (June 22, 2018) – Research published this week in the Journal of Medical Internet Research demonstrates that a digital self-management program, known as Better Choices, Better Health® – Diabetes (BCBH-D), offered by Canary Health as part of a strategic partnership with the National Council on Aging (NCOA), can help health insurers save an average of $815 in health care costs per person with diabetes in the year after the program, realizing a return on investment (ROI) of $3 for every $1 spent on the workshop. The research showed similar cost savings for the in-person, community-based version of the program, which had an ROI of $2-$2.7 for every $1 spent, depending on local costs.

The study was conducted by researchers from HealthCore, a wholly owned subsidiary of Anthem, in partnership with Canary Health, NCOA, Oasis, and Stanford University where the Diabetes Self-Management Program was originally developed. One of the largest peer-reviewed studies of a digital and community-based diabetes self-management program, it tracked individuals who participated in the six-week workshop through their Anthem Health Plan.

Researchers compared participants’ health care utilization one year after completing the program against a comparison group of people with diabetes who did not participate in the self-management program. Canary Health managed the delivery of the online version, and Oasis managed delivery of the in-person, community-based version.

After controlling for relevant variables, program participants experienced significant reduction in all-cause utilization and post-intervention disease burden, as compared to the matched control cohort. Emergency Department visits decreased by 110 visits per 1,000 member years, and outpatient visits decreased by 2,350 visits per 1,000 member years.

These cost-savings findings build on prior research that showed the clinical effectiveness of BCBH-D. Published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research in 2016, that research demonstrated that workshop participants experienced a decrease in average blood sugar (measured by A1C) at 12 months of 1.27% for those with an A1C>9. Participants, regardless of baseline A1c, decreased hypoglycemia and depression symptoms, and improved medication adherence. The implementation and health outcomes research was conducted through grant support to NCOA from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Anthem, and Anthem Foundation.

Available online and in-person, the Diabetes Self-Management Program is a six-week workshop taught by two trained peer facilitators, many of whom have diabetes themselves. Participants set measurable goals to improve their health, including monitoring their blood sugar, food, medication, and exercise; gain support from their peers; and learn how to better communicate with health care providers. All information provided meets guidelines from the American Diabetes Association and American Association of Diabetes Educators.

“One of the goals of the federal Healthy People 2020 initiative is to reduce the disease burden of diabetes and improve the quality of life for all persons who have the disease,” said Kathleen Cameron, MPH, Senior Director of NCOA’s Center for Healthy Aging. “This research is further evidence that both the digital and in-person, community-based versions of the program activate people with diabetes and have the potential to achieve both of these goals for millions of Americans.”

Nearly 29 million Americans have diabetes, a chronic condition that is disproportionately expensive, especially when there are complications. Diabetes among American adults was estimated to cost the U.S. economy an additional $245.5 billion in 2017 in total health care expenditures, according to the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index.

“Billions of dollars have been spent without arresting the chronic condition epidemic,” said Adam Kaufman, PhD, CEO of Canary Health. “While devices and data are necessary, this study demonstrates that peer coaching and peer support add missing elements that weave together disconnected and disparate technologies to arrest the diabetes epidemic at scale.”

“This is a total program,” says Dr. George Mante, a participant with Type 2 diabetes for nearly 10 years who lost 40 pounds using BCBH-D. “It includes reading, discussing, questioning, and above all establishing goals and objectives in a systematic way that results in a healthier you. All 20 of my recent lab tests were normal. My diabetes and arthritis are under good control. Life can be so good!” 

“These studies show that Better Choices, Better Health® – Diabetes is both effective and scalable to millions of individuals online and in the community,” said Kate Lorig, DrPH, Partner at the Self-Management Resource Center, Professor Emerita at Stanford University, and creator of the program. “The secret sauce seems to be giving people the confidence they can do things. The task now is to make it more widely available to improve people’s quality of life while lowering the cost of care.”

“By offering people with diabetes more than one way to manage their condition, we can make a meaningful impact on their health,” said Juliet Simone, MPH, MBA, national health and program director at Oasis. “We know that older adults who are engaged in pursuing healthy lifestyles are empowered to serve as agents of change in their communities. This is at the heart of the Oasis mission.”

“As part of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s catalytic philanthropy approach, we look to provide funding to front-edge innovators such as NCOA who not only develop and test health service interventions and delivery models to address health disparities, but who also simultaneously engage the real-world partners critical to sustainability and scaling,” said John Damonti, president, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. “The substantial findings of this study stand on the powerful cross-sector collaboration of NCOA with the partners at the Self-Management Resource Center, Anthem, Oasis, and Canary Health.”

For more information about BCBH-D, visit canaryhealth.com/bcbh.

About NCOA

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a respected national leader and trusted partner to help people aged 60+ meet the challenges of aging. Our mission is to improve the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are struggling. Through innovative community programs and services, online help, and advocacy, NCOA is partnering with nonprofit organizations, government, and business to improve the health and economic security of 10 million older adults by 2020. Learn more at ncoa.org and @NCOAging.

