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August 23, 2016

NYSOFA Announces $900k Award to Help Older Adults Manage Chronic Health Conditions

NYSOFA Announces $900k Award to Help Older Adults Manage Chronic Health Conditions

New York State has been awarded $900,000 from the US Administration on Aging to increase chronic disease self-management education (CDSME) programs that empower older adults and adults with disabilities to better manage their chronic conditions, New York State Office for the Aging acting director Greg Olsen announced today.
“It is estimated that the cost of chronic conditions will reach $864 billion by 2040 in the US, with chronic conditions among older adults being more costly, disabling, and difficult to treat—and also the most preventable,” said Olsen. “Health promotion strategies that have a proven track record, such as self-management education programs, are critical for improving health outcomes of older New Yorkers—and with 75 percent of all health care spending going toward treating chronic conditions, they also serve as an important means to stem rising health and long-term care costs.”
He added, “CDSME programs are low-cost, high impact programs that have been proven to reduce hospitalizations, physician visits, and medication use, and to decrease pain while providing individuals with the tools and confidence to improve their health. This latest funding furthers our priority to make CDSME programs available to older adults and individuals with disabilities in every county in New York State.”
More than 40 percent of adults 18 or older in New York State suffer from a chronic disease such as arthritis, asthma, heart disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or cancer, among others. Two out of every five adults report living with at least one chronic disease, and when a person has a chronic condition, it increases the likelihood of developing another. In addition, the probability of having chronic disease increases with age. New York ranks fourth in the nation with 3.7 million people age 60 and over. And among this 60+ population, almost 30% (1.1 million individuals) reported having one or more conditions.
The New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA), in partnership with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the Quality and Technical Assistance Center of New York (QTAC-NY) at the University at Albany, will work during the two-year grant period and beyond to increase the number of older adults and others with chronic diseases who participate in evidence-based self-management programs, particularly those in underserved areas where there are high levels of poverty, environmental barriers to positive health behaviors, and low levels of access to needed health services. The target populations include individuals age 18 and older with chronic disease, with focused efforts to reach those who reside in rural areas in the Mohawk Valley region in upstate New York (Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Otsego, and Schoharie counties) and in urban areas of critical health disparity (Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan). The partnership will work with performing provider systems and community-based organizations to apply lessons learned for program expansion and duplication.
The CDSME program model, developed by Stanford University, provides older adults and adults with disabilities with education and tools to help them better manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, HIV/AIDS, and depression. The programs are designed to help people gain self-confidence in their ability to control their symptoms and learn how their health problems affect their lives.
The US Administration on Aging has been supporting the dissemination of CDSME programs through grants to states since 2003. State governments use these funds to develop an infrastructure (state and community partners, workforce, sites, enrollment system) to deliver these programs in their communities.
NYSOFA, NYSDOH, and QTAC-NY have worked together to implement a centrally coordinated approach to build capacity for evidence-based chronic disease prevention and self-management programs across the state. Prior federal awards have enabled the establishment of a solid base infrastructure with current capacity to deliver programs to approximately 4,000-5,000 participants per year. To date, there are 100 system level providers and more than 1,000 local program delivery sites. This latest round of funding will reach 9,000-11,000 individuals age 18 and older over the next two years, and will increase capacity for evidence-based chronic disease prevention and self-management programs delivery by 10% statewide—and by 25% in target regions. The funding also supports establishing two integrated, sustainable networks for further program expansion and duplication.
“The ability to manage a chronic disease plays a major role in not only reducing a patient’s use of the health care system, but significantly improve the individual’s quality of life,” said Dr. Howard Zucker, commissioner of the New York State Department of Health. “We look forward to working with our partners to help older adults and people with disabilities learn the skills to better manage these conditions.”
“QTAC-NY is excited to be part of the ongoing effort to address health disparities by embedding CDSME programs in communities across New York State,” said Dr. Philip McCallion, distinguished professor and co-director of the State University of New York at Albany’s Center for Excellence in Aging and Community Wellness. “This funding will further position CDSME to be considered among other key health delivery reforms.”
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. For information about the New York State Office for the Aging, visit the NYSOFA Facebook page; follow @NYSAGING on Twitter; or visit

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