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Menorah Park CEO attends White House briefing

By Journal Staff


The CEO of DeWitt’s Menorah Park has returned from a Wednesday meeting with Obama administration officials in Washington, D.C.

Mary Ellen Bloodgood attended the Association of Jewish Aging Services’ White House Briefing on Senior Issues on Oct. 3 at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House. About 100 executives and board members from Jewish homes nationwide attended, says Bloodgood, who was there in her roles as treasurer of the Association of Jewish Aging Services and CEO of Menorah Park.

Administration officials at the briefing included Estelle Richman, senior advisor to the secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Kathy Greenlee, assistant secretary for aging in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Jonathan Blum, deputy administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and director of the Center for Medicare. Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement Anne Filipic also attended, according to Bloodgood.

“We had begun to work with the federal government on issues of aging services in general,” Bloodgood says. “And also, we wanted to talk about Jewish aging services. We feel our mission-driven homes are much more innovative.”

The forum included panels on home–based and community–based services, elder abuse, Medicare, and Medicaid. Those are issues that are important nationally and in Central New York, according to Bloodgood.

“Syracuse is no different from Washington, D.C.,” she says. “They’re the same issues, absolutely — lack of affordable housing, transportation, the whole idea of cities being accessible to seniors, the right types of services, and getting paid for those services.”

This is the first year for the briefing, Bloodgood says. She hopes it continues into the future, either every year or in election years.

The Association of Jewish Aging Services is a 501(c)3 association of community–based aging organizations based in Washington, D.C.


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