Multi-Sector Plan for Aging in Tennessee (MPA)

What is the Multi-Sector Plan for Aging in Tennessee (MPA)?

The Multi-Sector Plan for Aging (MPA) is a cross-sector, state-led planning resource that can help the state transform the infrastructure and coordination of services for the rapidly growing aging population, as well as people with disabilities. This plan aims to establish a framework that incorporates an aging and disabilities lens across state priorities beyond traditional health care and community services. The MPA will strengthen bridges across numerous state departments and agencies that have policies impacting older adults and people with disabilities. The process of building the MPA includes collaborating with a diverse set of stakeholders to identify shared values, mutual goals, and opportunities to improve person-centered supports and services.

The 5 goals developed for the MPA are:

  1. Health and Healthcare
  2. Caregiving (Informal and Formal)
  3. Community Choice
  4. Employment, Volunteerism, Community Engagement
  5. Security and Protection

Why is Tennessee Involved?

Tennessee was one of ten states chosen to participate in a Learning Collaborative supported by Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS). The Learning Collaborative spanned over a total of ten months beginning on July 27th, 2022 and concluding on May 31st, 2023. Tennessee learned about best practices and implementation efforts from other states that have successfully executed an MPA. Additionally, the state was awarded $10,000 from CHCS to develop an Aging Data Dashboard showcasing key demographic data related to 65+ population in Tennessee. This support assisted Tennessee’s efforts toward developing and finalizing the statewide MPA.

Stakeholder Engagement

Please submit your feedback regarding the goals and/or recommendations via the survey link. All relevant feedback will be reviewed and taken into consideration in developing the MPA.

The Tennessee Multi-Sector Plan for Aging Data Dashboard serves as a valuable resource for stakeholders to gather information and insights about the population of Tennessee residents who are 65 or older.

TN Aging Symposium

Tennessee is also receiving stakeholder feedback by hosting regional Aging Symposiums.

Multisector Plans for Aging (MPAs) are transforming systems of care in many states across the country. Tennessee is one of ten states participating in a National Learning Collaborative to lay the groundwork for creating a MPA for our state. On Friday, May 12, 2023, The West End Home Foundation and AARP Tennessee hosted a Symposium bringing together a diverse group of community members to learn about the structure of these plans, their impact in other states, and the status of the multisector planning process in Tennessee.

The morning started with remarks by Dianne Oliver, Executive Director at The West End Home Foundation, who welcomed attendees by emphasizing the importance of prioritizing policies and programs that positively impact older adults and their families. Following after, Dr. Jim Jones, Chief Medical Officer at the Tennessee Department of Health, shared the State Health Department’s commitment to Healthy Aging across all of its programs and initiatives.

The 5 goals for TN's MPA: 1. Health and Healthcare 2. Caregiving (informal and formal) 3. Community Choice 4. Employment, Volunteerism, and Community Engagement 5. Security and Protection.

Participants were given a chance to give feedback about the goal definitions and subtopics in breakout sessions. These sessions also encouraged attendees to share about programs that were working well, programs not currently working well, and any gaps in service availability in each broad goal area. The Symposium was the first of many opportunities to gather input and feedback from diverse stakeholders. We plan to convene listening sessions and public engagement opportunities throughout the state so that all Tennesseans have the opportunity to share feedback about the plan’s goals.

A Multisector Plan for Aging (MPA) is a cross-sector, state-led, long-term, strategic planning resource that can help transform the infrastructure and coordination of services to meet the needs of older adults, people with disabilities, and caregivers. On Friday, September 29, 2023, East Tennessee State University (ETSU) Center for Rural Health Research and AARP Tennessee hosted a Symposium bringing together a diverse group of community members to learn about the status of the multisector planning process in Tennessee.

Gathered at ETSU’s James and Nellie Brinkley Center, the morning started with remarks by Dr. Kimberly McCorkle, Provost of ETSU, who welcomed attendees and emphasized the importance of working to improve the health and wellbeing of the state by convening partners. Additionally, she stressed the importance that rural populations are a part of this conversation. Next, Dr. Ralph Alvarado, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health, shared the State Health Department’s commitment to Healthy Aging across all of its programs and initiatives.

Michael Meit, Director of ETSU Center for Rural Health Research, gave an overview of the day and shared how the center is doing community-based research across East Tennessee and is always looking for more partnerships. TennCare partnered with ETSU to create a data dashboard and an overview was given by Dr. Laura Hunt Trull. The Tennessee Multi-Sector Plan for Aging data dashboard serves as a valuable resource for policymakers and stakeholders to gather information and insights about the population of Tennessee residents who are 65 years of age or older. The dashboard provides comprehensive data and statistics related to various aspects of aging, such as demographics, health and well-being, economic security, social engagement, and community support. Dr. Qian Huang gave a live demo of the dashboard that was well received by attendees.

