LeadingAge Oklahoma History
In October 1994, a group of individuals dedicated to furthering the awareness and promoting the interests of not-for-profit providers of aging services drafted bylaws to establish the Oklahoma Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (OKAHSA), the state affiliate of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA). AAHSA, now called LeadingAge, is comprised of nearly 6,000 members nationwide, representing the full continuum of aging services, from independent housing to nursing facilities.
Mary Brinkley was hired as Executive Director in October 1995, in order to provide greater member services through educational seminars, public policy updates, and increased exposure of the important role of the not-for-profit provider.
In March of 2011, the members of the OKAHSA approved LeadingAge Oklahoma as the association’s new name. The results showed clearly that members want their association to be known by this distinct, strong voice for not-for-profit organizations.
Expanding the word of possibilities for again
LeadingAge Oklahoma represents our members’ expectations of this association to be forward-thinking in shaping the future of the long term care profession and to expand the world of possibilities for aging. We should lead in innovative practices that transform how we care for our aging population, cutting-edge initiatives to develop services that meet the needs and preferences of older adults and advocacy efforts to advance the interests of the aging consumer.
LeadingAge Oklahoma is the recognition of the work our members do to design new programs for wellness, personal enrichment, and intergenerational connections. It acknowledges adoption of technology solutions and culture change. It encourages new kinds of community partnerships to redefine the traditional role of provider and consumer partnerships to better meet the needs of those who wish to age in place. And, it celebrates member engagement with research, policy making and leadership development.
We take great pride in the achievement of our members as individuals and as groups working together to honor a shared mission. As an association committed to serving older Oklahomans, all contributions that enhance the quality of that effort are valued. Our member communities are touching the lives of residents and participants in special ways, and encouraging all of us to even greater accomplishments.
Since 1995, LeadingAge Oklahoma has been very well-received and has experienced remarkable growth. As our membership continues to grow, we realize the definite purpose for our existence. Through the work of LeadingAge Oklahoma, we strive to increase the quality of care and accountability of providers so the elderly population will be better served.