Moving forward with Connecticut Community Care
Connecticut Community Care (CCC) celebrates our fortieth anniversary on July 1, 2020 at this time of unprecedented challenges as far reaching as a universal pandemic and the excruciating recognition of the depth of systemic racism in our society. Cars line up in local football fields and parking lots so families can receive free groceries and masks as demonstrators and protesters take to the streets of metropolitan cities and tiny towns. Despite our infinitesimal role in this grander scheme, we wish to honor the legacy of this extraordinary organization in opening countless doors for thousands of elders and those with disabilities so they could live life on their own terms in the home of their choice. From a handful of provider agencies in 1980, to hundreds of their successors today, from a couple of individuals to three hundred employees, we have participated in, and in many instances lead, the dynamic growth and maturity of our community long term care system. CCC is poised to embrace the future with inspiring new leadership at the helm.
I have decided it is time for me to retire from my position as President of CCC. I came to CCC’s predecessor, the SAIL (Strengthened Assistance for Independent Living) Project at the North Central Area Agency on Aging in 1976, a 26-year-old “kid” wanting to change the world. Thanks to decades of stellar Board, Corporator and staff dedication, we have, in fact, done just that. Every single night over 9,000 clients and their families are resting a little easier because CCC is in their lives. We have worked decisively and collaboratively with public and private stakeholders in the development of the Connecticut Home Care Program, Money Follows the Person and Community First Choice. We have joined forces with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter, the Congregation of Notre Dame and countless elder care attorneys and probate judges to provide customized care management to their private clientele. We have spoken in hundreds of classrooms and lecture halls across the country sharing our unique brand of care management; one of the most respected and emulated models in the nation.
Consider this communication your first introduction to my colleague Julia Evans Starr, as the President of Connecticut Community Care effective August 3, 2020. Many of you have known Julia in a host of different capacities throughout the years. As Executive Director of the Connecticut Commission on Aging, Julia and her Commissioners educated our General Assembly on a myriad of policy issues; one of the most recent of which was a nationally recognized “Livable Communities” initiative. She is well known as an informed, conscientious advocate; an articulate spokesperson regarding our state’s aging agenda, and a supremely talented collaborator and partner. More recently, Julia has been instrumental in the development of numerous State Plans, the work of the Coalition for Elder Justice and MyPlaceCT.org. She is strategic, creative, energetic and, above all, highly motivated to lead CCC into the future. CCC is in the very best of hands. Julia and I will work in concert with our Board of Directors to execute an efficient, comprehensive transition plan.
Over the years I have been blessed with extraordinary teachers; primarily our clients and our staff. Clients share decades of lived experience, from the Depression to World War II, to the joy and suffering of their own lives. Their resilience never ceases to amaze me. They never stop reminding us to always allow them to direct the course of their own lives in any and every way possible. Our staff, on the other hand, share all the challenging lessons of teamwork, negotiation, prioritization and perspective; learnings that have served me well.
Welcome Julia to CCC and accept my profound thanks for allowing me to share this once in a lifetime journey with you.
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