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GCOA's Senior Issues Newsletter

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Senior Issues Newsletter August 2023


Presenting the 2024 CO-AGE Priorities!

CO-AGE members have voted and set the issues for the 2024 legislative session!

A slate of four potential issues were presented at the July CO-AGE Meeting and the top two have been selected. All electronic and paper ballots have been counted and the new CO-AGE priorities are: 

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These new issues join the GCOA perennial budget issue: $10 Million increase in Funding for Home and Community Based Services. Congratulations to the submitters whose issues were chosen! GCOA would like to thank everyone who submitted an issue along with those who voted. If you would like to have an issue considered for the 2025 legislative session, we encourage you to start planning early. The next call for issues will go out in April 2024. 

Visit for the 2024 issue summaries. Work group details will be announced soon. If you would like to go ahead and sign up for a work group, contact Patrice Parker at

July CO-AGE Meeting

July Mtg

Thank you to all who joined us in Macon for the July 2023 CO-AGE meeting! We can't do what we do without you. Remember, you play a role in our collective advocacy! Highlights included recognition of the 2023 Legislator of the Year: Representative Carter Barrett; an update on the Georgia Division of Aging Services by Assistant Deputy Commissioner (former GCOA Deputy Director) MaryLea Boatwright Quinn; presentations of the prospective 2024 CO-AGE issues; a Q&A with the issue presenters; recognition of the 2023 Distinguished Older Georgian, Carolyn Lipscomb; and lots of networking! The meeting will be available for viewing soon.

Anyone interested in advocating with and on behalf of older adults can join CO-AGE. Individual Membership is only $10! Paid members have the distinctive ability to submit and vote on the issues that GCOA and CO-AGE take to the Capitol! 

If you are already a member, make sure that your individual information is up-to-date. To report changes or updates to your membership, please contact

GGS Conference

GGS Conference
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Council members and GCOA staff took turns at the GCOA exhibitor table throughout the conference

GCOA Webinar

Nancy Pitra sharing the CO-AGE legislative update

GCOA Executive Director, Debra Stokes with conference keynote speaker, Garrett Davis

Patti Lyons presenting the David Levine Award

to Representative Lee Hawkins

L to R: Eve Anthony, Nikaela Frederick, David Johnson, Ruth Lee, Vicki Johnson, Maureen Kelly, Patti Lyons, Jeremy Le and Melba Paulk-Veazey

Representative Lee Hawkins accepting the David Levine Award. Click the start button above to watch the video.

Maureen Kelly seated between Alice Prendergast-Boughrum and Kristi Fuller in the conference's closing session

GCOA and Georgia Watch Webinar

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Last week, Georgia Watch and the Georgia Council on Aging hosted an informational webinar on preventing elder financial abuse and navigating medical bills and debt. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has shed light on medical billing challenges unique to older Americans. The CFPB’s report highlights a trend in the reporting and collection of inaccurate medical bills that is causing people 65 and older, many with health insurance, to experience unnecessary financial burdens and unpaid medical bills. Click the flyer to watch it.

The Georgia Council on Aging had a wonderful time at the 68th Annual Georgia Gerontology Society Conference with CO-AGE members, community partners, fellow exhibitors, and the like. Held at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Oconee, this year's theme was "Design Your Vision for Aging: Connecting Goals Through Collaboration", kicking off with keynote speaker, Garrett Davis, CEO/Founder of Gdavis Productions and Films. 

Council Chair, Patti Lyons, presented the David Levine Legislative Award to Representative Lee Hawkins while Council Legislative Chair, Maureen Kelly, was the leading expert in the conference's closing session titled "Learning from the COVID-19 Pandemic to Guide the Future: The Aging Network's Response and Opportunities for Transformation." Additionally, CO-AGE Advocacy partner and GGS Advocacy Co-Chair, Nancy Pitra, shared CO-AGE updates with attendees. See more pictures as well as the video of Representative Hawkins' acceptance speech below.


Share Your Personal Stories

Budget funding and legislation are greatly influenced by the personal experiences of older Georgians. Legislators want to hear about how you are affected by the budget and current laws of the state. GCOA can't succeed without YOU!! 

Please click HERE to see how to submit a good personal story.

Save the Dates

Save the Dates

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© 2023 Georgia Council on Aging

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