EXPERT OPINION: A Conversation with Larry Minnix
In this “Expert Opinion” interview, Larry Minnix details AAHSA’s proposal to dramatically alter the way America approaches and finances long-term health care for the elderly.
Larry Minnix is President and CEO of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA), a position he has held since 2001. For more than 35 years, Minnix has been a passionate advocate for leadership and innovation in not-for-profit aging services. He entered the field as an administrative intern at Wesley Woods Center of Emory University, where he went on to serve as CEO. He also served as an AAHSA board member prior to joining the association as its CEO. Minnix has translated his passion into practice as AAHSA's CEO. During his tenure, he established the Center for Aging Services Technologies, developed programs to address important issues like workforce retention and regulatory reform and is currently advocating for long-term care financing reform. Minnix is a frequent speaker on long-term care, quality, ethics, and public policy. He serves on the boards of Generations United and The Erickson School of Aging Studies. Most recently, Minnix was nominated to The NonProfit Times' 2008 "Power and Influence Top 50" List. Larry received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Emory University and is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church.
William L. (Larry) Minnix, Jr.
President and Chief Executive Officer
American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging
2519 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008-1520
SeniorCare Investor Director of Broadcasting Anne White recently caught up with Larry Minnix at the 2008 AAHSA Annual Conference & Exposition held in Philadelphia in October. Larry took time out of his heavy conference schedule to outline for Anne some of the actions AAHSA will be lobbying the new administration for after the inauguration of the new President in January.
I'm here today with William L. Minnix, better known as "Larry," president and CEO of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging. First of all, Larry, I'd like to congratulate you on this year's AAHSA convention, I understand there are over 8,000 attendees packed into this Philadelphia convention center today. Now, the theme of this year's meetings has been business and you have offered five big ideas for transforming AAHSA's business plans over the coming two years. But as I see it, one of the biggest changes for AAHSA will be the new president and the new administration coming to Washington in January. So I'd like to ask you what would AAHSA want to see happening in healthcare in regard to seniors when the new administration and the new president take over in January?
Sure, yes, we worked with both of the presidential campaigns and other congressional leaders to basically deliver a couple of messages. One is that health care must be reformed and long-term care reformed as part of it. That to not do so not only compounds some of the health care problems our country faces, but it continues to be a drain on the economy in a number of different ways, both known and unknown. Second, we need new capital investment in long-term care. Nursing homes are under-capitalized. The elderly housing programs, which have been very successful for low-income people, that capital is drying up. And the mentality has been somehow that these are welfare programs that we need to get rid of as opposed to investment programs that create jobs. In the case of housing, it's not only jobs, but our research shows that people can live responsibly in low-income elderly housing with care coordination and a number of other things. So we've got to get them to think: to fix the problem, invest in long-term care services and capital and take the long view, not the short view. Short-term thinking and small ideas do not work anymore. And we're going broke doing small things and inaction.
Terrific, Larry, thank you very much for your input.
Recorded October 13, 2008