North Central News

Valley’s Area Agency on Aging honored

The Area Agency on Aging, Region One, was recognized for a unique collaborative partnership with Mercy Care Plan that provides meals, adult day healthcare, transportation, post-hospitalization care transition services and behavioral health care in Maricopa County at the 43rdNational Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) Conference in Chicago, presented by n4a’s Aging an Disability Institute and the John A. Hartford Foundation.

Recognized as a community-based organization that has “made significant strides in contracting with health care entities and, as such (has) substantially improved the quality of life of older adults,” Area Agency on Aging, Region One, President and CEO Mary Lynn Kasunic, accepted the award on behalf of the agency.

“Driven by our goal to allow those we serve to remain safe and healthy in their own homes, our partnership with Mercy Care provides essential services to their health plan members,” Kasunic said.  “We value Mercy Care as a partner and the work we do together in improving patient care.”

Mercy Health Care Chief Medical Officer Charlton Wilson said “We are proud to partner with the Area Agency on Aging, Region One, in a collaboration that enhances our members’ experience.  These are vital services for our senior members and members living with special needs.  We want our members to have the services that will ensure the highest quality of life, and the support they need to maintain that quality.  Making sure members have transportation and nutritious meals, for example, are key for them to be able to achieve their best health and wellbeing.”

The Area Agency on Aging, Region One serves over 100,000 people annually in Maricopa County and is part of a national network of more than 622 Area Agencies on Aging nationwide that provide essential home and community-based services to adults 60 and older, caregivers, persons with disabilities and many other special populations.

Mercy Care is a not-for-profit health plan serving AHCCCS members throughout Arizona. Owned by Dignity Health and Ascension Health, Mercy Care has served Medicaid members since 1985. Mercy Care provides access to health care services for families, children, seniors, and people with physical and developmental/cognitive disabilities.

Mercy Care also operates as the Regional Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA) in Maricopa County, which was the first RBHA in Arizona to offer integrated physical and behavioral health services to persons determined to have a serious mental illness. Mercy Care manages the public behavioral health system in Maricopa County and parts of Pinal County. For more information about Mercy Care, visit

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