Albany, NY— New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA), in collaboration with the New York State Departments of Health and State, today announced fourteen county award recipients for the innovative New York State Age-Friendly Planning Grant Program, designed to help communities across the state incorporate healthy, age-friendly community principles into all relevant policies, plans, ordinances, and programs. The grants support Governor Cuomo’s award-winning Age-Friendly NY/Health Across All Policies approach and Executive Order.
The state has developed an innovative public/private partnership, investing up to $1 million in state funding and leveraging additional resources and investments through private partnerships to implement the grant program, which includes AARP, the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York (HFWCNY), and the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM).
“New York State recognizes that improving overall population health and creating communities that are great places to grow up and grow older requires a coordinated approach,” said NYSOFA Acting Director Greg Olsen. This first-of-its-kind grant program systematically incorporates healthy aging principles into government operations, which supports the Governor’s priority of making New York the healthiest state in the country, as well as furthers our work as the first age-friendly state. My thanks to our partners for developing this unique approach to community building and support.”
Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York State was certified as the first age-friendly state in 2017 by AARP and the World Health Organization. The Age-Friendly Planning Grant Program is part of two approaches launched by Governor Cuomo in 2017 and 2018—Health Across All Policies and Age-Friendly NYS—which seek to create and foster healthier, more integrated communities that allow New Yorkers of all ages to easily access services, take part in civic activities, and travel throughout their community without needing an automobile. This is achieved through system-level changes, such as offering incentives for age-friendly concepts, establishing new program and procurement guidelines, or implementing regulatory changes. In 2018, the Governor issued an executive order directing all state agencies to adopt and incorporate the principles of age- and health-friendly communities into their programs, policies, spending, and reporting.
NYSOFA, in cooperation with the New York State Department of State and the New York State Department of Health, is building on the state’s successes by funding age-friendly planning and activities in each Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) region (Options 1-3), as well as supporting two Age Friendly Centers of Excellence (Option 4).
Award recipients for Option 1 – To create at the county level a replicable version of the Governor’s Executive Order #190 on Incorporating Health Across all Policies into State Agency procurement and planning activities are:
- Herkimer County
- Ontario County
- Orange County
- Schoharie County
Award recipient for Option 2 – Sign up and initiate activities necessary to become certified as age-friendly through the AARP/World Health Organization (WHO) process is:
Award recipients for Option 3 – To create a combined application that incorporates both Options 1 and 2 are:
- Monroe County
- Nassau County
- Onondaga County
- Oswego County
- Saratoga County
- Schenectady County
- Ulster County
Award recipients for Option 4 – To be an Age-Friendly Center of Excellence that will further develop its Age-Friendly/Livable Communities principles and projects and will provide mentorship to other participating awardees that are beginning this work under Options 1, 2, or 3 are:
- Nassau County
- Rockland County
New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, “Governor Cuomo continues to move New York ahead of the rest of the nation on public health policies and age-friendly communities. New York State has been recognized as a leader in these areas by AARP, the World Health Organization and the National Network of Public Health Institutes, and this innovative grant program will take New York State to the next level in the Governor’s goal of becoming the healthiest and most age-friendly state in the nation.”
New York State Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said, “Helping communities establish healthy-aging frameworks and ensuring they have access to safer, more livable communities is a cornerstone of public health. Congratulations to the counties receiving awards. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, we are working harder than ever to make New York the healthiest state for people of all ages.”
AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel said, “These grants will allow age-friendly policies and programs to improve health and quality of life for more New Yorkers across the state. As our population continues to age, it only becomes more important to ensure our communities are livable for people of all ages. AARP congratulates the grant recipients and looks forward to seeing the results of their work.”
Health Foundation for Western and Central New York President Nora O'Brien-Suric said, “The Health Foundation for Western and Central New York is proud to partner on this important initiative that will give communities across the state the resources, tools and skills they need to incorporate age-friendly principles in their planning, programs and policies. These efforts are essential as we work toward our shared goal of building healthy, safe communities where New Yorkers of all ages can live, work and thrive.”
New York Academy of Medicine President Dr. Judith Salerno said, “By implementing age-friendly practices and focusing on health across all policies, New York is leading the way at the state and local level to address health for all. We’re proud to be a partner in this effort with the State of New York and the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York, by creating a tailored Health and Age Across All Policies technical assistance program for these grantees. Congratulations to all the recipients of the Age-friendly Planning Grant. We look forward to working with you, and together helping to make New York the healthiest state for people of all ages.”
New York State Association of Counties Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario said, “These grants provide a lifeline for economic prosperity, longevity, and health. Governor Cuomo’s Age Friendly Community Approach is a national model that properly focuses state resources into integrated, smart community-based planning grants which enhance opportunities for older adults and families. Enhancing age friendly policies benefits people of all ages, and provides continuity of care, increased public health, better economic conditions, and smart infrastructure in our communities.”
Daniel J. Stapleton, President of the New York State Association of County Health Officials (NYSACHO) and Public Health Director for Niagara County said, “Local Health Officials are proud to incorporate the State’s vision for Health Across All Policies and Ages within the life protecting public health services they provide to communities. The availability of grant awards like the Age-Friendly Planning Grant are critical to ensuring localities have the resources needed to consider inclusivity in all aspects of community building.”
About the New York State Office for the Aging
The mission of the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) is to help older New Yorkers be as independent as possible for as long as possible through advocacy, development and delivery of person-centered, consumer-oriented, and cost-effective policies, programs, and services that support and empower older adults and their families, in partnership with the network of public and private organizations that serve them. Stay connected to the New York State Office for the Aging—download the NYSOFA mobile app for iOS or Android; visit the NYSOFA Facebook page; follow @NYSAGING on Twitter; or visit the Office of the Aging Website.