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Press Releases

AoA and CMS Announce $500,000 for Community-based Long-Term Care Recovery Efforts Following Hurricane Katrina

WASHINGTON, DC – Administration on Aging (AoA) Assistant Secretary Josefina Carbonell and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Dr. Mark McClellan announced today that two states impacted by Hurricane Katrina have each received an additional $250,000 in hurricane relief funds.

The State Units on Aging in Louisiana and Mississippi will use these funds to support a coordinated emergency response through their existing home and community-based services systems. These State Units on Aging will work to ensure that the health and safety of people with disabilities of all ages will be served through community-based long-term support programs funded through Medicaid Waivers or the Older Americans Act in a way that will lead to a more integrated infrastructure of access for older Americans and people with disabilities.Nearly 150,000 individuals are served in Louisiana and Mississippi by these programs.

“The needs of older Americans and people with disabilities must guide our efforts to rebuild a stronger long-term support infrastructure in the communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina.” said Dr. McClellan “The hurricane relief grants to Louisiana and Mississippi will support these states’ efforts to ensure that people with disabilities of all ages are able to safely return to their homes and communities.”

Louisiana and Mississippi previously received Aging and Disability Resource Center grants from AoA and CMS to develop “one-stop” programs at the community level that help people make informed decisions about their service and support options and serve as the entry point to the long-term support system. These additional funds will enhance those efforts to develop a system of seamless access to long-term care through the Aging and Disability Resource Center initiative by allowing these states to focus more immediate attention on the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina.

“In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, we are committed to helping Louisiana and Mississippi in their efforts to redirect their systems of long-term care to be more consumer-driven and supportive of home and community-based service options as an alternative to institutional care,” explained Assistant Secretary Carbonell.

These grants to Louisiana and Mississippi are just one component of a larger effort on the part of the Department of Health and Human Services to provide hurricane relief and recovery support.