For Immediate Release - August 12, 2009


PITTSFIELD - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - Governor Deval Patrick today swore in Ann L. Harstein as the new Secretary of Elder Affairs at the Pittsfield Senior Center.

"Massachusetts seniors and their families will be well-served by Secretary Hartstein," said Governor Patrick. "Her expertise and long-standing commitment to the elder community will be put to good use as we work to provide the services and support our elders depend on."

Secretary Hartstein oversees the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, which promotes the independence and well-being of Massachusetts' elders and people needing medical and social supportive services. By providing advocacy, leadership and management expertise, Elder Affairs maintains a continuum of services responsive to the needs of elders, their families and caregivers.

"We are excited to have Secretary Hartstein at Elder Affairs to lead the agency in serving seniors across the Commonwealth, especially during this challenging economic time," said Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. JudyAnn Bigby. "Her leadership and in-depth knowledge are instrumental in our continued efforts to support healthy aging and to serve Massachusetts' elders."

Prior to being appointed Secretary of Elder Affairs, Ms. Hartstein served as Executive Director of the Massachusetts Association of Older Americans. Ms. Hartstein returns to the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, having first served as Director of Special Projects and then as Assistant Secretary for Policy and Program Development between 1998 and 2004, during which time she received the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Citation for Outstanding Performance award.

"I am delighted to join the Patrick Administration in working to insure that elders have services they need to live and thrive in the Commonwealth," Secretary Hartstein said. "Aging is a lifelong process and as Secretary of Elder Affairs I am honored to join Governor Patrick and Secretary Bigby in their commitment to provide all older Commonwealth residents with an array of programs. Many seniors make significant contributions as caregivers, volunteers and workers in their communities and we are determined to help them maximize their strengths and abilities."

Ms. Hartstein has been a strong advocate for the elder community for over 30 years. In both 2003 and 2008, she was named as the "Advocate of the Year" by the Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging and Senior Center Directors, and received the Manuel Carballo Award for Excellence in Public Service as a member of the Prescription Advantage Development Team in 2001. In 2009, she received the Betsy Ross Fliegel Award for Social Policy and Change from the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.