N.H. to Develop Community-Based
Aging and Disability Resource Centers
Contact: Sharon Keeler
UNH Media Relations
Jan. 7, 2004
For more information, contact Amy Philbrick, senior policy analyst
at the New Hampshire Institute for Health Policy and Practice, at
603-862-5099, or Mary Maggioncalda, administrator with the Division
of Elderly and Adult Services, at 603-271-4410.
DURHAM, N.H. -- The New Hampshire Institute for Health Policy and
Practice, headquartered at the University of New Hampshire, has
received funding to develop aging and disability resource centers
across the state.
The three-year, $800,000 grant will allow UNH to work with the state's
Division of Elderly and Adult Services (DEAS) to implement a more
comprehensive, front-end model to help the elderly, persons with
disabilities and chronic conditions, and their families access long
term supports. It is funded through the federal Agency on Aging
and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
As part of the project, the institute and DEAS will evaluate existing
processes for accessing long-term supports, information and counseling,
as well as consumers' needs regarding service delivery across the
state. Analysts will collect data and assess the volume of requests
for assistance, hospital discharge patterns, demographic data and
types of services sought and used, and will talk with physicians
and other health care providers.
State policy-makers will use the data to reorganize current programs
to be more responsive to individuals and caregiving families looking
for services. “This information will inform the development
of new `one stop shopping' centers,” says Amy Philbrick, NHIHPP
senior policy analyst. “These centers will be located in New
Hampshire communities and will provide information, counseling,
referral, training, education and case management for long-term
support services to those looking for these services for themselves
Individuals with disabilities and chronic conditions must often
negotiate a “confusing and disorganized system” to find
the help they need, says Mary Maggioncalda, DEAS administrator.
Their search often begins when they are facing a health care crisis.
“This is not the best time to be making these decisions,”
she says. “Instead, by providing people with one place to
go where they can get the information they need to access long-term
supports, we can make our existing programs more efficient and help
people get these services more quickly and with less frustration.
We want to reach them through early intervention and help them plan
for services before the crisis, and we want to provide them with
the supports they need.”
The focus of this initiative -- empowering consumers and supporting
family caregivers in making choices about the help they want and
need -- is a major public policy issue in New Hampshire and nationally.
In 1998, the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services released
Shaping Tomorrow's Choices, a report on long-term care which identified
keeping elders in their communities as a major policy objective.
During the public review of the report, consumers and caregivers
asked the state to make it easier for them to find and use long
Yet according to research done by Raelene Shippee Rice, UNH professor
of nursing, elders and their families are not receiving the support
they need. They express difficulty in obtaining evaluation services
and diagnosis, don't know what services are available, and often
face barriers to access those services.
The purpose of this new grant, Philbrick says, is to bridge some
of those needs by educating and promoting wider consumer choice,
while also enabling more efficient use of state programs rather
than developing new ones or duplicating existing programs.