About Canary Health

Canary Health is the leading provider of digital health self-management programs which includes a CDC-approved online diabetes prevention program and a chronic disease self-management program in an exclusive partnership with the Self-Management Resource Center. Learn more at canaryhealth.com.

About the Self-Management Resource Center

The Self-Management Resource Center (SMRC), previously the Stanford Patient Education Research Center, is the culmination of 38 years of research and program development, all focused on the goal of helping people better manage their chronic health conditions. SMRC provides training and licensing for the suite of Chronic Disease Self-Management Education Programs.

About Oasis

Oasis is a national education organization that promotes healthy aging through lifelong learning, active lifestyles, and service. Offering stimulating programs in the arts, humanities, health, technology, and volunteer service, Oasis brings people together to learn, lead, and contribute in their communities. The Oasis Institute in St. Louis is the headquarters of a national network that serves a broad audience in 42 U.S. cities through nine educational centers and community partners. Learn more at oasisnet.org.

The post New Research Shows Diabetes Self-Management Workshop Improves Health Outcomes and Saves $3 in Health Costs for Every $1 Spent appeared first on NCOA.

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NCOA’s Falls Free® Initiative is sponsoring a 2018 Falls Free® photo contest.  Details and rules are below. Please submit all photos and signed consent forms by October 26 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

What are we looking for? 

High quality, action photos to use in NCOA national media and fall prevention materials. Photos will be made available to Falls Free® Initiative members or partner organizations and for promoting falls prevention activities throughout the country.

Rules

  • All photos must be high resolution (>1MB JPEG) and not previously submitted for any photo contest.
  • Images must be clear, sharp, and depict older adults participating in a falls prevention program or activity (evidence-based falls prevention programs and Fall Prevention Awareness Day activities are preferred).
  • All submissions must include signed NCOA consent form(s) from all identifiable individuals shown in the photos.
  • Organizations are limited to three photo entries.
  • No descriptive or other text should be added to the individual photos themselves.
  • Photo entries must be submitted by October 26th at 11:59pm ET.

How to enter

Entries must be submitted online here. When you complete the online form, you’ll need to provide the following:

  • Submitter’s name, organization, city, state, email address, and phone number.
  • Organization and location (city, state) where the photo was taken, if different from the submitter’s organization.
  • The photo as an attachment.
  • Name of the featured falls prevention program, event or activity in the photo.
  • Names of all identifiable individuals in the photo.
  • The NCOA consent form(s) as an attachment, signed by all identifiable individuals.

Judging and winners

  • Judges from the NCOA Falls Free® Initiative and NCOA Communications Department will choose the winners.
  • Winners will receive prizes issued to the individual/organization submitting the entry. Prizes are: 1st prize: $300; 2nd prize: $250; 3rd prize: $200.
  • Winning photos will be featured in NCOA’s Center for Healthy Aging E-News and on the NCOA website.
  • Questions? Contact Ellen Schneider: ellen.schneider@ncoa.org

 

The post 2018 Falls Free® Photo Contest appeared first on NCOA.

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As of May 2018, NCOA’s Aging Mastery Program® (AMP) meets all criteria to qualify as an evidence-based program under Title III-D of the Older Americans Act.

A research study by Lisa Ferretti and Phil McCallion of Temple University was published May 7 in the peer-reviewed journal Healthcare. This was the last hurdle for AMP, which now meets all five criteria set by the U.S. Administration for Community Living.

Community-based organizations can take advantage of this milestone to tap into and leverage additional funding for AMP. Each state has a different process for deciding which programs qualify for funding under Title III-D of the Older Americans Act:

  • In many states, AMP is eligible for III-D funding now that the research has been published.
  • In other states, the State Unit on Aging or Area Agency on Aging will need to review the research and affirm that AMP is eligible for III-D funding.
  • Some states will require that AMP gain official approval by the Evidence-Based Program Review Council. In these states, AMP won’t qualify for III-D funding until the next official review cycle in 2019.

Because the criteria are less stringent for funding under OAA Title III-E (Caregiver Supports), AMP for Caregivers classes and the Aging Mastery Starter Kits qualify now.

NCOA is ready to help your organization tap into Title III-D and Title III-E funding to support AMP. Please call us toll-free at 1-888-256-3779 or email amp@ncoa.org with questions.

The post Aging Mastery Program® Qualifications for Evidence-Based Designation appeared first on NCOA.

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NCOA’s Falls Free® Initiative is sponsoring a 2018 Falls Free® photo contest.  Details and rules are below. Please submit all photos and signed consent forms by October 26 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

What are we looking for? 

High quality, action photos to use in NCOA national media and fall prevention materials. Photos will be made available to Falls Free® Initiative members or partner organizations and for promoting falls prevention activities throughout the country.

