Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Advocacy Matters

Friday, July 28th, 2017

As we woke up to read the news this morning, many were surprised by the 49-51 vote that ended – at least for the time being – the Senate’s ambition of passing a repeal of the Affordable Care Act.  Though we are grateful to the Senators who voted against the measure – especially Senator McCain, Senator Collins, and Senator Murkowski – we are more grateful for you.

Because of your dedicated advocacy and passion for older people and people with physical disabilities, we were able to send hundreds of letters, phone calls, emails, and faxes to Senators McCain and Flake.  Your courage in sharing your stories and struggles so others can live with the security of health coverage as they age is admirable.  Thank you for your advocacy and dedication.

In the coming months we will work together with Representatives and Senators from both sides of the aisle to protect vital aging services that are at risk in the Presidential budget.  Medicaid is still a very real concern since the Presidential Budget proposal suggested that Congress cut Medicaid funding by 22%. PCOA is concerned about the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) – PCOA’s Medicare Counseling program- which was proposed to be eliminated under the President’s budget.  We need your continued advocacy and support to protect things like the Social Services Block Grant and Community Development Block Grant that help thousands of people in southern Arizona get the help they need to live independently and with dignity as they age.

Today is a day to appreciate your success and hard work.  Joining together with concerned citizens and advocates, we were able to halt the dangerous cuts and caps to Medicaid proposed by the Better Care Reconciliation Act and the American Health Care Act.  Tomorrow we will continue to fight for a budget that secures aging services for thousands of southern Arizonans.

On behalf of all of us at PCOA, thank you for your advocacy.

With sincerest gratitude,

W. Mark Clark

President and CEO

PCOA Says Goodbye to Its Founder

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

PCOA Says Goodbye to Its Founder

Lupu, Marian

Marian Lupu

Marian Lupu, the founding director of the Pima Council on Aging in Tucson in 1967, who served in that capacity for over 40 years, passed away surrounded by her children at home in Tucson on Sunday, August 14.

Friends and colleagues are sharing thoughts about Marian’s remarkable legacy of achievement and fierce advocacy for older adults that spanned generations.

Lupu led decades of important achievements at PCOA for the health, safety and well-being of older adults. Among them: the first case management system to coordinate in–home supportive services for older adults, creation of the Pima County Ombudsman Program, development of the first home repair program; provision of respite services for family caregivers; development of the Medicare Insurance Assistance Program, and more.

Local news coverage includes a front page profile in the Arizona Daily Star about her many accomplishments over a lifespan of 91 years, and local TV affiliate news reports.

“Marian helped train the first generation of Area Agency on Aging (AAA) directors, setting a high bar for excellence and commitment to those crucial, early years,” said n4a CEo Sandy Markwood in a special n4a e-mail announcement that went out on August 16, 2016.

Mayor of Tucson Jonathan Rothschild wrote: “I had the privilege of knowing Marian Lupu for most of my life. As a young woman, she set out to help elders, founding the Pima Council on Aging in 1967. After retiring in her 80’s, she continued to help at-risk youth as president of Dancing in the Streets. Marian’s optimism and powers of persuasion even got me to learn a few dance steps so I could join these young performers in their annual performance of The Nutcracker. I will remember Marian’s smile, her warm encouragement, and her persistence. I don’t think I ever heard her say an unkind word about anyone. My condolences to her family and her many friends.”

U.S. Representative Martha McSally released a statement on Aug. 15 about the passing of Marian Lupu: “Marian Lupu was an incredible example of how one person can make a dramatic difference in the lives of countless others. Her work over many decades, first as the founder and then director of the Pima Council on Aging, has improved the lives of Southern Arizona’s aging population in immeasurable ways. Thousands of older adults today have access to meals, transportation, and other assistance thanks to her tireless efforts.”

Former Congressman Ron Barber said: “We had a great partnership advocating for our respective clients. I am just glad she wasn’t an adversary. She was tough, well informed, articulate and relentless in her advocacy. Every elected official knew Marian and understood that she was the go to person for all matters related to the issues and services needed to help seniors enjoy the most productive and full lives possible. She will be sorely missed by a very grateful community. We say as one, Rest in Peace, Marian. You have left our world so much better than you found it.

PCOA President & CEO W. Mark Clark said Marian was at the forefront of the movement to strengthen support for older adults in the mid-1960s, and mobilized community leaders and experts to establish the nonprofit organization in Tucson, among the very first AAAs in the country.