Kathy Greenlee recently gave an AP interview that ran with this lead…
There’s the White House auto czar, the health care czar and the yet-to-be-named cyber czar. There are czars overseeing drugs, climate and regulatory action. There’s a pay czar overlooking executive compensation and talk of another for sports and culture.
And then, there’s the aging czar.
The “Czar thing” has been a favorite right wing talking point for months.
In fact, Kathy Greenlee is a talented, hard working advocate for elders who has loads of real life experience.
- Elder Law Specialist at the Legal Aid Society of Topeka
- Ombudsman for long-term care in Kansas
- Head of the Kansas Department on Aging
The fact is that she was was confirmed to the position of assistant secretary for aging in the Department of Health and Human Services, by the United States Senate. She is responsible for a $1.5 billion annual budget and tens of thousands of organizations that receive federal funding for a wide range of senior services.
The phoney Czar issue has been used to undermine the credibility of public servants who have come to Washington to work for change. She is not a Czar but she does have strong opinions on the issues with which her team will be wrestling…
Her approach to aging can be summed up in one sentence…
“Aging is such a unifying topic,” Greenlee, 49, said in an interview from her Washington office. “Any issues that we work on with the administration will hopefully help everyone.”
Love this too…
Among the issues Greenlee is most passionate about is keeping seniors in their homes and communities, if they choose, and out of nursing homes, which most want to avoid. Advocates have been working on this for decades, and while Greenlee pledges her attention, there is no quick fix in a system generally ruled by Medicaid, which operates differently in each state.
Elders have an experienced advocate in Greenlee, I’m looking forward to seeing what she can do at the wheel of the federal bureaucracy. We will all continue our work– Czarless but very happy.