July 21, 2010
ATLANTA (GA) – The Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS) announces the selection of attorney Melanie S. McNeil to serve as Georgia’s new Long-Term Care Ombudsman. She will lead a statewide group of local ombudsmen who partner with trained volunteers to help resolve residents’ quality-of-life concerns in long-term care settings such as skilled nursing facilities, personal care homes, and intermediate care facilities.
McNeil, an aging policy expert and long-time state advocacy leader, will assume the post vacated by Becky A. Kurtz, who was recently hired by the U.S. Administration on Aging to direct the national Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs.
“I am very excited that Melanie agreed to be the next Georgia Long-Term Care Ombudsman. With her legal background and policy experience at the state and federal level, as well as her long history as an aging advocate in Georgia, I believe she will be an effective and visible advocate on behalf of older individuals who reside in long-term care facilities and personal care homes,” said Dr. James Bulot, director of the DHS Division of Aging Services.
As a well-known figure in Georgia, McNeil promoted aging issues for nearly a decade through the Georgia Council on Aging. In her role as director, she led a statewide group of citizen activists – the Coalition of Advocates for Georgia’s Elderly (CO-AGE) – to educate state legislators, monitor policy trends, and advocate for aging services funds and legislation.
In 2008, McNeil’s far-reaching reputation drew her to Washington, D.C., where she was selected to serve as director of public policy for the National Association of State Units on Aging. Recently, McNeil returned to Georgia to continue her work on behalf of the state’s older adults as Georgia’s Senior Citizens Advocacy Project Coordinator. McNeil will assume her new position as Georgia’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman in August, 2010.
Information about the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program is available at http://www.GeorgiaOmbudsman.org. To learn more about the DHS Division of Aging Services, call 1-866-55-AGING (1-866-552-4464) or visit http://www.aging.dhr.ga.gov.
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