Maui Office on Aging executive elected to national association
The Maui County Department of Housing and Human Concerns announced that the Office on Aging’s executive on aging, Deborah Stone-Walls, has been elected amongst her peers from across America to serve as the 1st vice president of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, abbreviated as “n4a.”
Having served on the national board since 2009, Stone-Walls said she was honored to have the opportunity to represent Maui County and the state at the national level. Locally, she has served at the helm of Maui County’s Office on Aging since 2008, overseeing a staff of 21 that provides valuable health and essential social services to over 40,000 seniors on Maui, Molokai and Lanai.
As the designated local Area Agency on Aging, the Maui County Office on Aging is dedicated to promote and protect the well-being of older adults in Maui County. The agency is authorized by the Older Americans Act, and the primary objective is to help kupuna and caregivers lead dignified and meaningful lives in their own homes for as long as possible.
“The County of Maui’s Executive on Aging Deborah Stone-Walls has the necessary experience, knowledge and skills to take on such
important leadership positions at the national and state levels,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa. “At a time when Hawaii’s senior population is growing four times faster than our total population, it is imperative that we understand nuances of the silver tsunami that is changing the composition of our community and to focus on future impacts. Addressing our elderly population’s needs is a top priority for the administration and Deborah is the perfect individual to lead the way.”
N4a is the national association for 622 Area Agencies on Aging and more than 250 Title VI Native American aging programs that work year-round to provide members with a wide array of technical assistance, training, resources, advocacy and other benefits to support the critical efforts on behalf of older adults, family caregivers and individuals with disabilities.
In her role as 1st VP, Stone-Walls will hold a key leadership position to assert direct influence on national policy and strategic planning for the aging network. As president-elect, next year she will serve in the organization’s top spot.
Maui’s Executive on Aging was also selected to serve as the chair of the State of Hawaii’s HCR35 HD1 SD1 Task Force, a resolution passed by the 2017 state Legislature to convene a task force to “assess current elder and Kupuna Care services and the anticipated demand for those services in order to improve those services and meet demand.”
The group, convened by the University of Hawaii Center on Aging, includes a number of influential and high-ranking officials in health and senior services. As chair of the state task force, Stone-Walls will lead the effort to review elder services, assess anticipated demands for services, determine requirements for adequate training, workforce expansion, services expansion and financing to improve the current situation and meet anticipated need.
To learn more about the n4a, click on www.n4a.org. To learn more about Maui County’s Office on Aging and its senior programs and services, call 270-7755 or visit www.co.maui.hi.us/255/Office-on-Aging.