At its general membership meeting on Monday, April 28, 2008, the Elder Law Section, of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, unanimously adopted its "Strategic Plan" for work.
That Plan first recounts the Section's "Mission", and then details five "Strategies" to accomplish it by Section members.
The Strategic Plan was presented by the current Chair of the PBA Elder Law Section, Leslie Wizelman, Esq., of Wyalusing, PA, who had guided its development by Council Members & Officers.
That business item was one of various activities conducted during the Section's meeting, which included addresses in the morning by Senator Patricia Vance (R), Chair of the Senate Aging & Youth Committee, and in the afternoon by Representative Phyllis Mundy (D), Chair of the House Aging & Older Adult Services Committee. See: PA EE&F Law Blog posting "PBA Elder Law Section's Spring '08 Newsletter & Meeting" (04/23/08).
With permission from Leslie, granted on behalf of the Section, I post its "Strategic Plan":
PBA ELDER LAW SECTION
MISSION: The purpose of the Elder Law Section is to enable Pennsylvania attorneys to meet the needs of their clients through the exchange of ideas and information on substantive elder law issues. The Section also shall promote improvement in substantive law, legal education and ethical guidelines.
FIVE STRATEGIES TO ACHIEVE THE MISSION:
- Evaluate and influence legislation and regulations to improve the quality of life of the elder population of Pennsylvania.
- Improve relationships between the Elder Law Bar and the Executive and Legislative branches in order to be better able to advocate on behalf of Pennsylvania’s elderly.
- Promote the improvement of the practice of Elder Law through legal education and ethical guidelines.
- Provide litigation support for appropriate cases that will benefit the elder population of Pennsylvania and monitor pending and prospective cases.
- Maintain and enhance the positive image of the Elder Law Bar.ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF PLAN:
Each of the above strategies is listed on a separate page that follows, under which objectives are listed with regard to each strategy. These objectives have been approved by Council. It will be the responsibility of the Elder Law Section Council to develop an Action Plan to achieve each objective. Some Action Plans already have been completed. The people working on a specific subject can further develop the contents of the Action Plans. Objectives can be added, deleted and modified.
PURPOSE OF PLAN:
The purpose of this planning process is to develop an organized approach to the Section’s goals in order that we may make efficient use of our limited time and resources to achieve our mission. Planning is a continuous process that asks, “How can we best use our resources to achieve our mission?”
Evaluate and influence legislation and regulations to improve the quality of life of the elder population of Pennsylvania
ADOPTED PRIMARY OBJECTIVES:
1. DRA regulations. Advocate for the regulatory implementation of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 in a manner that will be least detrimental to Pennsylvania’s elderly and will be consistent with Federal law.
2. Assisted Living regulations. Participate in the regulatory process authorizing assisted living facilities in Pennsylvania.
3. Track Proposed Legislation and Regulations. Create a system for the section to monitor and track pending and proposed legislation and regulations that are relevant to the Elder Law Section.
4. Family Caregivers Support Act. Support legislation and administrative initiatives to assist family caregivers.
5. Prevention of Financial Abuse of Elderly. Support legislation to prevent and remedy the financial abuse of the elderly.
ADOPTED SECONDARY OBJECTIVES:
1. Act 43 - Filial support law. Monitor cases and determine an effective position of the Section and the PBA with possible collaboration with the Family Law Section.
2. Penalty Divisor. Monitor implementation of annual changes.
3. Long Term Care Partnership. Monitor long term care partnership program regulations and implementation.
4. Estate Recovery Regulations. Monitor changes to Estate Recovery regulations.
Improve relationships between the Elder Law Bar and the Executive and Legislative Branches in order to be better able to advocate on behalf of the elder population of Pennsylvania
1. Legislative Outreach. Identify, develop and utilize relationships of Section members with legislators.
a. MACC. Participate on the Medical Assistance Advisory Committee
b. Caucus. Support the formation of a Legislative Elder Caucus.
2. Policy forum. Hold a policy forum to examine issues affecting the elderly and to explore and develop policy initiatives.
3. Meetings. Host events and meetings to develop relationships with key players.
4. Communications. Develop succinct White Paper/Talking Points on relevant discussion issues.
Promote the improvement of the practice of Elder Law through legal education and ethical guidelines.
1. Newsletter. Publish two newsletters per year. Members of council are encouraged to contribute to the newsletter.
2. Section Day. Continue regular participation in Section Day, seeking to host a speaker at such meetings.
3. Continuing Legal Education. Continue to plan the Elder Law Institute through PBI, and work to improve coordination of CLE events with the PBI Board.
4. Web Site. Improve access to and visibility of the web site by working with PBA staff and issuing press releases of website postings to appropriate recipients, such as blogs.
5. Fair Hearing Repository. Create a repository for fair hearing decisions, with names redacted, for posting on the section web site with the focus being assisting members to be better advocates for their clients.
Provide litigation support for appropriate cases that will benefit the elder population of Pennsylvania and monitor pending and prospective cases.
1. Litigation feasibility committee. Appoint panel to develop guidelines for litigation support and format for reviewing and monitoring cases, including monitoring prospective cases.
2. PA NAELA chapter. Support creation of NAELA Chapter.
3. Decision Bank. Collect decisions and disseminate to section members by posting on website.
Maintain and enhance the positive image of the Elder Law Bar.
1. Public Relations. Broaden public awareness through the use of press releases, talking points, and the development of a speakers’ bureau in order to promote the dissemination of quality, accurate information to the public.
2. Coalition Building. Develop relationships with key organizations with common interests.