Press Release: VAAACares Receives 2nd Annual The John A. Hartford Foundation 2017 Business Innovation Award !

For Immediate Release: July 31, 2017

CONTACT: Joellen Leavelle, Director, Communications, n4a
P 703.755.0216 /


VAAACares Receives 2nd Annual The John A. Hartford Foundation 2017 Business Innovation Award for exemplary work to provide statewide services to Virginia’s older adults and people with disabilities


Savannah, Ga.—The Virginia Area Agencies on Aging – Caring for the Commonwealth (VAAACares) received The John A. Hartford Foundation 2017 Business Innovation Award today at the Annual Conference of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a). Kathy Vesley, President/CEO of VAAACares, accepted the award on behalf of the organization.

The award recognizes VAAACares for developing a unique statewide service delivery system to attract major insurers to a one-contract, one-stop shop for referrals, reporting, billing and accountability. VAAACares provides evidence-based complex care coordination, care transitions, and other home and community-based services that support positive health and safety outcomes for Virginians with chronic health conditions.

The VAAACares program was able to leverage the important role Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) play in reducing health care costs and improving quality of life through client empowerment and services provided in the home,” said n4a CEO Sandy Markwood. “By building upon its positive experience with the CMS Community-Based Care Transitions Program, VAAACares has been able to adapt its program to meet the needs of Virginia’s Medicaid Managed Long-Term Services and Supports Program and expand it statewide. This is the type of innovation that AAAs can provide across the country and we are excited to recognize Kathy for her strong leadership.

I am thrilled that the Bay Area Agency on Aging and Kathy Vesley are being recognized for this innovative work, which is proving to reduce hospital readmissions by providing better care for seniors at home. Their perseverance in this effort is especially remarkable and commendable,” said Bill Hazel, M.D., Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources.

I was delighted to see the Virginia effort recognized nationally,” said Jim Rothrock, Commissioner, Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services. “Kathy and her team built a keen business plan based on data and an understanding of health care. Yet, the passion and commitment demonstrated by all of the partners to improve health care outcomes while bending the health care cost curve also merits this acclaim.”

Finalist and runner-up to VAAACares is the Living Well Center of Excellence located at Maintaining Active Citizens (MAC, Inc.), an Area Agency on Agency serving the southern-most counties of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The Living Well Center of Excellence has developed innovative partnerships with hospitals to spread evidence-based chronic disease self-management programs throughout the state of Maryland. n4a also recognized the Aroostook Agency on Aging for its work to partner with health care organizations to close several gaps in service to older adults living in Aroostook, Maine, a designated frontier area and the largest county east of the Mississippi River.

We congratulate all the community-based organization nominees for their incredibly innovative work,” said Rani E. Snyder, MPA, Program Director at The John A. Hartford Foundation. “The nominations were inspiring and demonstrated the many creative ways that organizations can embrace new partners, processes, people and payment systems to promote integrated, person-centered care. These strategies are leading to sustainable health care partnership models that are improving the quality of life for older adults and people with disabilities.


About The John A. Hartford Foundation Business Innovation Award selection process

Each year, candidates are nominated through an open application process. A review committee selected by the n4a Aging and Disability Business Institute evaluates the applications based on standard criteria, which include: partnerships in establishing new relationships with health care entities; pioneering in exploring new business models; achieving improved integration and quality of life for older adults and/or people with disabilities; building sustainable models for the future; and being a risk-taker in pursuing new approaches to doing business and aligning leadership and staff in new directions.

About The John A. Hartford Foundation

The John A. Hartford Foundation based in New York City, is a private, nonpartisan philanthropy dedicated to improving the care of older adults. The Foundation has three priority areas: creating age-friendly health systems, supporting family caregiving, and improving serious illness and end-of-life care.

About n4a

The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) is a 501c(3) membership association representing America’s national network of 622 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and providing a voice in the nation’s capital for the 256 Title VI Native American aging programs. The mission of n4a is to build the capacity of its members so they can better help older adults and people with disabilities live with dignity and choices in their homes and communities for as long as possible.

About the Aging and Disability Business Institute

The mission of the Aging and Disability Business Institute is to build and strengthen partnerships between aging and disability community-based organizations and the health care system.  The Business Institute receives funding from The John A. Hartford Foundation and is housed at n4a.

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging

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Washington, DC 20036 202.872.088