A new website launched by Gov. Kathy Hochul's administration is trying to dispel misinformation and conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 vaccine in an effort to encourage more people to get their jabs.
The site, announced Wednesday by the governor, includes downloadable toolkits to counter misinformation found online and explain how the vaccine works, as well as cover concerns around pregnancy, side effects, safety and speed of the vaccine.
The site is also a source of countering the claims found and easily spread on social media, covering conspiracy theories about the vaccine.
"With more than 86% of New York adults having received at least one dose, we have made tremendous progress in getting people vaccinated — but there is still more work to do," Hochul said. "Misinformation is harmful and dangerous, especially to New Yorkers who remain hesitant about getting vaccinated, and we are fighting it on all fronts to ensure people know the real story about the vaccines: that they are safe, effective, and free. I urge all New Yorkers to actively take a role in helping their communities get the vax facts — so everyone can make an informed decision to protect themselves from this dangerous virus."
New York is also launching a digital ad campaign in an effort to reach more people who have yet to be vaccinated. The effort has the backing of public health officials in the U.S., who have spent parts of the last 20 months countering untrustworthy information found online.
"Health misinformation is an urgent threat to public health, especially as we begin outreach out to parents of children who may soon be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine," said Dr. Vivek Murthy, the U.S. surgeon general. "We all have a role to limit the spread of health misinformation, and I'm grateful that Governor Hochul and the state of New York are proactively working to combat vaccine misinformation. It's this kind of bold action that we need to ensure we all have accurate, science-based information to protect ourselves and our loved ones."
During Aging Concerns Unite Us (ACUU) you, the aging service network presented us with an award. We are grateful for your support and are pleased that you find the Association of service to each of our members, effective, and worthwhile. While we do not have a recording of the presentation of the plaque, shown below, we carry the moment in our hearts.
Our endless thanks,
Becky and Evi
Alt text: a plaque in the shape of the state of New York sits against a grey background. It says, “To Rebecca Preve and Evelyn Stilson-Ouderkirk From the Association on Aging in New York For their unwavering partnership, advice and guidance with the New York State Office for the Aging, the Network of aging professionals, and public and private organizations to respond to the COVID-19Pandemic through strong and ongoing communication, technical assistance, partnership development and program innovation and implementation and continually demonstrating the value of the population served and the network that serves them while demonstrating to the nation New York’s leadership as a vital care network. September 21, 2021.”
Tags: ACUU, 2021, award, COVID19
Eight area associations on aging (AAAs) in New York are moving ahead on a implementing a grant that will improve the aging services network's capacity to serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The AAAs for Broome, Chemung, Erie, Oswego, Rockland, Schenectady, Schoharie, and Schuyler counties were awarded a Disability Training Grant from the New York State Developmental Disabilities Council (DDPC). Chemung and Schuyler counties will collaborate on their grant award. The DDPC was created following the passage of the federal Developmental Disabilities Act and provides grant funding to pilot projects affecting all areas of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This Disability Training grant has already made training available to the grantees on serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The training was created by the Center for Aging and Disability Education and Research (CADER) at Boston University. Grant sites are encourage to identity additional trainees beyond the initial group who would benefit from learning about Aging with Intellectual and Developmental Disability. This topic is incredibly important as people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are living longer and people who provide formal or informal attendant services or caregiving to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities themselves may be aging.
Indeed, grantees have identified various ways they would like to see their capacity expanded in their communities. Some would like to improve their internal policies to better screen to identify aging caregivers and aging people with disabilities. Some would like to see greater connection to disability services agencies and advocacy organizations to ensure that people with intellectual or developmental disabilities of all ages can get needed services and supports when their aging caregivers are no longer able to provide that support. Additionally, some grantees think that greater public awareness of the range of individuals who might seek assistance from the aging services network could be improved in the way that NY Connects does for anyone needing long term care.
Additionally, the Association on Aging in New York has brought on staff to assist sites while they implement the grant. Kathryn Carroll is the new Disability Training Coordinator who will help identify resources and make connections to other organizations and generally support the grantees' efforts and success. Kathryn is a disabled person who has a background in disability law and policy and advocating for access and inclusion of disabilities in numerous subject areas.
In August, representatives of the eight sites met with the Association on Aging in New York's Executive Director Becky Preve, Advocacy Specialist Colleen Scott and of the state Office for the Aging, Acting Director Greg Olsen of the state Office for the Aging, and Disability Training Coordinator Kathryn Carroll of the Association on Aging in New York to review the goals of the grant and plan next steps.
Congratulations to the grantees! Stay tuned for updates on the impactful projects being completed by our colleagues in the aging services network to advance disability inclusion. This grant should produce ideas and projects that other AAAs can use to increase your capacity in the area of disability awareness and inclusion.
The Columbia County Office for the Aging Senior Stars program is in its second year of providing seniors in need with items at holiday time. The program has provided various items to seniors in need, some of which have included coats, gloves, clothing, sheets, towels, books, small kitchen appliances and many other needed personal items. Due to the generous contribution of the Hudson Police Benevolent Association during the 2020 holiday season, this program was also able to provide a small gift bag to all home bound seniors that receive home delivered meals.
Delivery of gifts began the week of 12/14/2020 and was scheduled to end 12/18/2020, however the Columbia County Office for the Aging office was quarantined on 12/17/2020. Todd Hyson, a Columbia County Sheriff's deputy who is stationed in the building, went to the office, packed up the gifts and brought them down to the main lobby on December 23rd, where volunteers from the Salvation Army were able to pick up and deliver the remaining gifts.
"It was heart warming to see the concern and collaboration that went in to making sure these seniors received their gifts in time for the holidays." said Michele Kraham, Assistant Administrator, Columbia County Office for the Aging.