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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

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Florida faces lawsuits over its new election law, a medical board fines an Indiana doctor for speaking about a 10-year-old's abortion, and Minnesota advocates say threats to cut SNAP funds are off the mark.

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The White House and Speaker McCarthy gain support to pass their debt ceiling agreement, former President Donald Trump retakes the lead in a new GOP primary poll, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is impeached.

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The growing number of "maternity care deserts" makes having a baby increasingly dangerous for rural Americans, a Colorado project is connecting neighbor to neighbor in an effort to help those suffering with mental health issues, and a school district in Maine is using teletherapy to tackle a similar challenge.

PA Starts on New 'Master Plan for Older Adults'

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Friday, May 26, 2023   

A new Master Plan for Older Adults is being developed in Pennsylvania.

Gov. Josh Shapiro signed an executive order Thursday, directing the Pennsylvania Department of Aging to develop the plan.

The Keystone State is home to almost 3.5 million people over age 60. The current State Plan on Aging ends next year.

Jason Kavulich, Secretary of Aging, said the new plan will be an updated roadmap, so older Pennsylvanians can live safely and with dignity, helping them "age in place" in their homes.

Kavulich emphasized the importance of having the community's voices reflected in the plan.

"We can't do this without them, and this is really for them," Kavulich explained. "They're empowering us to help shape this plan and make sure that it becomes a reality. This is a living document that will live with us for the next 10 years, and it requires all of us to give input to, so that we can feel ownership."

He noted in the development stage, they will be convening stakeholders and getting ideas from the public. The Department of Aging, Area Agencies on Aging, AARP Pennsylvania, and Centers for Independent Living will host listening sessions over the summer.

Kavulich added the master plan will include five core tenets to help the state transform its infrastructure and better coordinate services for older adults as well as people with disabilities. He explained the tenets include diversity, to reflect the state's population.

"Transparency and inclusion, that is something that is in everything that we do," Kavulich stressed. "We want to make sure that people feel that they know what's going on, that they see what's going on, and that they're included in what's going on. And we want to make sure that diverse communities feel that they have their voice in this plan as well."

Kavulich said the goal is to hold at least one session to get feedback on the plan in each of Pennsylvania's 67 counties. The department's goal is to finalize the plan by February of next year.


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