2007 News

December 31, 2007

AoA and OAA Programs Receive Highest Rating - Good news for the MBA and its programs.

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently released the results of its Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) assessment of Older Americans Act (OAA) programs.  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Aging programs were classified as "Effective." This is the highest rating and has been awarded to only 18 percent of the government programs evaluated by OMB. According to the assessment on www.Expectmore.Gov, AoA and OAA programs have a clear purpose and are well-managed, efficiently provide high-quality home and community-based services, and promote the well-being and independence of the elderly.  This achievement is the result of the outstanding performance at all levels of the Aging Services Network. 

State to Mobilize Against Fraudulent Mail, Email and Phone Frauds

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) in collaboration with several public, including the Minnesota Board on Aging, and private partners announced today an effort to enforce direct mail, email and phone fraud. Each year such “foreign lottery and sweepstakes” scams result in $8–10 million in losses to Minnesotans — an amount that officials claim is low due to under-reporting. Officials say this is the first model of a statewide coordinated, sustained fraud enforcement effort in the U.S.

Officials urge citizens who receive fraudulent letters, emails or phone calls to report them quickly by calling the Minnesota Board on Aging's Senior LinkAge Line®, 1-800-333-2433 — or notify law enforcement. Read more of the Department of Public Safety press release. 

Read the Information Sheet describing how you can help stop fraud.

Fall Prevention Day is September 23, 2007

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has declared the first day of autumn, Sept. 23, as Fall Prevention Day. In his proclamation, Pawlenty says that falls are the leading cause of injury deaths among people over the age of 65. By increasing the awareness of falls in Minnesota’s older citizens, it is hoped that the rate of falls can be reduced and that the number of injuries – and their severity – can be greatly improved. Read the Proclamation.


Minnesota Board on Aging goes to St. Peter

City officials share effective disaster response for seniors and people with special needs 

Disaster recovery will be the topic of discussion when the Minnesota Board on Aging meets with city officials in St. Peter on Thursday, Sept. 20.

Local, state and national governments continue to prepare for and help protect Americans from disaster. To ensure that older Minnesotans and people with special needs are included in disaster and pandemic planning, the Minnesota Board on Aging is exchanging information with communities and working as an advocate, advisor and administrator for state and local programs and policies. The board is meeting in St. Peter to gather information and learn how older Minnesotans and people with special needs were served and protected during the St. Peter tornado disaster.

“The recent flooding in southeastern Minnesota reminded us that disasters are real and a lot of work and cooperation is needed to serve and protect residents and make communities whole again,” said Jean Wood, executive director, Minnesota Board on Aging.

St. Peter Mayor Tim Strand and City Administrator Todd Prafke will share St. Peter’s disaster plan and their experiences with implementation in the midst and aftermath of the tornado.  Robin Thompson, senior outreach specialist with Senior LinkAge Line® in Mankato, will also share insight into the role that Area Agencies on Aging play in ensuring that older Minnesotans are included in disaster and pandemic planning. 

Disaster Recovery to Livable Community
Thursday, Sept. 20, 7 p.m.
Whiskey River, Highway 99 East – St. Peter

The Minnesota Board on Aging is appointed by the governor to identify and promote ways to meet the changing needs of older Minnesotans. It partners with Area Agencies on Aging to administer and oversee the use of state and federal funds to benefit the older population and also helps shape policies to help Minnesotans age well and live well. For more information, access the board’s Web site at www.mnaging.org

2007 Minnesota Outstanding Seniors Recognized

The Minnesota Board on Aging (MBA) has honored outstanding seniors at the 2007 Minnesota State Fair. The Outstanding Senior Citizen awards are a cooperative effort of the Minnesota Board on Aging, the State Fair and the Federation of County Fairs. Read about the 2007 Outstanding Senior Award winners.

Launch of new MinnesotaHelp.info®

A fresh new Minnesotahelp.info has arrived.

A new version of the Minnesota Board on Aging’s www.MinnesotaHelp.info Web site was launched last week with easy to use features that provide interactive information and search options. The new site has links to more than 27,000 services provided by 12,000 agencies in 16,000 sites.

It was two years in the making, according to Krista Boston, manager of the Minnesota Board on Aging’s Consumer Information and Assistance Team. The redesign involved DHS staff from the Continuing Care Administration and the Children and Family Services Administration working closely with the Board on Aging.

May is Older Americans Month!

To help Minnesota observe May as Older Americans Month, Governor Tim Pawlenty has signed a proclamation that declares this month as Older Americans Month in Minnesota. This proclamation gives recognition to the fact that older Minnesotans are getting more from their lives and giving more to their communities. Throughout the month of May, communities are encouraged to pay tribute to Minnesota seniors and celebrate the theme: “Making Choices for a Healthier Future.” 

Gov. Pawlenty writes, " Older citizens are  valued and important members of our communities and continue to invest, volunteer their time, teach us to live with dignity, and address challenges with ingenuity..." Read more about Older Minnesotans in the Proclamation (PDF)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration on Aging recognizes Older Americans Month.

President Bush's Proclamation

Maddy Forsberg receives 2007 MN Gerontological Society's Dutch Kastenbaum Award.

Maddy Forsberg's long and distinguished career in the aging arena received recognition at the annual MN Gerontological Society Conference on Friday, April 27.  The Dutch Kastenbaum Award recognizes individuals who have made a special contribution to the life of older persons in Minnesota.  Read more about Maddy and the Award. (PDF)


Outstanding Senior Nominations Open

Do you know an outstanding senior citizen, aged 70 or older, in your community who stands out as a volunteer?  The Minnesota Board on Aging, the Minnesota State Fair Board and the Minnesota Federation of County Fairs are looking for outstanding senior volunteers to honor as Minnesota's Outstanding Senior Citizen for 2007. Read more about the Outstanding Senior Award.

Fraud Detection Project

Help protect, detect and report healthcare fraud! Learn about the MN SMP project and download the healthcare tracking journal and brochure.

National Outstanding Senior Volunteer Award Recipient - Betty Johnson

Betty Johnson, Cushing, MN, honored by the U.S. Department Administration on Aging. Betty Johnson recently received a 2006 Outstanding Senior Volunteer Award for empowering seniors to prevent healthcare fraud. This award was given to her at a ceremony in Washington, DC in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the Senior Medicare Patrol program. She was one out of 11 in the country to receive the honor.

Betty, a dedicated volunteer of the SMP for the past five years, became involved while caring for her elderly mother and husband and trying to understand the complexities of the many medical bills and claims.  Betty share that so many older adults to not know or understand how to navigate the system and she wanted them to know there is help.

Working with SMP has taught her that errors are not always fraud, but may have been a simple coding error.  She shared, "It is important to be able to learn how to detect abuse and fraud or read a summary notice.  Many agencies would not give clear answers when I worked on this for my husband.  It got to the point that the billing departments would not even talk to me anymore.  Who helps those isolated people who have no one to advocate for them?  That is what the SMP is for, that is what makes it such a valuable service for all."

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