Policy & Community Engagement

Making the world a better place for seniors

As the pioneer of the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), On Lok has been a strong voice for seniors and an advocate for policies that create a healthy aging environment for all.

For the past 50 years, we have shared our expertise with government officials and regulators to develop legislative, regulatory, and budget policies that support the health and well-being of vulnerable older adults. We have also helped other organizations establish their own PACE programs, empowering thousands of seniors to age in place.

In 1994, we co-founded the National PACE Association (NPA) to provide leadership and support for the growth, innovation, quality, and success of PACE. Today, we continue to advocate for policies to allow PACE to expand nationally. Learn more about our work with NPA at https://www.npaonline.org/policy-advocacy/value-pace.

In 2007, we co-founded the California PACE Association (CalPACE), the first statewide PACE association, to support, safeguard, and expand PACE programs and initiatives in California through education and advocacy. Learn more about our work with CalPACE at http://www.calpace.org/.

The Bay Area Senior Health Policy Forum

As California’s senior population continues to grow, so does the need for affordable healthcare, housing, and support services. We believe that, collectively, we can strengthen the health safety-net that more and more seniors will need in the coming years. 

To that end, we continue to develop relationships with like-minded partners and to focus on community. In 2009, On Lok and Center for Elders’ Independence (CEI), the two Bay Area PACE organizations, created the Bay Area Senior Health Policy Coalition, a group of advocates, care providers, and policymakers committed to improving the quality of life for vulnerable seniors.

The Bay Area Senior Health Policy Coalition is a member of The SCAN Foundation’s California Advocacy Network, a movement of nearly 1,000 organizations focused on transforming care for older adults and people with disabilities. Learn more at https://www.thescanfoundation.org/initiatives/california-advocacy-network/.

Our biennial Bay Area Senior Health Policy Forum (SHPF) provides an opportunity for On Lok and other community-based organizations, stakeholders, and elected and government officials to forge and strengthen relationships across programs and geography, collaborate on creative solutions for healthy aging, and find a common voice as Bay Area senior services providers and advocates. 

Previous forums have provided a platform for statewide leaders to discuss the Master Plan for Aging, advocacy opportunities for expanding community-based senior services, and ways to ensure seniors are counted in the 2020 Census. The SHPF has brought together experts to address senior homelessness and senior housing in the Bay Area, and leveraged local opportunities to create age-friendly communities. Learn more at http://bayareashpf.org/.

Working with the community on policy and engagement work

On Lok is an active member of the following committees and workgroups to support and implement policies that positively affect the lives of seniors:

Statewide

San Francisco

Alameda County

Santa Clara County

Recent wins for seniors 

During negotiations for California’s 2020 Budget Act, On Lok strongly advocated for the preservation of crucial programs and services to keep seniors living safely in the community. We fought against proposals that would have eliminated home and community-based services, such as Community Based Adult Services (CBAS) and the Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP). We spoke up against proposed reductions in Medi-Cal eligibility and the elimination of adult dental and optional benefits.

Through our proactive advocacy work, and collaboration with local and statewide organizations, critical programs were preserved. Highlights from the 2020 Budget Act include:

  • The preservation of CBAS and MSSP, benefiting over 45,000 Californians

  • The Medi-Cal Eligibility Expansion for Aged, Blind, and Disabled program is expanded to 138% FPL, benefiting over 30,000 Californians

  • Funding for senior nutrition programs is preserved, benefiting over 212,000 Californians

  • Funding for optional Medi-Cal benefits, including audiology, speech and occupational therapy and optometry is preserved.

Learn more about the Enacted 2020-2021 State Budget here.

Resources

The following demographic handouts were developed by On Lok for the 2019 Senior Health Policy Forum to guide our discussions about how we can make an impact in the lives of Bay Area seniors:

Visit On Lok’s YouTube Channel for recordings of educational webinars. Topics include the 2020 Census and Voting in the 2020 Election.

Connect with your county voting office for important details for the 2020 Election:

Learn more about PACE:

Find a location near you

Learn more about On Lok’s seven Bay Area PACE Centers, On Lok 30th Street Senior Center in San Francisco, and our other care settings.