CSAC Bulletin Article

Aging Initiative Results Briefing

On Wednesday, April 20, the California Department of Aging (CDA) hosted a results briefing on the Hubs and Spokes Network for Aging and Disability. The Hubs and Spokes initiative follows up on direction in the Master Plan for Aging to revisit California’s Area Agency on Aging (AAA) local leadership structures to meet the growing and changing needs and advance equity. Resources from the results briefing, including the video and presentation, can be found on the CDA Hubs and Spokes website.

At the briefing, the findings from the stakeholder input process were presented. The feedback from stakeholders focused on six main themes – (1) oversight and accountability; (2) equity; (3) funding; (4) CDA needs to understand; (5) stakeholders need more information; and (6) workforce crisis. Within the oversight and accountability theme, many stakeholders, including CSAC and counties, had submitted comments highlighting how important it is to have local flexibility in the regional makeup and administration of AAA services.

For next steps, CDA Director Susan DeMarois outlined a commitment to continuing to work together with stakeholders on governance structure, geographic distribution and boundaries, and funding formulas and administrative costs. Notably, CDA indicated that there is not a proposal to reorganize the planning and service area maps or geographic boundaries that are currently used for administering AAA services. In addition, the Hubs and Spokes name is unlikely to be utilized moving forward.

CSAC was invited to provide comments at the briefing. Our remarks focused on appreciation for the collaborative process, a commitment to continuing to work together, and a reinforcement of the need for local flexibility and increased funding for the delivery of aging services. These comments are consistent with CSAC’s advocacy throughout the Hubs and Spokes initiative process. CDA has taken a collaborative approach on this effort, including several engagements directly with the CSAC Health and Human Services Policy Committee, and we are appreciative of the continued commitment to work together moving forward.

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