Rules

  • All photos must be high resolution (>1MB JPEG) and not previously submitted for any photo contest.
  • Images must be clear, sharp, and depict older adults participating in a falls prevention program or activity (evidence-based falls prevention programs and Fall Prevention Awareness Day activities are preferred).
  • All submissions must include signed NCOA consent form(s) from all identifiable individuals shown in the photos.
  • Organizations are limited to three photo entries.
  • No descriptive or other text should be added to the individual photos themselves.
  • Photo entries must be submitted by October 26th at 11:59pm ET.

How to enter

Entries must be submitted online here. When you complete the online form, you’ll need to provide the following:

  • Submitter’s name, organization, city, state, email address, and phone number.
  • Organization and location (city, state) where the photo was taken, if different from the submitter’s organization.
  • The photo as an attachment.
  • Name of the featured falls prevention program, event or activity in the photo.
  • Names of all identifiable individuals in the photo.
  • The NCOA consent form(s) as an attachment, signed by all identifiable individuals.

Judging and winners

  • Judges from the NCOA Falls Free® Initiative and NCOA Communications Department will choose the winners.
  • Winners will receive prizes issued to the individual/organization submitting the entry. Prizes are: 1st prize: $300; 2nd prize: $250; 3rd prize: $200.
  • Winning photos will be featured in NCOA’s Center for Healthy Aging E-News and on the NCOA website.
  • Questions? Contact Ellen Schneider: ellen.schneider@ncoa.org

 

The post 2018 Falls Free® Photo Contest appeared first on NCOA.

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Diabetes self-management training (DSMT) provides people with diabetes the skills to improve their quality of life, but it’s severely underutilized. In the 115th Congress, Representatives Tom Reed and Diana DeGette introduced H.R. 5768, the Expanding Access to DSMT Act, legislation to remove barriers to DSMT for Medicare beneficiaries. NCOA is working with a diverse group of stakeholders to advocate for the legislation, which would establish a demonstration program for online DSMT, among other provisions.

Review a fact sheet on the bill, which NCOA wrote with our partners in the Diabetes Advocacy Alliance.

The post Expanding Access to DSMT Act appeared first on NCOA.

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Lynn Fields Harris’s term as NISC Chair has come to an end, and we are grateful for her leadership over the last two years. She will continue to serve on NCOA’s Board of Directors as a voice for senior centers nationwide. We welcome Elizabeth Bernat of Lowcountry Senior Center, Charleston, SC, as she begins her term as NISC Chair after serving as chair of NISC’s Improving Health Team. Tracey Colagrossi of Hanover Township Senior Services, Bartlett, IL, was elected as incoming NISC Chair, and will begin her term in 2020. Please take a moment to learn more about these wonderful senior center leaders below as they volunteer their time to improve senior centers across the country.

Lynn Fields Harris

Lynn recently retired as Executive Director of Center in the Park. Founded in 1968, Center in the Park is a Nationally Accredited senior community center and social services agency in Northwest Philadelphia primarily focused on the needs of adults, 55+. She will continue to serve on the Board of Directors for the National Council on Aging. Lynn served as the chair of the Public Policy team for NISC prior to serving as NISC Chair.

Elizabeth Bernat

Elizabeth Bernat is Director of Senior Services for Roper St. Francis and serves as the executive director of Lowcountry Senior Center and Waring Senior Center in Charleston, South Carolina. She has over 20 years of experience in healthcare including 15 years with senior centers. She is knowledgeable in senior center operations, accreditation, evidenced-based programs, and marketing. She has a MHA from Medical University of South Carolina and graduate certificate in gerontology from University of Washington.

Tracey Colagrossi

Tracey has worked with the senior population since she was out of high school instructing arts and crafts classes. After graduating from the American Academy of Art in Chicago, Tracey taught visual arts classes to seniors in retirement homes and senior centers.  Eleven years ago, Tracey began working for Hanover Township as a visual arts instructor, then Program Manager, and now Director.  Ms. Colagrossi completed her Bachelor’s degree in Management and Organizational Leadership at Judson University and Master’s Degree in Gerontology Aging Services from University of Massachusetts Boston. Tracey is president of the Association of Illinois Senior Centers, active in Illinois Association of Township Senior Citizens Services Committees, and serves on the National Institute of Senior Centers Chair for State liaisons.

The post NISC leadership changes in 2018 appeared first on NCOA.

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Congratulations to the seven senior centers that achieved National Senior Center Accreditation in May 2018. Our newly accredited centers include four from Hillsborough County, FL; Brandon Senior Center, Oaks at Riverview Senior Center, Town and Country Senior Center and Wimauma Senior Center; the E.L Roberson Center, Tarboro, NC; the Gretna Senior and Wellness Center, Gretna, LA; and the Hoover Senior Center, Hoover, AL.

