Center for Long-Term Care Reform - Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

Connect & Follow Us

Health & Medicine Policy Research Group Logo


Center for Long-Term Care Reform

Programs & Projects Menu

For more information about this program please contact:

Wesley Epplin
Policy Director

Brigitte Dietz
Health and Aging Policy Analyst

Alizandra Medina
Health and Aging Organizer

Go Back

Center for Long-Term Care Reform

  • Overview
  • News


The Center for Long-Term Care Reform promotes equitable aging within communities for all Illinoisans at all ages.

The Center works toward a just society that enables people to age well across the entire life course and an equitable system of long-term services and supports so that people can live according to their own goals and values, without exploitation or unmet needs. The Center advocates for caregiving that supports both the needs and rights of older persons and caregivers.

Founding: Health & Medicine’s Center for Long-Term Care Reform was founded in 2001 to focus on the unmet health, social, and physical care needs of older persons and disabled people. At that time, the Center’s focus was on reducing the number of people who were in nursing homes, while also ensuring essential community supportive services for activities of daily living for those wishing to live with families and remain integrated within their communities.

The work of the Center for Long-Term Care Reform is a critical part of Health & Medicine’s focus on both health, considered in the broadest sense, and on access to high-quality healthcare, with a special emphasis on the health and social safety nets, including policies, programs, and institutions that advance health equity. The Center’s work has evolved over the years and you can read about our current initiatives below.

Current Initiatives: 

Illinois Aging Together: A Statewide Movement for Aging Equity 

The main current initiative of the Center for Long-Term Care Reform is Illinois Aging Together, a campaign for a strategic action plan on aging that seeks to reframe aging as a lifelong process that includes all of us, and to promote justice, momentum, meaning, and purpose as people age. Learn more and support the campaign at 

Why is this plan and reframing needed? Illinois’ population is aging. We are all aging all of the time and are impacted by the aging of our loved ones, friends, and neighbors. Older adulthood should be a time for joy, celebration, and fulfillment; however, due largely to a biased presumption that everyone has a nuclear family or family caregiver to help, many Illinoisans struggle with aging. Additionally, health inequities reduce quality of life and cut lives short. How can we activate our ingenuity to create better solutions for aging? What do we need to support equitable aging for all?

Illinois needs a strategic action plan for aging. We’re building the aging equity movement and we hope you’ll join!

Nursing Home Research 

Health & Medicine founding board member and chair of the Center for Long-Term Care Reform Committee Michael Gelder is leading an ongoing comparative research study of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality in older adults throughout Illinois based on residential status in nursing homes vs. the community. Read more here. 

Gerontology Education for Aging Workforce Development 

Our approach to gerontology education for aging workforce development aims to stabilize and enrich the labor force working with older persons. Through embedded cross-sector educational programs, we aim to foster gerontological understanding and skillsets within high school curricula and create opportunities for gerontology infusion into the K-12 education system. We also seek to demonstrate career pathways for an economically secure gerontological workforce.

The Committee—made up of Concordia University Chicago Center for Gerontology, the Illinois Department on Aging, the Illinois State Board of Education, Health & Medicine Policy Research Group, and other community organizations—is developing an education-to-career pathway through a dual-credit High School-Community College Gerontology Program funded by the Perkins Act. Through robust collaboration and ongoing advocacy, the development of this cross-sector educational pilot has been included in Illinois’ new State Plan for Aging as a workforce solution. This work is made possible thanks to advocacy and development funding through Concordia University Center for Gerontology with Kott Foundation funds.


Thank you to our generous funders for supporting this work! 






Social Media:


  • Illinois Aging Together Launches Campaign for Aging Plan to Support Older Persons

    September 16, 2021

    Illinois Aging Together is publicly launching its statewide movement for aging equity. The group is campaigning for a strategic action plan for aging, which it hopes to accomplish through state legislation. As Illinois’s population becomes older, there is a significant and growing need––and opportunity––to create a long-term vision for aging in Illinois. Illinois’s population has […]

  • New Study Examines COVID-19 in Cook County Nursing Homes

    August 6, 2021

    A new study looking at factors that contributed to increased COVID-19 infection and deaths among older adults in nursing home facilities found that facilities with poor Medicare quality ratings were associated with increased COVID-19 cases and deaths. The study was led by founding Health & Medicine Board member Michael Gelder. It is well known that […]

  • Health & Medicine Releases Long-Term Care Reform in Illinois: 2019 Agenda for Change

    February 26, 2019

    Health & Medicine and our Center for Long-Term Care Reform have long been committed to improving the way older adults in Illinois live and enjoy their final years with dignity in their homes and communities. With a new administration in place, Health & Medicine intends to take action to ensure that aging issues are prioritized by the new Pritzker administration, as well as advocating nationally for adequate funding and rational policies to support home and community-based services and supports. To that end, we are pleased to share our Aging in Illinois: 2019 Agenda for Change.

  • Rauner’s Veto of HB1424 Jeopardizes Services for Seniors, Persons with Disabilities

    January 10, 2018

    Governor Rauner’s veto of HB1424 as reported in the Sun Times on Sunday, Dec 31, which was intended to preserve the Community Care Program (CCP) may foreshadow a blow to the thousands of older adults and persons with disability who rely on this program to remain living in their communities rather than moving into a nursing home.

  • Health & Medicine unites with advocates, aging community to protect services for Illinois’ most vulnerable population

    August 24, 2017

    The following is a statement on behalf of Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter, Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans, Health & Medicine Policy Research Group, Jane Addams Senior Caucus, Caring Across Generations, and SEIU Healthcare Illinois in response to the withdrawal of rules that would have forced 36,000 vulnerable Illinois seniors out of the Community Care Program and into the unproven and untested Community Reinvestment Program:

  • June 14-Day of Action: Tell Gov. Rauner and Members of Congress to oppose cuts and caps on Medicaid

    June 13, 2017

    Senate Republicans are working behind closed doors on their version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Like the House bill, the “revamped” AHCA would throw millions off of health care and gut Medicaid, harming older Americans, kids and their families, people with disabilities, and those seeking treatment for substance use disorders. Health & Medicine and Protect our Care Illinois urge you to take time tomorrow, June 14, to join advocates across the country to help us stop this!

  • New Online Resources Released to Support Health Workforce for Older Adults

    April 25, 2017

    Health & Medicine would like to announce two great resources recently made available online: CATCH-ON and ENGAGE-IL. Our own Chicago Area Health Education Center (AHEC) at Health & Medicine and Center for Long Term Care Reform have teamed up to help review and define these two programs as a way to increase access to learning and professional development opportunities for health professionals; promote health careers development to students; and enhance collaborative, community-based health promotion activities.