Governor Dannel P. Malloy today tapped former State Senator Edith Prague of Columbia to serve as the Commissioner of the newly-formed State Department on Aging (SDA). SDA will ensure that Connecticut's elderly population has access to the supportive services necessary to live with dignity, security, and independence, and is responsible for administering a variety of federally-funded programs under the Older American's Act.
"Senator Prague has dedicated herself to improving the quality of life for senior citizens--with her background and expertise, she is a natural choice to lead the Department on Aging," said Governor Malloy. "I know she will make an immediate impact as the Commissioner on Aging and am eager to work with her to address the needs of our state's growing senior population."
SDA was statutorily created on January 1, 2013 and will be fully established after enactment of SB 837, "An Act Concerning the Department on Aging." All appropriate functions, programs, and duties within the Department of Social Services' (DSS) State Unit on Aging and Office of Long Term Care Ombudsman will be transferred to SDA once the Commissioner on Aging is confirmed by the legislature and administrative staff is hired.
"It is an honor to serve the people of Connecticut, and I thank the Governor for his trust and support," said Prague. "For 18 years I represented the residents of Connecticut's 19th Senatorial District, and I am looking forward to getting back to work on behalf of our seniors. We have a tremendous resource in our older residents, it is important that the state's programs and services are relevant, appropriate, and meet their needs."
Prague represented the residents of Connecticut's 19th Senatorial District from 1994-2012. In 2011, as the Senate chair of the Committee on Aging, Prague advocated for and achieved an elevation in status for the then-select committee to become a full standing committee of the General Assembly. Prior to her tenure as State Senator, Prague served for eight years in the state House of Representatives and, in 1990, was appointed Commissioner of Aging by Governor Lowell Weicker. As Commissioner, Prague was instrumental in helping to establish the first Assisted Living Facilities in the state and established a statewide health insurance program that counsels seniors on their options for insurance coverage.
SDA will encompass the DSS State Unit on Aging and the Office of Long Term Care Ombudsman which works to improve the quality of life and quality of care of Connecticut citizens residing in nursing homes, residential care homes, and assisted living communities.