 Gretna Senior and Wellness Center

The Gretna Senior and Wellness Center is found in Gretna, Louisiana, the second-largest city and parish seat of Jefferson Parish. Gretna lies on the west bank of the Mississippi River, just east and across the river from uptown New Orleans. The population is 17,845. Gretna is approximately 4 square miles. 24 % of the population is over age 55. The Gretna Senior Center has a membership of 306 members with approximately 45 attending daily.

The Gretna Senior and Wellness Center was opened in September 2014 by the Jefferson Council on Aging, the City of Gretna and People’s Health. The very nature of the structure of Gretna Senior Center lends to collaboration, therefore the local organizations that Gretna partners with is strong. These include:

  • The YMCA provides exercise programs daily. Programs include Zumba, Cardio Dance, Garden Walks, Silver Circuit, Beanbag Baseball, Yoga, Pickleball, Line Dancing, Senior Fit and Fun and more.
  • The City of Gretna provides for a Master Gardener of the gardens, which is an elaborate area that has a walking path, fruit trees (mango, pineapple, peach, pear, etc.), grape vines, vegetables, butterfly garden, etc.
  • Louisiana State University places nursing students in clinicals for blood pressure and other testing, as well as educational information.
  • Valley Services delivers the homebound and congregate meals to members of the Center. This service is also a part of the emergency preparedness plan for the Center and members delivering shelf staples in the event of disaster.
  • Loyola University School of Music and Fine Arts places Music Therapy students under the direction of People’s Health employed Music Therapist.
  • There is a pro bono attorney for members.

In addition to great collaborations, the peer reviewer noted the following strengths of the senior center:

  • The Gretna Senior and Wellness Center has a 24-passenger trolley that will pick up members at their home, bring them to the Center and deliver them back to their home after programming. This is provided free of charge by the Jefferson Council on Aging.
  • The Gretna Senior and Wellness Center community garden is so special. It was not just beautiful and serene in the structure and ambiance with butterfly garden and walking path, but it also offers the nutritional benefits of organic fruits and vegetables.
  • The collaboration between Jefferson Council on Aging, People’s Health and the City of Gretna is impressive. The community has come together for the betterment of the people.
The Hillsborough County Department of Aging Services

The Hillsborough County Department of Aging Services, Florida, operates under the auspices of the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, and is the Lead Agency for administering an array of state, federal and locally funded programs serving seniors. The organization operates six senior centers in the greater Tampa area. The following four centers received national accreditation status:

The Brandon Senior Center

The Brandon Senior Center .is located in Brandon, Florida, a suburb of the city of Tampa The Brandon center was established in 2001. The 7000-square foot free standing facility is found off a major highway, but tucked away in serene Davis Park which includes sporting fields and walking trails. The total population of Brandon is 103,483 which has been growing steadily over the last 20 years. The center daily attendance varies based on activities offered, but averages 75 participants daily.

The Peer Reviewer notes the following strengths:

  • A very experienced, dedicated, energetic and flexible bilingual staff with good ideas for programming and collaborations.
  • An involved Advisory Board who are committed to the mission of the center.
  • A diverse participant population that reflects the community the center serves and bilingual programming.
  • A beautiful building that is cared for in a wonderful location.
  • An active volunteer program and strong staff commitment to volunteers.
  • A good balance of free, low cost and fee-for-service programming.
  • Wellness focused programming and a small fitness space with equipment.
  • Extensive community connections and collaborations. It is apparent that a lot effort has been placed by the staff to look for every opportunity to partner to bring new and improved services.
  • Amazing collaborative programs with schools, colleges and universities including the internships with pharmacy students, expressive art students and boys and girls clubs.
The Oaks at Riverview Senior Center

The Oaks at Riverview Senior Center is a part of Tampa FL metropolitan area, in the urban area referred to as Sulphur Springs. Tampa consists of many small towns that have grown together within the Tampa area. Sulphur Springs has a population of 5,727. Its proximity to Tampa’s downtown business area has allowed this urban neighborhood to reap the benefits of city life. The 7,000-square foot senior center has inside and outside spaces for activities.

Due to the central location, the center draws from other communities in the metropolitan area. The center was made possible as a result of a partnership with the County and the Tampa Housing Authority. Both a senior center and a community center were built and opened in August 2009. The facilities are located across the street from each other surrounding by some of the housing authority residential properties (76 senior apartments and 174 affordable rental units). The community center focuses on youth programs. There is a city park with a playground, basketball courts and a hockey rink located in the same area.

