Archive for the ‘Clients In The News’ Category

Patients Launch New Study to Shed Light on EGFR-Positive Lung Cancers

Posted: Nov 15, 2018 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on Patients Launch New Study to Shed Light on EGFR-Positive Lung Cancers

Scientists, physicians and patients collaborate to improve
treatment for rare cancer

San Carlos, CA (November 15, 2018) – The Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALCMI), Champions Oncology and EGFR Resisters today announced the launch of a new study to create a novel bank of patient derived xenograft (PDX) models to help researchers better understand why patients living with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) positive lung cancer develop resistance to treatment over time, or do not respond at all.

The brain-child of two patient-driven organizations, the Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) and the EGFR Resisters, this study is a collaboration with leading lung cancer researcher and pioneer in EGFR mutant lung cancer, Pasi A. Jänne, MD, PhD of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Champions Oncology and is powered by ALCMI.

EGFR gene mutations are commonly found in patients with non-small cell lung cancer, making up 10 to 15 percent of patients in the United States and about 50 percent of young adults with lung cancer.  There are many variations of EGFR gene mutations. Some EGFR patients with specific genetic markers (L858R, T790M, exon 19 deletion) respond well to targeted therapies initially, but later develop resistance to treatment. To date, there are no known effective therapies for patients with one rare EGFR mutation (exon 20 insertion).   The purpose of this study is to develop a resource of EGFR mutant cancer models to help drive research in this difficult disease.

“I’m pleased to be part of a collaborative effort that will help researchers move faster toward finding effective lung cancer treatments,” said Teri Kennedy, an EGFR-positive lung cancer patient and one of the founders of EGFR Resisters. “As a lung cancer patient and a friend of many other lung cancer patients and their families, I know firsthand how heartbreaking it is to develop resistance to treatment. This grassroots, patient-driven community hopes to empower patients to participate to find cures and work with researchers to advance research.”

The ALCMI-012 study, A Prospective Biospecimen Collection Study from Patients with EGFR mutant Tumors, will collect a small amount of tumor or pleural fluid from patients who require biopsies or surgery for medical reasons and agree to donate a portion of their tumor. Champions will develop these EGFR PDX models by injecting a piece of the donated tumor or pleural fluid (from around a patient’s lungs) into a special type of mouse that has a limited immune system. Research has shown that tumors grown in these “host” mice retain features similar to the patient’s original tumor.  Most importantly, these models will be available to researchers worldwide through ALCMI.

“This study provides an opportunity to change EGFR positive lung cancer into a manageable, chronic disease,” said Pasi Jänne, M.D., Ph.D. the study’s lead investigator.  “It’s my hope that every patient diagnosed with a resistant EGFR mutation will take part and help speed the progress toward lasting treatments.”

The study, currently open to patients in the U.S. and Canada, is powered by ALCMI’s remote study capabilities.  There is no need to travel to another institution to participate in this study.  ALCMI’s study team will work with you and your treating physician to secure your tumor donation.  To learn more visit ALCMI’s website or call Nurse Alicia at 888-403-EGFR (3437).

“We are pleased to offer patients living anywhere in the US and Canada an opportunity to positively impact research in their disease by participating in this study.  Our team is available to the patient and physician community to answer questions and to support your participation” said Tony Addario, chair and CEO of the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALCMI).

“Champions Oncology is pleased to collaborate in this patient-driven initiative that will advance research for patients with EGFR gene mutations. The team’s shared scientific goals, expertise and commitment ensures that we will engage the patient community to understand the genomics of EGFR and can work with researchers to develop better treatments,” said Jennifer Jaskowiak, director, strategic alliances and partnerships at Champions Oncology.


About the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) is one of the largest international philanthropies devoted exclusively to eradicating lung cancer through research, early detection, education and treatment. The Foundation’s goal is to work with a diverse group of physicians, organizations, industry partners, individuals, patients, survivors and their families to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change and turn lung cancer into a managed, chronic disease. The ALCF was established on March 1, 2006 as a 501c(3) non-profit organization and has raised more than $30 million for lung cancer research and related programs. The foundation has received four stars from Charity Navigator and has earned the platinum GuideStar nonprofit seal of transparency. For more information about the ALCF please visit www.lungcancerfoundation.org or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

About the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute
The Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALCMI, voiced as “Alchemy”), founded in 2008 as a 501c(3) non-profit organization by lung cancer survivor Bonnie J Addario, is a patient-centric, international research consortium driving research otherwise not possible. Working in tandem with its “partner” foundation, the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF), ALCMI powers collaborative initiatives in genetic (molecular) testing, therapeutic discoveries, targeted treatments and early detection. ALCMI overcomes barriers to collaboration via a world-class team of investigators from 26 member institutions in the USA, UK, and Europe. ALCMI combines scientific expertise found at leading academic institutions with patient access through its network of community cancer centers to accelerate research.

