PCA’s next four years: Breakdown of our state-approved Area Plan
Please read this important update from PCA president & CEO Najja Orr:
To our consumers and partners in the aging network:
Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA) is excited to announce the recent approval of its 2020 – 2024 Area Plan for aging services by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging. PCA, like all area agencies on aging in Pennsylvania, is required to submit a new plan for aging services every four years to fulfill its mandate under the Older Americans Act. This new plan will direct and navigate our planning and service delivery efforts for older Philadelphians, those with disabilities, and caregivers over the next four years.
To inform the plan’s development, PCA utilized external survey data, consulted with a wide range of stakeholders, including aging professionals and service recipients, and considered key factors that impact the delivery of service, such as population trends, local and economic conditions, and resource development. This needs assessment process highlighted six themes for further attention: access to services, data-driven decision making, diversity and inclusivity, innovation and operational efficiency and effectiveness, safety of older adults, and social determinants of health.
The Area Plan lists five key goals for PCA over the next four years. These goals address the above themes, and are also based on statewide goals set by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging. Each goal in PCA’s Area Plan includes accompanying objectives, strategies for action, and performance measures to guide our efforts.
A summary of the five goals is listed below, and a link to PCA’s full 2020 – 2024 Area Plan, which I encourage everyone to read, can be found here.
Goal 1: Promote efficient and innovative best practices to ensure service access for Philadelphia’s diverse aging population.
We plan to continue to explore new and creative opportunities to reach previously underserved and emerging communities across all programs and services. Our objective is to identify underrepresented communities while strengthening our existing engagement goal efforts. Collaboration with area senior centers and our partners within the aging network will also be instrumental in helping us accomplish this goal.
Goal 2: Improve efforts to address social determinants of health, support healthy living, promote active engagement and help build a sense of community among older Philadelphians.
PCA will use its footprint to work with community partners to advocate on the issues that affect our consumers. This will bring together stakeholders in the aging, health care, social services, housing and food provision sectors. These efforts intend to reduce hunger and malnutrition, raise awareness of older adult homelessness and advocate for improved senior housing options.
Goal 3: Demonstrate continued efforts of inclusion and person-centered practices through services and programs as well as outreach and education.
PCA will use data on regional demographics to enhance our capacity to reach new and diverse older adult populations. We will also increase access to and use of our services by building or enhancing relationships with local community-based and health care organizations.
Internally, we’re promoting diversity and inclusion through targeted staffing practices and mandatory participation in PCA’s virtual Diversity and Inclusion training. I believe this is a great example of how we continue to seek to foster a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
Goal 4: Enhance and advocate for continued support of efforts promoting the rights, safety and protection of older Philadelphians through increased education, prevention, and compassionate response.
PCA will increase its advocacy and awareness efforts at the state and national level for support of ombudsman, legal, and protective services. We are actively searching for ways to increase resources and we continue to seek additional funding sources for our Older Adult Protective Services unit. We recently submitted, for example, a request to renew the Victims of Crime Act funding to support our Victim Support Program.
Goal 5: Use data-driven, evidence-informed planning to improve business practices and the provision of services and programs.
Our care for older Philadelphians and those with disabilities must focus on innovation. Over the next four years, we will explore tools and systems to improve efficiency in business operations. We’ll rely on evidenced-based data to support programs and services, and finally, look at methods to streamline processes and communication with all PCA stakeholders.
I encourage everyone to read the full Area Plan and view the benchmarks we will collectively strive to reach as an agency. I’d also like to give my thanks to everyone who worked on this project and presented a comprehensive plan, endorsed by our state officials, which will serve as our guidebook over the next four years.