The Peer Reviewer notes the following strengths

  • The center has exceptionally talented and experienced staff. The Peer Reviewer observed wonderful, respectful, and authentic interaction among staff and members.
  • Extensive community collaborations bring a variety of programming and services into the center.
  • The center membership is very diverse and maintains a very welcoming and warm vibe. Bilingual programming reflects the membership and enhances the center offerings. The positive blend of cultures is apparent and impressive.
  • The building is pleasant and in wonderful condition providing good spaces for activities. The proximity of the park and community center extends the possibilities of programming and collaborations.
  • Being a part of a larger organization provides a good, supportive infrastructure with all the appropriate policies and systems in place.
  • Wonderful intergenerational activities are in place and benefit all generations involved.
Town and Country Senior Center

Town and Country Senior Center is located 5 miles northwest of Tampa. According to the census, 86,638 people resided in this community. The center is co-located with a library and a Head Start program in a facility opened in late 2008. It includes a large outdoor area, walking trail, gazebo, garden area and patio. The building is 10,150 feet with several different size rooms for various activities

The Peer Reviewer notes the following strengths:

  • The center has exceptionally talented and experienced staff. The Peer Reviewer observed wonderful, respectful, and authentic interaction among staff and center members and volunteers.
  • Extensive community collaborations bring a variety of programming and services into the center is a strength.
  • The center membership is very diverse and maintains a very welcoming and warm vibe. Bilingual programming reflects the membership and enhances the center offerings. The positive blend of cultures is apparent and impressive.
  • The building is pleasant and in wonderful condition providing good for activities. The proximity of the park, walking trail and outdoor areas extends the possibilities of programming and collaborations as well as the co-location with the county public library and the preschool program.
  • Being a part of a larger organization provides a good, supportive infrastructure with all the appropriate policies and systems in place.
  • Wonderful intergenerational activities are in place and benefit all generations involved.
  • The self-directed team of center members that conducted the 2015 survey and subsequent research, analysis and reporting in 2016 is impressive and should be continued and replicated in other centers where possible.
  • The monthly round tables are a wonderful best practice encouraging regular, transparent conversations and discussions with members and volunteers. Open communication is important in a senior center as it is a “community”.
The Wimauma Senior Center

The Wimauma Senior Center is part of a county operated municipal Department of Aging Services organization which operates six senior centers in the greater Tampa area. Wimauma, Florida, is a rural town that is part of Hillsborough County with a population of 6,373. The center is less than 5000 square foot of program space and includes two free standing facilities off a major highway with a large outdoor area for programs. The center daily attendance varies based on activities offered, but averages 28 participants daily and serves approximately 130 seniors annually.

The Peer Reviewer notes the following strengths:

  • A very dedicated, energetic and flexible bilingual staff with good ideas for programming and collaborations.
  • Self-directed leadership development and program planning by the advisory committee and encouraged by the coordinator.
  • A diverse participant population that reflects the community the center serves and bilingual programming. A respect and celebration of individuals and the blend of cultures to make an inclusive, welcoming community feeling at the center.
  • Extensive community connections and collaborations. It is apparent that a lot effort has been placed by the senior center coordinator to look for every opportunity to partner to bring new and improved services.
  • Wonderful collaborative programs with schools and universities including pharmacy students, art students and Hispanic Center youth programs.
  • Amazing intergenerational gardening program that is a collaborative effort between the Senior Center and the Hispanic Center’s program and funded by a grant from a non-profit organization.
  • Wellness focused programming. The ninety-day health care challenge had full participation.
Hoover Senior Center

The Hoover Senior Center is located in the City of Hoover, a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama. The Center Is a service provided by the Park and Recreation division of the city. The 8,000-square foot center was built in 2007 and is centrally located. It stands on a hill overlooking the Hoover Public Library and City Hall. With the population of Hoover at 85,000 and the 50+ population at 27%, a well-run, well-staffed senior center is a high priority for the Mayor and City Council. The Senior Center’s efforts at accreditation make it the first department in the city’s government to aim for this level of excellence.

The center is available to those 55 and older. It has approximately 1,500 members and an average daily attendance of 126. The center offers over 40 classes, programs and activities weekly. Events include movie matinees, games show, dances, craft sales, cooking demonstrations, birthday celebrations and other events. Workshops include health screenings, lunch and learns, educational speakers and brain fit activities.

The peer reviewer noted the following strengths of the senior center:

  • A very dedicated and well-trained staff.
  • A very supportive Mayor and City Council that recognizes the value of the Senior Center and provides funding at an appropriate level to insure the Center staff can focus on its programs and members.
  • Location! Location! Location! In a beautiful building.
  • The Hoover Express (A Model Program)– a volunteer transportation service that is staffed by a cadre of volunteers who take members to medical appointments, shopping and errands.
  • A membership that has recruited some very sophisticated volunteers who are capable and willing to take on administrative roles.
  • They achieved their goal to be the first Nationally Accredited Senior Center in Alabama!
E.L. Roberson Senior Center

The E.L. Roberson Senior Center is located in Tarboro, Edgecombe County, in east central North Carolina. Tarboro is an historic town with a population of about 11,000 people, almost evenly divided between Caucasian and African American residents. The Roberson Center, opened in 1977, is one of three community centers operated by the Tarboro Parks and Recreation Department, but the only one solely dedicated to programs and services to participants age 50 and over.

The center is operated and largely funded by the town of Tarboro. Average daily attendance is about 70 persons. Center size approaches 10,000 SF. There is no center membership fee for Tarboro residents; non-residents would be assessed a participation fee.