About Champions Oncology
Champions Oncology, Inc. is engaged in the development of advanced technology solutions and services to personalize the development and use of oncology drugs. The Company’s technology platform is a novel approach to personalizing cancer care based upon the implantation of primary human tumors in immune deficient mice followed by propagation of the resulting engraftments, or Champions TumorGrafts, in a manner that preserves the biological characteristics of the original human tumor in order to determine the efficacy of a treatment regimen. The Company uses this technology in conjunction with related services to offer solutions for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies seeking personalized approaches to drug development that can lower the cost and increase the speed of developing new drugs. TumorGrafts are procured through agreements with a number of institutions in the U.S. and overseas as well as through Champions’ Personalized Oncology Solutions business, in which results help guide the development of personalized treatment plans for individual patients. For more information visit Champions Oncology, Inc’s website (www.championsoncology.com).

About EGFR Resisters
EGFR Resisters is a grassroots, patient-driven community dedicated exclusively to changing EGFR-positive lung cancer into a manageable chronic disease. Our community of survivors and caregivers is made up of 760 members in 26 different countries who benefit from sharing knowledge and connecting with others who are experiencing similar journeys. The group’s aim is to use the power of collaboration to drive important research questions and fund novel research and clinical trials. Learn more at egfrcancer.org and by following us on Facebook and Twitter

California needs a plan for LGBTQ seniors

Posted: Nov 8, 2018 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on California needs a plan for LGBTQ seniors

By Senator Scott Wiener and Karyn Skultety
San Francisco Chronicle
November 8, 2018

Of the many issues and challenges that Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom and the Legislature will be required to confront, one that rarely gets the attention it deserves is the growth of our senior population. By the year 2030, there will be 4 million new seniors in California. We are not prepared to deal with the fiscal and social costs that this growth will incur.

Recognizing the urgency of this issue, Newsom called for the development of a “master plan for aging with dignity” after California’s June primary election. We heartily agree and enthusiastically support state leaders prioritizing older adults and coming up with solutions to California’s looming senior care crisis. But we have our work cut out for us.

In California, 20 percent of seniors live in poverty. In San Francisco, that number jumps to 30 percent. A lack of affordable and safe housing, the threat of eviction and profound income inequality are stripping this community of its heroes.

While all of the state’s seniors face similar problems as they age, such as access to health care, long-term care affordability, economic security and affordable housing, LGBTQ seniors experience amplified challenges.

One of these challenges is ensuring they will be able to receive equal access to support services as they age. Reports show that LGBTQ seniors are not using existing long-term care and aging services. Another is the very real fear that if they are no longer able to care for themselves and are at risk of losing housing or facing eviction, they could be forced to deny who they are if living in a care facility is their only option.

This fear is justified.

Research tells us that LGBTQ seniors face discrimination and mistreatment in long-term care facilities. According to the National Senior Citizens Law Center, 78 percent of LGBTQ Americans felt it would be unsafe to be “out” in a care facility and 43 percent reported personally witnessing or knowing individuals who experienced instances of mistreatment. For transgender seniors, these risks are even higher.

Tom Nolan, left talks with Jorge Rodriguez and Marcy Adelman from the LGBT aging policy task force, in San Francisco.. Nolan, known as one of Northern California’s most fiery warriors of gay rights meets is now using his efforts to reach out to help the elderly LGBT community.

