The proportion of older adults in North Carolina's population is increasing at a faster rate than in most other states. The number of older adults is expected to grow from 12.8% of the state's population in 1998 to 21.4% by 2025. Sixty percent of persons beyond the age of 65 will need long-term care services either in-home or in a residential setting at some point in their lives, as will many younger people with disabilities. In view of these facts, in 1999, the North Carolina General Assembly asked the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to develop a long-term care system that could provide a continuum of care for older adults, people with disabilities, and their families. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services asked the North Carolina Institute of Medicine to convene a Task Force to assist in this effort.Back to Task Forces
Glaxo Wellcome, Inc.
H. David Bruton, MD
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
In March 2001, the Long-Term Care Task Force concluded its study of the state’s long-term care systems and services.
Led by Robert A. Ingram, then CEO of GlaxoWellcome, and H. David Bruton, MD, former Secretary of the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS), the task force delivered its report to The Honorable Carmen Hooker Odom, incoming Secretary of NC DHHS.
At the press conference releasing the report, Secretary Hooker Odom announced that 12 separate pieces of legislation were introduced in the 2001 session of the North Carolina General Assembly and her department had already launched as many as 20 organizational changes as a consequence of this report.
One of these legislative initiatives led to the creation of the Quality Standards Workgroup, a coalition of provider groups, advocates, and representatives of relevant state agencies. The Workgroup’s purpose is to explore policy options that could help improve the standards and systems of measuring the quality of long-term care in North Carolina.
NC DHHS has also implemented several other recommendations. For example, Secretary Hooker Odom announced that long-term care would be one of her administration’s top four priorities and she appointed a new Assistant Secretary for Long-Term Care. Lynda McDaniel was appointed to this important position. In her new position, Ms. McDaniel has consolidated the coordination of many of the Department’s aging- and disability-related activities under the new NC Office of Long-Term Care.