The peer reviewer noted the following strengths of the senior center:

  • a vibrant, friendly center with a strong varied program that includes evening programs two nights per week
  • the impressive way that participation mirrored the racial demographics of the town;
  • a strong committed volunteer base;
  • the strong financial and infrastructure support provided by the town;
  • the variety and commitment of community partners;
  • a strong, committed staff; including an enthusiastic new director;
  • an attractive, and well-maintained facility with outdoors areas that can augment programming opportunities. Outdoor space offering additional recreational opportunities (walking trail, shuffleboard courts, greenhouse, etc.) is a major plus; placement of picnic tables and outdoor lounge chairs on the patio encourages use in good weather.

Whether you are from a small community or a county wide multiple site senior center organization consider national accreditation and the self-assessment process to highlight all the positive aspects of your senior center(s). Learn how the National Senior Center Standards and self-assessment process can help you achieve excellence at your center. 

The post 7 senior centers achieve National Accreditation in May 2018 appeared first on NCOA.

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NCOA Encourages Recipients to See if They’re Eligible

Arlington, VA—Medicare beneficiaries across the country will soon find letters in their mailboxes from the Social Security Administration (SSA) alerting them to programs that could help pay their out-of-pocket health care expenses. This year, more than 2.2 million people will receive the letters. With so many scams swirling around the release of the new Medicare cards, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) wants to reassure recipients that these form letters from SSA are not a scam, and encourage anyone who receives one to contact a local aging organization to see if they qualify for these important economic support programs.

“The letters are only sent to Medicare beneficiaries who are likely to qualify for the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) and Medicare Part D Extra Help,” said Leslie Fried, Senior Director of NCOA’s Center for Benefits Access. “So, this is an opportunity for anyone who gets one to reach out to a local organization that can work with them to verify their eligibility and to support their application process.”

Roughly 8.5 million people are enrolled in MSP and about 12 million use Extra Help to afford their Medicare premiums, co-payments, deductibles, and prescriptions. An estimated five million more Medicare beneficiaries are eligible for the programs, but never apply. Every community has an organization that provides assistance enrolling in benefit programs and can explain how to use the benefits.

“Each day, thousands of baby boomers turn 65—and many are retiring with increasing amounts of debt and less savings,” Fried said. “Spiraling health care costs can significantly cut into our economic security as we age, but these programs can reduce that burden. If you or someone you know gets an SSA letter, it pays to find out more.”

There are two places where beneficiaries can get in-person help to see if they’re eligible:

  • The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) provides free, unbiased, one-on-one assistance to help Medicare beneficiaries and their families get answers to insurance questions and apply for benefits. Locate a local SHIP by calling 1-877-839-2675 or visiting https://www.shiptacenter.org/.
  • NCOA’s Center for Benefits Access supports a national network of 69 Benefits Enrollment Centers (BECs) across the country which help Medicare beneficiaries with limited incomes access programs that help pay for health care, food, and more. Find a list of BECs here: www.ncoa.org/centerforbenefits/becs/meet-the-becs/.

“The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently began mailing new Medicare cards to all currently enrolled beneficiaries. NCOA’s partners across the country are hearing about several scams around those cards, so we wanted to assure beneficiaries that this opportunity to apply for MSP and Extra Help is real,” added Fried. For more information about the Medicare card scams, check out this NCOA blog, “New Medicare Card Scams Hit Nationwide.”

Medicare beneficiaries who are eligible for MSP and Extra Help also may be eligible for other benefits to supplement their monthly budget. NCOA’s BenefitsCheckUp.org is a free, confidential online screening tool that older adults can use to find federal, state, and local benefit programs that help pay for health care, prescriptions, housing, utilities, food, and more.

To assist state and local benefits counselors, NCOA also has updated its visualization tool that uses SSA data to illustrate the number of letters sent to each zip code nationwide. This information can help state and local agencies more effectively target outreach to those who may be missing out on MSP and Extra Help in their communities.

The post Take Action Now: Form Letters from Social Security Administration Alerting Medicare Beneficiaries to Savings Programs are not a Scam appeared first on NCOA.

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NCOA is embarking on a digital transformation strategy requiring an upgrade and harmonization of existing IT assets and systems. An Enterprise Architect is needed to build a holistic view of the IT strategy, business processes, and information technology assets. The IT holistic view will be utilized to ensure business units and IT are aligned with business objectives driving the digital transformation effort. The candidate will be required to develop architectural models or views to demonstrate how the current IT architecture and future technology needs of NCOA will be met in an integrated, efficient, maintainable, and agile manner. Furthermore, the enterprise architect provides technology guidance, road maps, principles, standards, and best practices.

As part of the IT strategy, NCOA will launch CRM and omni-channel architectures, the Enterprise Architect will support NCOA in the evaluation, selection and integration of the different CRM and omni-channel technologies.

