The Senior Agenda Coalition is an independent and diverse coalition of agency and individual members. Our mission is to mobilize people to achieve power in order to implement an agenda that improves the quality of life of older Rhode Islanders. We accomplish this through community organizing, public education and legislative advocacy.
Founded in 2002 as a program of the Gray Panthers of Rhode Island, the Senior Agenda Coalition has been a leading organization for seniors in Rhode Island . The Coalition prioritizes issues that help older Rhode Islanders maintain choice and dignity in their living and social environments. It is a voice for the protection and promotion of public and private programs that protect seniors' quality of life.
The Coalition's research and public education efforts have helped win a number of victories for seniors, including increased funding for home and community-based care programs, support for senior centers, a wrap-around prescription drug program to help seniors on Medicare Part D, and improvements for public transportation.
One of the Coalition's greatest strengths is our ability to engage our coalition members in our mission and work collaboratively with other organizations. Our intent and core purpose is to create and sustain this collaborative effort.The Senior Agenda Coalition conducts ongoing research on local and nationwide "best practices and policies" in senior-specific topics such as long term care.
The Coalition monitors federal and particularly state legislation affecting seniors. Our members attend hearings, provide testimony, and attend meetings to educate legislators about our views on legislation that directly affects them. We also monitor the implementation of legislation and work with state agencies on the development of regulations relevant to senior programs.
Jack Reinholt, Chair
Virginia Neves Gonsalves, Co-Chair
Jeanne Gattegno, Treasurer
Bob Cox, Director
Erin McAndrew, Director
George Neubauer, Director
Susan Saccoccia-Olson, Director
Diane Santos, Director
Bill Flynn has worked as a community center director, VISTA supervisor, public policy advocate, and development director for nonprofit agencies throughout New England.
Before joining the Senior Agenda Coalition he was Director of Community Programs for the R.I. Community Food Bank, and served for nine years as the Executive Director of the George Wiley Center.
Bill holds an MSW degree from the University of Michigan School of Social Work.
Barbara Schermack joined the Senior Agenda in January, 2015 as Bill's Assistant Director. She has worked as a hospital social worker, community organizer, social service director in a home for the aged, and as an executive director for several nonprofit agencies in Rhode Island. From 2002 to 2012, she was Head Start Director for East Bay Community Action Program, which served close to 500 infants, toddlers, and preschoolers in the East Bay of the state.
Barbara holds an MS degree in Human Development and Family Studies with a certificate in Gerontology from the University of Rhode Island. She was a board member of the Senior Agenda Coalition in 2013 and 2014.
Maureen Maigret, RN, BS, MPA, is a consultant to the Senior Agenda Coalition on long term care and elder services policy. Maureen brings a wealth of both policy and political expertise to her work. She has served as Director of the RI Department of Elderly Affairs, a 5-term elected State Representative from Warwick, and Policy Director for former Lt. Governor Charles Fogarty.
Ms. Maigret worked as a registered nurse in various health care settings for twenty years prior to her positions in state government. She has received awards from numerous organizations for her leadership in public policy and advocacy. Maureen also consults with a number of other organizations on matters of long term care.