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Senator Collins Receives 2019 Trailblazers in Aging Champion Award

The National Council on Aging presented Senator Collins with this award for her leadership as Chairman of the Aging Committee


Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Susan Collins received the 2019 Trailblazers in Aging Champion Award today from the National Council on Aging (NCOA).  Senator Collins was recognized for her leadership as the Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee and her work in areas such as Medicaid, Alzheimer’s disease, falls prevention, and diabetes.  The awards ceremony was attended by a number of Maine advocates, including leadership from Healthy Living for ME, Southern Maine Agency on Aging, MaineHealth, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Legal Services for the Elderly, and SeniorsPlus.  Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), the Ranking Member of the Aging Committee, also received the 2019 Trailblazers in Aging Champion Award.


“I am grateful for this recognition and delighted to congratulate my outstanding Aging Committee partner, Senator Casey,” said Senator Collins.  “The Aging Committee explores numerous issues affecting older Americans and works to find solutions.  Many of our hearings align perfectly with the Council’s goal to improve the health and economic security of older Americans.”


“Some of the issues we have focused on include improving retirement security, protecting seniors from fraud and abuse, increasing investments in biomedical research, and reining in the spiraling cost of prescription medications.  We have examined ways to better ensure good nutrition for seniors and to strengthen transportation and community connections.  In the last Congress, we produced a report focused on America’s aging workforce with a goal of helping aging workers and their families achieve the personal and professional goals they set for themselves,” Senator Collins continued.  “With the National Council on Aging’s continued hard work in communities throughout our nation, we can continue to improve the lives of seniors.”


As Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee and as a Senator representing the state with the oldest median age, Senator Collins is particularly focused on the well-being of America’s seniors.  Senator Collins is leading the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act (OAA), which has been critical to improving the lives of older adults and is due to expire in September of this year.  Last month, Senator Collins chaired a hearing where Larry Gross, the Chief Executive Officer of the Southern Maine Agency on Aging (SMAA) explained how the myriad of programs authorized by the OAA have been instrumental in SMAA’s pioneering efforts to support both rural and urban seniors in Maine.


In September, Senators Collins and Casey authored a resolution marking September 22nd (the first day of the fall season) as “National Falls Prevention Awareness Day.”  This resolution urged relevant federal, state, and local organizations to educate seniors about ways they can reduce the risks that may result from a fall, including injury and even death.  Each year, the Aging Committee submits an annual report that guides policymaking in Congress.  This year, the report will focus on the prevention and management of falls and fall-related injuries. 


The NCOA is a national nonprofit that aims to improve the health and economic security of seniors. NCOA has been a leader in developing programs to assist seniors such as the programs BenefitsCheckUp, My Medicare Matters, the Aging Mastery Program, as well as various falls prevention programs.