Tom Nolan, left talks with Jorge Rodriguez and Marcy Adelman from the LGBT aging policy task force, in San Francisco.. Nolan, known as one of Northern California’s most fiery warriors of gay rights meets is now using his efforts to reach out to help the elderly LGBT community. Photo: Lacy Atkins / The Chronicle 2013

To address this particular issue, I, as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, worked hand-in-hand with the LGBT Aging Policy Taskforce to create and implement an LGBT senior bill of rights in long-term care facilities. This ordinance requires staff in long-term care facilities to respect the dignity of all LGBT residents, and made it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual and gender identity, as well as on HIV status. Last year my SB219 placed the protections from the San Francisco ordinance into state law, and ensures LGBT seniors throughout our state know their rights when entering long-term care facilities.

In California especially, an “out” senior shouldn’t have to choose between living on the streets and feeling unsafe in a nursing home or assisted living facility. More than 40 percent of LGBTQ seniors don’t even feel comfortable using housing assistance programs.

People of all ages and backgrounds share a common goal: to age in the place they call home, surrounded by people they love, in a community where they feel they belong. One of the most basic necessities of life is having a roof over one’s head and one that is affordable. In California — as you all know — affordable housing is scarce. Senior housing is even more limited. And, senior housing for LGBTQ Californians is almost nonexistent.

Now is the time for the state to develop a master plan for aging that truly meets the needs of all Californians.

Former San Francisco supervisor Scott Wiener represents San Francisco in the state Senate and serves as chair of the Senate Human Services Committee. Karyn Skultety is the executive director of Openhouse, a nonprofit that provides housing, services and community for LGBTQ seniors.

We Stand With Seniors Congratulates Governor-elect Newsom and Urges Fulfillment of Campaign Pledge to Develop Statewide Master Plan for Aging

Posted: Nov 6, 2018 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on We Stand With Seniors Congratulates Governor-elect Newsom and Urges Fulfillment of Campaign Pledge to Develop Statewide Master Plan for Aging

(SACRAMENTO)We Stand With Seniors, a statewide campaign focused on educating state leaders on issues facing California’s older adult population, congratulates Governor-elect Gavin Newsom on his victory. West Health and The SCAN Foundation, the nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations behind We Stand With Seniors, look forward to working with him and his administration on delivering on his campaign promise to “lead the charge” in developing and implementing a Master Plan for Aging that addresses the state’s looming senior care crisis.

In the next decade, four million more seniors are expected to need health and supportive services throughout the state. The public infrastructure, already under tremendous pressure, cannot address the growing demand for these services without significant policy changes. Currently, one in five older adults in California lives in poverty.

“I congratulate Governor-elect Newsom on his victory, and most importantly, on pledging his support for a comprehensive Master Plan for Aging in California where the situation is critical and the need is urgent,” said Shelley Lyford, president and CEO of West Health. “We stand ready to work with Governor-elect Newsom to turn his words into action, to spur transformational change for seniors along with their families and caregivers, and to ensure a better future for generations to come.”

During the campaign, We Stand With Seniors called on state leaders to prioritize senior issues and collaborate on long-term solutions. As a result, during the campaign, Lieutenant Governor Newsom pledged to develop a Master Plan for Aging so all Californians can age safely and with dignity.

“For too long, California has been awash with fragmented services that may mean well but are ultimately not responsive to the needs of consumers and families. This lack of an overarching strategy has pushed millions of older Californians into poverty, unable to access high-quality, affordable health and supportive services,” said Bruce Chernof, president and CEO of The SCAN Foundation. “We look forward to working with Governor-elect Newsom’s transition team on developing the state’s first Master Plan for Aging, and also invite runner-up John Cox to help shape this effort for our fellow Californians.”


About We Stand With Seniors
West Health and The SCAN Foundation’s We Stand With Seniors…Will You? nonpartisan, public awareness and education campaign focuses on the specific challenges seniors and their families face in accessing high-quality, affordable healthcare, dental care and supportive services and the cost to the state if these challenges are not addressed. Keep up with #StandWithSeniors by visiting www.WeStandWithSeniors.org and following on Facebook @WeStandWithSeniors and Twitter @WeStandWSeniors.

Medical Monday – Lung Cancer Awareness With Navicent Health Nurse

Posted: Nov 5, 2018 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on Medical Monday – Lung Cancer Awareness With Navicent Health Nurse

By Amanda Corna
41NBC/WMGT News
November 5, 2018

MACON, Ga – According to the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, one in fifteen people will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime.

Sally Waldorf, a patient advocate nurse with Navient Health’s Peyton Anderson Cancer Center, visited Daybreak to talk lung cancer awareness.

