The 2022 USAging Answers on Aging Conference and Tradeshow put Farmville-based Piedmont Senior Resources Area Agency on Aging (PSR) on center stage in Austin, Texas, as Director of Nutrition Services, Nutrition Transportation and Medical Transportation Jordan Miles and Executive Director and CEO Justine Young delivered a presentation to a national audience.
At the annual gathering of national leaders in aging and age-related human services, Miles and Young were selected to present on PSR’s innovations in the area of Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT). The duo detailed PSR’s work through the 5310 “Enhanced Mobility of Seniors & Individuals with Disabilities” federal funding program, which allowed for the purchase of vehicles to transport PSR clients to healthcare appointments.
“It was humbling to be in front of our peers in the aging industry to discuss opportunities and ways agencies can use federal funding to help get older adults to and from their medical appointments,” Miles said. “At the conference, we were able to demonstrate how a small, rural, area agency on aging with limited staff and resources can achieve so many successful outcomes for so-often poor, homebound seniors, and address social determinants of health. Those who attended were able to see the innovation and ingenuity behind PSR’s medical transportation system.”
The USAging Answers on Aging Annual Conference and Tradeshow brings together government experts, policymakers, business leaders and Aging Network practitioners and partners to share knowledge, insights and new directions in the field of aging. This year’s event was held in person for the first time since 2019.
“It was such an honor for PSR to be asked to present to our peers at the USAging Conference and to showcase our NEMT program development as an example of how to start and run a rural medical transport program,” Young said. “We are a small area agency on aging, but through our remarkable and progressive staff — as well as our very supportive board — we have been able to have an impact at the national level.”
As part of their presentation, Miles and Young shared how their evidence-based approach, which drew from public hearings, community health needs assessments and anecdotal data, shaped PSR’s NEMT program. The presentation also detailed PSR’s innovative approach to funding, which includes pursuit of various grant monies and private fundraising to sustain the ongoing program.
In addition to their presentation, Miles and Young also represented PSR in receiving a 2022 Aging Innovations Award for their work connecting clients virtually through a homegrown program that uses tablets and Zoom’s virtual meeting platform. This award was one of several the USAging Conference presented to agencies who demonstrated traditional and new strategies in a range of categories, including advocacy, diversity, equity and inclusion, elder abuse prevention, healthy aging, home and community-based services, nutrition, social engagement and workforce development.