ADvancing States Announces Awards to Three Leaders in Aging and Disability Services

On August 30th, ADvancing States honored three leaders in aging and disability services with Arthur S. Flemming and Katie Beckett Awards.  ADvancing States and its board of directors are proud to announce that the former Assistant Secretaries on Aging, Kathy Greenlee and Josefina Carbonell, were selected to receive the Arthur S. Flemming award, and James Firman was presented with the Katie Beckett Award.

The Arthur S. Flemming Award

Kathy Greenlee was appointed by President Obama as Assistant Secretary for Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Senate in June 2009.  Ms. Greenlee was instrumental in the creation of the Administration for Community Living (ACL) -- bringing together the Administration on Aging, the Office on Disability, and the Administration on Developmental Disabilities into a single entity.  During her tenure, Kathy led national efforts to strengthen programs that prevent elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation and to respond to instances where maltreatment occurred.

Yonda Snyder, the Vice President of ADvancing States’s board of directors, commented, “Mistreatment of older adults is a serious issue in our country – whether it’s physical abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.  As the Assistant Secretary for Aging, Kathy paved the way for a coordinated federal response, developed important guidelines for Adult Protective Services, and helped secure some of the first Congressional appropriations to directly combat these issues.  Her legacy on this issue cannot be understated.”

Josefina G. Carbonell was the third Assistant Secretary for Aging at the Administration on Aging within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She was appointed by President Bush in 2001 and served in the position until 2009.  Before her time in public service, Ms. Carbonell was President and CEO of the Little Havana Activities and Nutrition Centers in Florida.  Josefina is currently the Senior Vice President of Long-term Care & Nutrition at Independent Living Systems.  During her tenure at AoA, Josefina was instrumental in forging a lasting partnership between the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Administration on Aging.  Josefina highlighting the impact that the Aging Network could have to helping seniors understand and enroll in Part D.

ADvancing States President, Lora Connolly, noted, “The contributions of Josefina to the field of aging and to the lives of the individuals we serve are truly remarkable.  Her tenure as the Assistant Secretary for Aging was a time of remarkable change for older adults and people with disabilities across the country, including the implementation of one of the most significant new programs in decades.  Her leadership truly made a difference in the roll-out and implementation of these programs.”

About the Award

Since 1978, ADvancing States has chosen one individual in the field of Aging to receive the annual Arthur S. Flemming Award.  Dr. Flemming spent years in public service, culminating with his role as the U.S. Commissioner on Aging.  He served as the Commissioner on Aging until 1978. The core of what is now commonly called the national Aging Network, consisting of state agencies on aging, sub-state area agencies on aging and thousands of service providers grew out of his leadership.  He was involved in the planning of the First White House Conference on Aging in 1971 and fought throughout his career for the dignity and rights of older adults, as well as justice for all persons.

The Katie Beckett Award

ADvancing States and its board of directors is proud to award the 2017 Katie Beckett Award to James Firman.  For more than 30 years, James Firman, has been a leading force for innovation in services, programs, and public policies for older persons and adults with disabilities.

Under his leadership, the National Council on Aging has developed many nationally acclaimed programs to improve the health, independence, and economic security of older adults and all people who require LTSS. NCOA has also developed core competencies in collaborative leadership, fostering and scaling evidence-based innovations, and advocacy.  NCOA has become a strong national force, both in advocacy and service delivery, for older adults and for people with disabilities. 

“Jim Firman is the epitome of leadership in the nonprofit sector,” said ADvancing States Executive Director Martha Roherty.  “Many of us in the aging and disability field have looked to him for guidance, mentorship, and partnership over the course of our careers.  I am very happy to call Jim a friend – but even more honored to call him a colleague”    

About the award

Born with medical support needs, Katie spent the first years of her life in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Though her family and doctors wanted Katie to live at home, there was at that time, no Medicaid coverage for medical services provided in the community.  Fighting to bring her daughter home, Julie Beckett challenged this policy, and was ultimately successful in carving out an exception in the Medicaid program that allows children with disabilities to receive services in their homes and communities.  Thanks to her mother’s tireless advocacy, on December 19, 1981, Katie moved home.  Known as the “Katie Beckett Waiver” since its inception in 1982, this monumental policy shift has allowed more than 500,000 children to live at home and have access to the treatment they need.  Since 2011, ADvancing States has chosen an individual whose work has promoted the ideals of independence, dignity, and self-determination for individuals with disabilities to receive the Katie Beckett award.  

News date: 
Wednesday, August 30, 2017