Responsibilities Strategy
  • Aligns NCOA IT strategy and planning with NCOA’s business strategy and goals.
  • Provides overall direction, guidance, and definition of IT architecture to effectively support the corporate business strategy.
  • Proposes and implements a set of IT principles and architectural guidelines for NCOA. Ensure that these principles are applied by all new projects and systems.
  • Defines, explains, and advocates technology strategy.
  • Supports IT department in the evaluation, selection and integration of IT solutions to support the IT strategy with CRM and omni-channel architecture.
Architecture
  • Responsible for the strategic evaluation, selection, and monitoring the deployment of IT systems.
  • Supports all architectural disciplines and champions’ architectural initiatives.
  • Directs the research and evaluation of emerging technology, industry, and market trends.
  • Reviews existing business processes and establishes metrics to improve business processes, as well as support of all architectural disciplines under their direction.
  • Leads programs to develop, maintain, and govern the enterprise architecture across the organization.
  • Works on highly complex projects that require in-depth knowledge across multiple specialized architecture domains.
  • Ensures recommendations are based on business relevance, appropriate timing, and deployment.
  • Ensure coherent deployments of IT solutions where projects do not duplicate functionality or fragment data, or diverge from the IT strategies.
  • Ensure that redundancy of data is minimized/eliminated; and when unavoidable, a reliable, “master” source is established.
  • Review and approve new IT solutions to ensure coherence with the existing technology stack.
  • Maintain a comprehensive understanding and documentation of the infrastructure topology and inventory of application assets to integrate new technology requirements effectively.
  • Share industry best practices, lessons learned on systems architecture requirements based on changing technologies, and knowledge related to recent, current and up-coming technology solutions.
  • Promote shared infrastructure and applications to reduce costs and improve information flow.
Governance
  • Leads the EA governance processes.
  • Leads the EA review board and ensures that the solutions are compliant with target-state architecture models.
  • Leads and facilitates the creation of governing principles to guide EA decision making.
  • Involvement in the development and enforcement of policies, standards and guidelines that direct the selection, development, implementation and use of Information Technology within NCOA.
  • Propose and implement a set of IT principles and architectural guidelines for NCOA. Ensure that these principles are applied by all new projects and systems.
  • Develops and communicates architectural policies, standards, guidelines, and procedures.
  • Manages exceptions to architectural standards at an enterprise level.
  • Reviews and/or analyzes and develops architectural requirements as needed for the organization.
  • Ensures the conceptual completeness of the technical solutions.
  • Approves modification of the enterprise architecture to accommodate project needs.
  • Approves the tools and components used within the enterprise.
  • Advises on options, risks, costs versus benefits, system impacts, and technology priorities.
  • Manage risk and IT assets through appropriate standards and security policies.
Technical Team Support
  • Leads teams in developing technology plans.
  • Work with solutions architects and programmer to provide a consensus based enterprise solution that is scalable, adaptable to meet the business needs.
  • Support NCOA’s junior staff with knowledge transfer and skills in specific areas of technology expertise.
Leadership and Cross-functional Team Support
  • Provides strategic consultation to business and IT leaders.
  • Works with NCOA leads to understand business requirements and help them understand how technology tradeoffs influence strategy.
  • Promotes the EA process, outcomes, and results to the organization and senior leadership
  • Consults with project teams to fit projects to enterprise architecture, as well as to identify when it is necessary to modify the enterprise architecture.
  • Develops a communication plan for architecture at the enterprise level.
  • Works with senior leadership to approve allocation of budget to meet architectural initiatives critical to business/mission success.
  • Collaborates with project management and IT leaders to ensure progress towards architectural alignment with project goals and requirements.
Job Qualifications Skills and Knowledge
  • Experience in deploying large scale systems to include CRM
  • Experience in deploying mobile, social media and related applications
  • Experience in LAMP stack and Java based solutions
  • Experience in deploying applications compliant with industry standards for accessibility
  • Experience in deploying solutions into industry standard clouds such as AWS, Google, and/or Azure.
  • Experience in leveraging architectural domain knowledge including cloud application architecture, infrastructure as a service, Platform as a service, Software as a service, Docker Container, Modeling Skills
  • Experience in modeling techniques such as UML, Domain Driven Design, Domain Models, application Design, Enterprise Architecture design patterns, system integration, performance testing
  • Experience with technology methodologies and tools such as The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF), and Zachman Framework
  • Demonstrated experience in overseeing the architecture in large environments with multiple systems requiring data and logic integrations.
  • Systems thinking – the ability to see how parts interact with the whole (“big picture”-thinking)
  • Comprehensive knowledge of hardware, software, application, and systems engineering
  • Experience and understanding of IT governance and operations and supporting the NCOA IT Governance
  • Experience with financial modeling of IT investment such as ROI and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) when evaluating multiple IT solutions and investments
  • Excellent interpersonal, writing, presentation, leadership, collaboration, facilitation, and negotiation skills
  • Ability to translate and complex technical issues in a way that non-technical people may understand
  • Experience with project and program management planning and organizational skills
  • Leadership experience in managing multiple, cross-functional teams or projects, and influencing senior level management and key stakeholders.
  • Requires exposure to multiple, diverse technologies and processing environments.
  • Knowledge of all components of holistic enterprise architecture, business re-engineering principles and processes, and basic knowledge of budgeting
  • Customer service orientation
Experience / Education
  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, information systems, computer engineering, system analysis, or a related field, or equivalent work experience.
  • Five to seven years as an Enterprise Architect with demonstrated experience in IT systems architecture design and deployment, systems lifecycle management, and infrastructure planning and operations.
  • Five to ten years of “hands-on” application/systems development and implementation in a non-architect role
Preferred
  • Master’s degree in computer technology or related fields
  • Prior management experience

ADA

Ability to speak, see, hear and use hands to operate standard business equipment including computers, fax machines, copies and the like.

How to Apply

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to HR@ncoa.org with the subject line “Enterprise Architect.”

NCOA offers a generous employee benefits program that includes: annual, sick personal, and holiday leave, health insurance, contributions to a 403 (b) plan; short-and long-term disability; life insurance; flexible work scheduling and a convenient location to the metro.

NCOA is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is dedicated to these principles. We value and welcome diversity in the workplace and encourage all minorities, women, veterans, and persons with disability to apply.

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NCOA seeks a Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer (CMBDO) responsible for the planning, development, and implementation of our marketing strategies and activities, both internal and external.

The CMBDO oversees the development and implementation of support materials for marketing, branding, and corporate communications; directs and delivers marketing and graphic content; drives NCOA’s advocacy agenda and elevates its voice as a national leader for all Americans’ right to age well; leads business development and sales efforts; heavily engages in the building of strategic partnerships (in collaboration with the President & CEO, EVP & Chief Growth Officer, and Chief Development Officer); and supports the work of the fund development team.

Key Responsibilities
  • Create, implement, oversee, and measure the success of a comprehensive, culturally competent marketing program that will enhance NCOA’s position within the marketplace, facilitate internal and external communications, and support NCOA’s overall strategy and objectives (keeping nonprofit resources and realities in mind).
  • Liaise with other areas of NCOA to guide a unified approach to serving customers, distribution, etc., that meets market demands.
  • Further define, protect, and promote the NCOA’s 66-year old brand.
  • Oversee design, production, and distribution of NCOA public relations, marketing, sales, and customer service activities, promotional campaigns, and print and electronic materials.
  • Establish a “convener strategy” to elevate thought leaders and actively engage key stakeholders around shared goals in support of helping Americans age well.
  • Stimulate media interest and ensure regular contact with target media and timely responses to media requests (in conjunction with contracted consultants where needed and feasible).
  • Create a solid network of strategic partnerships in support of NCOA’s key priorities and triple bottom line goals.
  • Devise a robust social media/digital engagement and intelligence capability to measure ongoing consumer engagement with NCOA’s programs and products and advocacy efforts and reactivate dormant consumers through targeted retention campaigns.
  • Partner with Chief Information Officer (CIO) to incorporate data analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to drive customer engagement and growth.
  • Implement and execute short- and long-term plans and budgets to achieve marketing, advocacy, and business development goals and financial objectives, including the establishment and achievement of key performance indicators.
  • Plan, organize, and align corporate communications, advocacy, business development, strategic partnerships, and digital engagement functions and operations and ensure they project NCOA’s unique voice.
  • Work within limited budget to build a highly efficient team of communications, advocacy, marketing, and business development professionals.
Professional Experience/Qualifications
  • An advanced degree in a relevant discipline is preferred.
  • Prior experience working in the for-profit or nonprofit sectors.
  • At least 15 years of marketing, communications, sales, brand management, web, and corporate communications experience.
  • At least 5 years in senior management (vice president or above) in an organization of similar or larger size, scope, and budget as NCOA.
  • Exceptional oral and written communications skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills to work collaboratively across departments.
  • Capability to execute vision and strategy across the organization to influence key stakeholders (including senior leaders) on the design and implementation of products.
  • Proficient in leading, attracting, hiring, retaining, and developing high-performing teams and individuals.
  • A relationship builder who is trusted, creative, collaborative, persuasive, dependable, and possesses high ethical standards.

NCOA offers a generous employee benefits program that includes: annual, sick, personal, and holiday leave; health insurance; contributions to a 403(b) plan; short- and long-term disability; and life insurance.

How to Apply

NCOA has engaged executive search firm KornFerry to assist with the applications for this position. To apply, please submit resume and cover letter referencing the job “Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer – NCOA” to Adolfo Minoso at Adolfo.Minoso@KornFerry.com.

NCOA is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is dedicated to these principles. We value and welcome diversity in the workplace and encourage all minorities, women, veterans, and persons with disabilities to apply.

The post Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer appeared first on NCOA.

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