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2003 News from Mecklenburg County

AUGUST 19, 2003

STATE CHOOSES MECKLENBURG FOR LONG-TERM CARE PROJECT TO BENEFIT SENIORS AND THE DISABLED

CHARLOTTE, NC - The state of North Carolina will assist Mecklenburg County's work on a strategic plan to help identify and suggest recommendations to meet the needs of a growing senior population.

The Long-Term Care Cabinet of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has selected Mecklenburg and New Hanover counties to participate in an initiative designed to strengthen local services to meet the long-term care needs of older and disabled adults and their families.

The project's name-A Communications and Coordination Initiative to Strengthen Long-Term Care Services-captures its basic objectives. All DHHS Divisions with responsibilities for long-term care will provide significant assistance and guidance to help two local planning teams in Mecklenburg and New Hanover counties to pilot a year-long process that other communities can use in the future.

Already, the Services for Adults Division (SFA) of the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services (DSS) is a lead participant in a Status of Seniors Initiative Steering Committee, which is preparing a strategic plan for older adult services. Other participants include United Way, the Council on Aging, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Aging Coalition and the Area Agency on Aging.  The Mecklenburg County Human Services Council formed the Steering Committee after the publication of the Status of Seniors Report in May 2003.

Lynda McDaniel, DHHS Assistant Secretary for Long Term Care and Family Services, said the project represents "a unique local and state partnership that will have our Department assisting these two counties in evaluating core long-term care services and identifying actions to develop an improved system of care and supports."

State officials say the initiative should improve the exchange of information and ideas between local and state interests to help address barriers to the effective delivery of long-term care. It should also help strengthen consumer participation in local planning and foster innovative approaches to meeting local needs.

"Our work with the state on long-term care will be invaluable to the strategic planning process here in Mecklenburg County," said DSS Director Richard W. "Jake" Jacobsen, Jr. "We're honored to be chosen to participate in the project."

Further details on the project are available at http://www.dhhs.state.nc.us/ltc/localplanning.htm.



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