News Release

Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Dr. Courtney N. Phillips
HHS Executive Commissioner
Date:May 16, 2019
Danielle Pestrikoff, 512-424-6951

HHSC Recognizes Innovators in Aging

AUSTIN – Texas Health and Human Services Commission today announced the first ever Innovators in Aging award recipients who have made positive impacts on the lives of older adults in Texas.

The older adult population in Texas is quickly growing, generating a need for enhanced efforts to help older adults age and live well. HHSC's awards program, now in its first year, recognizes five recipients for developing and carrying out new and innovative ideas in communities across the state that meet the needs of older adults.

The 2018 Innovators in Aging award recipients are:

  • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Geriatric Task Force (Dallas): This task force established a multidisciplinary partnership that created an educational program focusing on older adults with cognitive impairment.
  • Meals on Wheels Inc. of Tarrant County (Haltom City): Meals on Wheels created an innovative care coordination pilot program to successfully navigate aging clients through the complex continuum of care without traditional health care reimbursements.
  • Cognitive Disorders Center (Austin): The center established the first neurology specialty dementia clinic, designed to put patients' health values first.
  • Workforce Enhancement in Healthy Aging and Independent Living (Fort Worth): This group created a partnership of organizations in Fort Worth that have expanded gerontological training in the community to improve care and health outcomes for older adults and caregivers.
  • Namkee Choi, Ph.D., Centennial Chair in Gerontology in the School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin (Austin): This award recipient is being recognized for her work and research on problem-solving therapy delivered to older adults through video conferencing.

"Every day across the state many people and organizations are quietly working to improve the lives of older Texans. It is important that we recognize them for their contributions and that we encourage others to take innovative actions," said Holly Riley, Aging Services Coordination Manager for HHSC.

More information is available at Texas residents can dial 2-1-1 to learn about programs and services for older adults.