One goal of a Multisector Plan for Aging is to highlight the work that is already happening and working well toward supporting the needs of older adults and their families. Mitch Olszewski, AARP Lead Volunteer for East Tennessee, shared how AARP is working to help cities and communities across the state become Age-Friendly and Livable Communities. AARP defines an Age-Friendly community as one that is safe and secure, has affordable and appropriate housing and transportation options, and offers supportive community features and services. Once in place, those resources enhance personal independence; allow residents to age in place; and fosters residents’ engagement in the community’s civic, economic, and social life. Tennessee currently has 13 Age-Friendly communities and is hopefully on the way to becoming an Age-Friendly state.

Continuing with the state perspective, Anna Lea Cothron, System Transformation Director with the Division of TennCare, gave participants an overview of Tennessee’s progress in its Multisector Plan for Aging development. The partners for Tennessee include Governor’s Office, TN Department of Health, TN Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Division of TennCare, AARP TN, and the Area Agencies on Aging and Disability. Over the past year, this group has developed an initial framework, including 5 broad goals with recommendations, for Tennessee’s MPA and has begun building broad support for the plan.

A Multisector Plan for Aging (MPA) is a cross-sector, state-led, long-term, strategic planning resource that can help transform the infrastructure and coordination of services to meet the needs of older adults, people with disabilities, and caregivers. On Thursday, November 2, 2023, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and AARP Tennessee hosted a Symposium bringing together a diverse group of community members to learn about the status of the multisector planning process in Tennessee.

Gathered at Breath of Life Christian Center in Memphis, TN, the morning started with remarks by Dr. Altha Stewart, Senior Associate Dean for Community Health Engagement. She gave a warm Memphis welcome to attendees and acknowledged that this would be a moment that creates lasting change. Next, Dr. Ralph Alvarado, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health, shared the State Health Department’s commitment to Healthy Aging across all of its programs and initiatives. From a local perspective, Dr. Michelle Taylor, Director of the Shelby County Health Department highlighted the importance of access to services in the area and previewed exciting news about creating an aging dashboard specific for Shelby County.

TennCare partnered with East Tennessee State University to create a data dashboard and an overview was given by Dr. Michael Meit, Director of ETSU Center for Rural Health Research. The Tennessee Multi-Sector Plan for Aging data dashboard serves as a valuable resource for policymakers and stakeholders to gather information and insights about the population of Tennessee residents who are 65 years of age or older. The dashboard provides comprehensive data and statistics related to various aspects of aging, such as demographics, health and well-being, economic security, social engagement, and community support. Dr. Qian Huang gave a live demo of the dashboard that was well received by attendees.

One goal of a Multisector Plan for Aging is to highlight the work that is already happening and working well toward supporting the needs of older adults and their families. Mia McNeil, Tennessee AARP State Director, shared how AARP is working to help cities and communities across the state become Age-Friendly and Livable Communities. AARP defines an Age-Friendly community as one that is safe and secure, has affordable and appropriate housing and transportation options, and offers supportive community features and services. Once in place, those resources enhance personal independence; allow residents to age in place; and fosters residents’ engagement in the community’s civic, economic, and social life. Tennessee currently has 13 Age-Friendly communities and is hopefully on the way to becoming an Age-Friendly state.

Continuing with the state perspective, Anna Lea Cothron, System Transformation Director with the Division of TennCare, gave participants an overview of Tennessee’s progress in its Multisector Plan for Aging development. The partners for Tennessee include Governor’s Office, TN Department of Health, TN Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Division of TennCare, AARP TN, and the Area Agencies on Aging and Disability. Over the past year, this group has developed an initial framework, including 5 broad goals with recommendations, for Tennessee’s MPA and has begun building broad support for the plan.

Community engagement including listening sessions, public meetings, and surveys are an important part of the development process and the main reason we were gathered at the Symposium. After an overview of Tennessee’s MPA , participants had the opportunity to provide their own feedback around the five broad goal recommendations using a “World Café” model for discussion. These discussions also encouraged attendees to share about programs that were working well, programs not currently working well, and any gaps in service availability in each broad goal area. Notes were taken to capture any changes, suggestions, and constructive criticisms that were given. All feedback will be compiled and taken into consideration as the state continues to build out the plan with stakeholder feedback.

This symposium was one of many opportunities to gather input and feedback from diverse stakeholders. The next opportunity will be a state-wide virtual symposium being held in early 2024 where Tennesseans from across the state can share feedback about the plan.

Resources

MPA Infographic

Thank you to MPA partner organizations: