“I enjoy working with the senior population. Plus, our staff is dedicated and knowledgeable. The agency does not experience high turnover which I believe speaks volumes about our team,” Haskins said.
“Elizabeth is part of a new wave of directors/commissioners named since Gov. Andrew Cuomo took office in January 2011,” said Laura Cameron, Executive Director of the NYS Association of Area Agencies on Aging, an advocacy and educational organization dedicated to New York’s local offices for the aging and aging network organizations. “Many were the result of retirements;
She was studying for her Master’s Degree in sociology at SUNY Cortland when she was named interim and eventually permanent Director of the Cortland agency. Cortland Area Agency on Aging is part of a critical aging infrastructure – the Aging Network – that is the backbone of home and community-based long-term services and supports system in the U.S., offering assistance to older adults, caregivers and people with disabilities.
Haskins, a registered dietician, was an Aging Services Coordinator and worked 9-plus years in the agency’s Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program (HIICAP) when she was named interim of the agency. HIICAP educates the public about Medicare, Medicaid, managed care, EPIC, and other health insurance options and issues. She also worked in the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, a program that advocates for nursing home residents.
Since taking over as director, some fires have popped up, Haskins said. One of the greatest challenges is ensuring every dollar is effectively spent. That’s the challenge right now: to ensure programs are working effectively.
The Cortland County Area Agency on Aging opened its doors in March of 1975, in the basement of the Court House. The Nutrition Program was transferred from City Youth Bureau sponsorship in July of 1975, and the Retired Senior Volunteer Program and Adult Recreation were transferred in 1976. In 1980, the County Office Building opened, and all offices were joined together in this building, where they remain today.
The New York State Association of Area Agencies on Aging supports the state’s local offices for the aging and the broad network of 1,500 public and private organizations working in partnership to provide long term services and supports to an ever-expanding population of older New Yorkers. The Association is dedicated to strengthening and expanding community-based services with the goal of allowing New Yorkers to age in place. We provide professional development for individuals in the field of aging with an education agenda that includes the annual Aging Concerns Unite Us (ACUU) conference, webinars on aging issues, regional caregiver forums and a fall Leadership Institute. A core philosophy is to work in collaboration with other agencies, which is accomplished through the Aging Alliance, a coalition of organizations representing older New Yorkers. Looking to the future, the Board of Directors has approved a new name, the Association on Aging in New York, to better reflect the goal of creating a more cohesive and inclusive network of aging-related organizations. For more information, go to www.nysaaaa.org A new web site will soon be operational at www.agingny.org