Why California’s next governor must focus on seniors

Posted: Nov 2, 2018 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on Why California’s next governor must focus on seniors

By Eric Dowdy, LeadingAge California
The Sacramento Bee
November 2, 2018

On Tuesday, California will choose a new governor, but one issue that has not received nearly enough attention during the campaign is our state’s aging population and its associated challenges, such as health care, long-term care, supportive services and housing.

The Public Policy Institute of California estimates that by the year 2030 the over 65 population will increase by 4 million. That is only 12 short years away, and still the state has yet to implement a coordinated plan to address the needs of its rapidly aging population.

Today, too many Californians suffer from skyrocketing housing and living costs. For our seniors, many of whom do not have enough saved for retirement, those costs are growing exponentially. And increasing rents and dwindling affordable housing options for seniors are already straining social service agencies and state resources.

Besides housing challenges, the increasing number of seniors could overwhelm an already fragile health care system. In 2014, beneficiaries 65 and older accounted for 9 percent of the Medi-Cal population, but 35 percent of total spending and 33 percent of hospital days. In contrast, the 82 percent of Medi-Cal recipients who are low income accounted for only 31 percent of hospital days.

Poor health is often the result of social, behavioral and economic factors that can be improved by supportive services such as housing, transportation and nutrition assistance, which can reduce the need for more costly medical care. Yet, the state’s lack of a coordinated plan has left our seniors with limited access to the services they need.

What Californians need is for our new elected leaders to put the coming crisis of senior care at the top of their priority list. They must not only identify and define the core challenges of seniors, but find clear and achievable solutions.

Simply put, we need a master plan for aging that replaces California’s disjointed and fragmented approach and that prepares us for the crisis we all know is coming. To their credit, both candidates for governor have pledged to create a master plan. But Californians need to hold them accountable.

For too long, the issues plaguing our older adults, families and caregivers have been ignored while others have dominated the state’s news and political discussions. Just as we have led the nation on crucial reforms in the past, it is time for California to lead the nation again by developing a master plan for aging that enables all residents to age with dignity.

Eric Dowdy is executive vice president at LeadingAge California, an advocacy group for nonprofits that provide senior living and care. He can be contacted at edowdy@leadingageca.org.

Hometown Spotlight at Gibbs Cancer Center with Bonnie J Addario Lung Cancer Foundation

Posted: Nov 2, 2018 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on Hometown Spotlight at Gibbs Cancer Center with Bonnie J Addario Lung Cancer Foundation

By Staff
WSPA 7News
November 2, 2018

Spartanburg, SC – Hometown Spotlight highlights the Bonnie J Addario Lung Cancer Foundation 5K Saturday 11/3. The race is in Spartanburg every year to help raise money for research and work toward finding a cure.

Organizers said the race is a way to learn more about the cancer that kills nearly 155,000 lives yearly.

According to organizers, the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation is one of the largest philanthropies focusing exclusively on getting rid of lung cancer through research, early detection, education, and treatment.

The Gibbs Cancer Center at Spartanburg Regional is named a Center for Excellence.

Organizer Pam Parham said the foundation attacks the disease by working with a diverse group of partners and their families to make this a chronically manageable disease by 2023.

The organization website details how Bonnie was diagnosed in 2004 and survived painful surgeries and therapies before she began helping others do the same and work to find a cure.

Parham said that lung cancer kills almost twice as many women as breast cancer and more than three times as many men as prostate cancer.

FDA Approves Lorbrena for Metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Subtype

Posted: Nov 2, 2018 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on FDA Approves Lorbrena for Metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Subtype

By Brielle Urciuoli and Kristie L. Kahl
Cure Magazine
November 2, 2018

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to Lorbrena (lorlatinib) for the treatment of patients with ALK-positive, metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who progressed on one or more ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), according to Pfizer, the drug’s manufacturer.

“The approval of Lorbrena is a perfect example of how we can use precision medicines to achieve our goals of making all cancer very personal to each individual,” Bonnie J. Addario, founder and chair of the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, said in an interview with CURE.

Specifically, Lorbrena is approved for patients who have progressed on Xalkori (crizotinib) and at least one other ALK inhibitor for metastatic disease; Alecensa (alectinib) as the first ALK inhibitor therapy for metastatic disease; or Zykadia (ceritinib) as the first ALK inhibitor therapy for metastatic disease.

