History of the Western Reserve Area Agency On Aging

In 1976, the Ohio Commission on Aging (OcoA) designated the Cuyahoga County Office on Aging as the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) for PSA 10A to meet the mandates of the Older Americans Act. Cuyahoga County named the designated agency, the Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging (WRAAA). WRAAA, one of twelve area agencies in Ohio, serves the five counties of Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain and Medina. This designation placed WRAAA operations under the auspice of the Board of Cuyahoga County Commissioners.

The Ohio Department on Aging (ODA), which evolved from OcoA in 1984, placed the WRAAA under suspension beginning in September 1987 and probation beginning March 1988 due to conflicts between ODA and the Commissioners. In doing so, the ODA required the Commissioners to restaff, relocate and reorganize the Area Agency as well as ensure its independence of function in accordance with established mandates. ODA was satisfied with restaffing and reorganization efforts, but not with continued advocacy by the Commissioners on behalf of their local constituents. As a result, in October 1989, ODA dedesignated the Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners as auspice for the Area Agency, and provisionally designated the Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging, Inc., as an independent Area Agency on Aging. The WRAAA was incorporated as a private non-profit organization in July, 1989. While under provisional status, the ODA supervised all staff and approved all decisions of the WRAAA. This period was also used to organize and train a nineteen member Board of Trustees. Ten of the members were appointed by the Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners. Two members were appointed by each of the Boards of Commissioners in Geauga, Lake, Lorain and Medina Counties. One at-large member was appointed by the other 18 members. On November 7, 1990, Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging, Inc., was formally designated as the Area Agency for PSA 10A by ODA and therefore given full authority and responsibility.

In 1990, WRAAA underwent a major expansion as the Agency became an active part of the State's PASSPORT Program, a new statewide community-based long term care system. PASSPORT, A Medicaid waiver program which provides information, assessments and home care services for older people with long-term care needs, is jointly administered by the Ohio Department of Human Services and the Ohio Department of Aging. WRAAA's involvement in the PASSPORT Program gave the WRAAA a major new service delivery vehicle to assist it in carrying out its basic mission of helping older persons remain independent in their own homes and communities for as long as possible. It also positioned the Area Agency as the sole publicly funded community-based long-term care developer, provider, access point and regulator for Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain and Medina counties.

Landmark Events and Developments in WRAAA’s History

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Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging
925 Euclid Avenue, Suite 600, Cleveland, OH 44115-1405
Phone: 216-621-8010 or 1-800-626-7277

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