At the November 27th meeting of the Mid-Columbia Council of Governments Board meeting, the Board reviewed the 23 recommendations from the State Unit on Aging (SUA) review team. At that meeting, the new Area Agency on Aging, Marvin Pohl, MSW, was introduced to the Board. He discussed his perspective on the position of Director and how he proposes to address some of the recommendations in the recent State review of MCCOG’s operation of the AAA programs.
Pohl described that his focus on overall AAA roles, partnerships and resource development will be to strengthen relationships and develop functional partnerships with the Aging services provider networks, including; local health department, coordinating with local APD office, Community Action agencies, housing authority, Veterans services and the hospital systems. This will facilitate the AAA to be engaged in County or Regional planning and partnership development with other organizations addressing aging and disability services. Thus, increasing the capacity and functioning of the AAA in the community.
On December 3rd, Pohl officially assumed his new role as the AAA Director and has determined that in addition to strengthening relationships and developing partnerships, there will be an initial focus on the Nutrition programs in the five County Region, including a review of the partnership opportunities of the Meals on Wheels program in The Dalles and assistance with developing the capacity of the Senior Meal Program in Hood River. He hopes that in reviewing and developing relationships with these meal programs he can begin to resolve the conflicts that have created a distrust of the AAA’s ability to serve the community. Also, he will reviewing the mandate of the AAA which addresses the needs of Aging and Disability Services to minority populations and begin to prioritize needed services to the Hispanic, African American, Native Tribes, Asian and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and and Transgender populations within the Five County regions. The development of new funding sources will be a part of an over all strategy to achieve all that is recommended in the State Review and to serve even more effectively the needs of the senior population.