“While many ALK-positive metastatic NSCLC patients respond to initial TKI therapy, they typically experience tumor progression,” according to a Pfizer press release. “Additionally, options for patients who progress after treatment with second-generation ALK TKIs, alectinib, brigatinib (Alunbrig) and ceritinib, are limited. The approval of Lorbrena represents a new option for patients who have progressed on a second-generation ALK TKI, providing an opportunity to remain on oral therapy.”

The approval was based on a nonrandomized, dose-ranging and activity-estimating, multicohort, multicenter phase 1/2 study – designed to evaluate Lorbrena in 215 patients with ALK-positive metastatic NSCLC who were enrolled across various subgroups based on prior treatment.

The agent induced an overall response rate of 48 percent, including a complete response rate of 4 percent and a partial response rate of 44 percent, and importantly, 57 percent had previous treatment with more than one ALK TKI. The median duration of response was 12.5 months.

In addition, 69 percent of patients had a history of brain metastases and intracranial response rate was 60 percent.

The most common side effects included edema, peripheral neuropathy, cognitive effects, dyspnea, fatigue, weight gain, arthralgia, mood effects and diarrhea. Serious side effects occurred in 32 percent of patients, including pneumonia (3.4 percent), dyspnea (2.7 percent), pyrexia (2 percent), mental status changes (1.4 percent) and respiratory failure (1.4 percent).

Fatal side effects occurred in 2.7 percent of patients, including pneumonia (0.7 percent), myocardial infarction (0.7 percent), acute pulmonary edema (0.3 percent), embolism (0.3 percent), peripheral artery occlusion (0.3 percent) and respiratory distress (0.3 percent). Eight percent of patients permanently discontinued treatment, approximately 48 percent of patients required dose interruptions and 24 percent required at least one dose reduction.

Pfizer noted this indication for Lorbrena is approved under accelerated approval based on tumor response rate and duration of response, and continued approval may be contingent upon the verification and description of clinical benefit in a confirmatory trial.

The FDA-recommended dose of Lorbrena is 100 mg orally once daily.

“Just a few short years ago, lung cancer research was seriously lagging behind the other top four cancers. It is now leading the way in innovation and research,” Addario said. “We must continue to move at this rapid pace to bring more therapies like lorlatinib to patients. It means extended life and is a pathway to personalized medicine by using precision medicine and collaboration among all stakeholders.”

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

Posted: Oct 31, 2018 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

By Gloria Sanchez
Bakersfield Californian
October 31, 2018

In 12 short years, California will be faced with a crisis that if we don’t address very soon will have an enormous impact on both our financial capital as well as our human capital. However, if we act now we have the opportunity to lessen that impact.

That coming crisis is the increase in our senior population, which is growing faster than any other demographic group.

Research by the Public Policy Institute of California indicates that by the year 2030 we will have 4 million more seniors than we do today. And the California Department of Finance projects that by 2060 we will add an additional 4 million.

The problem with such a large increase in seniors is that California is woefully unprepared to deal with all the challenges it will entail.

State and local budgets for healthcare and supportive services will be stretched even thinner than they already are.

There aren’t enough caregivers now to deal with those needing long-term care whether in their homes or in nursing homes and the need will only become more acute.

Many seniors don’t have adequate income or savings to pay for basic needs and that trend shows no signs of changing, meaning as the senior population increases, more will be in need of support from the state.

I am all too familiar with the challenges seniors face and also the challenges government faces in assisting this community.

I have been involved with senior issues for many years.

I currently serve as President of the Triple-A Council of California (TACC), which represents older adult programs around California. TACC assists local agencies in dealing with aging-related issues. I am also a member of the Riverside County Office of Aging Advisory Council, and I serve as Chair of the Menifee Senior Advisory Committee.

When I speak about seniors, I speak from experience.

California can’t wait until this problem becomes a full blown crisis. Especially when considering it’s already a multigenerational issue. However, we can easily avoid the inevitable if we start planning for 2030 and beyond now.

The We Stand With Seniors… Will You? campaign launched earlier this year sounded an alarm for state leaders to swiftly take action. The campaign has been urging the candidates for governor to commit to putting the issue of California’s aging demographic at the top of their agenda, should they win in November.

To their credit, both Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and businessman John Cox pledged to make development of that master plan a high priority, proving that this isn’t a partisan issue, but a California issue.

And the Legislature needs to step up to the plate and put the growth in the senior population at the top of their “to do” list as well.

Those of us who have been involved and worked on these issues stand ready to help.

When I was growing, my parents used to tell their children that, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

The meaning is pretty clear. If we work hard and prepare for this preventable crisis that pound of cure won’t cost as much and we will be able to manage it proactively instead of reactively.

Gloria Sanchez is the president of the Triple-A Council of California, member of the Riverside County Office of Aging Advisory Council, chairwoman of the Menifee Senior Advisory Committee and candidate for the Menifee City Council in Southwestern Riverside County.

Candidates should focus on older Californians

Posted: Oct 30, 2018 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on Candidates should focus on older Californians

By Joseph Cobery
Chico Enterprise-Record
October 30, 2018

Older adults living in Northern California face amplified challenges as those living in more urban regions of California. Transportation challenges and a shortage of providers have plagued rural Californians for decades, yet the state has done virtually nothing in response, even though its aging population will nearly double by 2030. Already, the percentage of older adults living in rural Northern California exceeds 20 percent of the population.

Passages Adult Resource Center in Chico attempts to close this disparity by providing supportive services and community resources to older adults and caregivers in 10 Northern California counties. Through our work, we are reminded every day how difficult it is to successfully age in place while living in rural California.

The individuals we assist often have to choose between paying for transportation and paying for rent or food. We support older adults because they provide wisdom and experience to our communities and lead productive roles through education, training, employment, volunteering and caregiving.

I commend We Stand With Seniors … Will You? for explaining to statewide candidates why California desperately needs to prioritize older adults and develop a master plan for aging. The state’s budget is not growing as fast as the senior population and we are already underwater in terms of workforce supply, affordable housing, access to transportation and more.

Without a comprehensive master plan to account for population changes and their associated costs, and without proper policies for the integration of social workers and gerontologists into this plan, California’s senior care crisis will only get worse.

The Impact of State Elections on Aging Issues

Posted: Oct 22, 2018 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on The Impact of State Elections on Aging Issues

By Staff
Stria News
October 22, 2018

Q&A with Bob Blancato (Part Three)

Politics and policy are top-of-mind for many of us, especially during election season. We wanted to understand the impact of today’s political happenings on the longevity market. So we reached out to aging policy expert Robert Blancato to ask a series of questions. These cover the impacts of state elections on aging issues. Read last week’s Q&A on The Politics of Caregiving and Long-Term Care.

In the current political environment, do you think the most meaningful activity around aging-related issues is most likely to happen at the federal level or the state/local level? And does that mean we should be paying more attention to gubernatorial vs. congressional races?

The answer, of course, is both, but I’ll focus on states in this response. State election outcomes can ultimately impact federal government. On the state election side, redistricting and reapportionment for future Congressional seats can be impacted by outcome.

Also, States decide how federal money is spent from the Older Americans Act and other similar programs. So who administers state agencies (generally appointed by a Governor) becomes important.

One should also not overlook Attorney General races as well, with the growing trend of their filing suits against the federal government.

At least three areas in Medicaid could be impacted by the outcome of a gubernatorial election. Waiver requests to the federal government originate out of a governor’s office. In the states that have yet to expand Medicaid, a gubernatorial race can determine if that policy remains or is changed. Also, any future decision about Medicaid, especially if it relates to block granting the program, plays into gubernatorial races.

From an advocacy standpoint, it is important to work for aging policy agenda-setting in state races for governor and legislature. In California, the We Stand With Seniors effort is an example—both the Democratic and Republican nominees for governor have signed this pledge.

Finally, more and more states are viewed as laboratories of good policy ideas, so who runs a state is important.

Bob Blancato is the President of Matz Blancato and Associates, the National Coordinator of the bipartisan 3000-member Elder Justice Coalition, and the Executive Director of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs. Bob has more than 20 years of service in the US Congressional and Executive branches, including senior staff of the U.S. House Select Committee on Aging and an appointment by President Clinton to be Executive Director of the 1995 White House Conference on Aging. More recently, Bob serves as the Immediate Past Chair of the Board of the American Society on Aging and on the National Board of AARP. He also serves on the Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education of the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services.