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Susan Wallace, MSW, LSW

Susan Wallace

Director of Government Relations and Public Affairs

  • Primary contact for policy priority development, advocacy and legislative affairs
  • Liaison to Advocacy Committee, Home Health, Hospice & HCBS Subcommittee
  • Responsible for newsletter content generation and compilation

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Policy Matters

Directors Sears, Laubert, Governor's Office Take "Technology Tour" of Maple Knoll Communities

On Friday, June 22, Maple Knoll Village hosted staff of the Ohio Department of Aging, the Ohio Department of Medicaid and the Governor’s office on a tour of its campus highlighting its culture of innovation as well as its partnership with the University of Cincinnati. In attendance were Beverly Laubert, Director of the Ohio Department of Aging, Barbara Sears, Director of the Ohio Department of Medicaid, and Kelly Reidenbach, Assistant Policy Director for the Governor’s office, as well as other leadership from the Administration, LeadingAge Ohio and Maple Knoll Communities.

 Tim McGowan Senior Vice President for Operations shares about Maple Knoll's award-winning SIBR rounds program with Directors Laubert and Sears

Highlights of the tour included:

  • Learning about Maple Knoll’s award-winning Structured Interdisciplinary Bedside Rounds (SIBR) program, which has dramatically decreased hospitalizations, with zero turnover in rounding positions;
  • A tour of its prototype “smart house” in which Directors Sears and Laubert had the opportunity to meet with the UC College of Nursing’s researchers, as well as UC engineering students and even operate a care robot;
  • Plans for a new “Servus Hub,” a partnership between Maple Knoll Communities and RoundTower, which will be a testing ground for Maple Knoll residents to shape new products and innovations being brought to market.

UC Researcher Tamilyn Bakas demonstrates how V-Go the care robot is used in the Maple Knoll Smart House

“We are grateful to have had the opportunity to host a visit for those agencies that can have a direct impact on the way we care for seniors in the state of Ohio,” said Tim McGowan, Executive Vice President of Operations at Maple Knoll Communities.  “I am hopeful that Friday’s visit will open the doors necessary for some collaborations with the Department of Medicaid, the Ohio Department of Aging, the Governor’s office, and the UC Colleges of Nursing and Engineering. Working together, I am confident that we can conduct research that will advance the quality of life for seniors in all settings!”

LeadingAge Ohio delights in opportunities to showcase our members’ leadership within their communities and contributions to the field of aging services. If you have an innovative practice, approach or model that warrants sharing, contact Susan Wallace at

Senator Dolan Visits Eliza Jennings

June 13, 2018-- Last week, Senator Matt Dolan of Chagrin Falls joined the leadership team at Eliza Jennings for a conversation and tour of their Renaissance Retirement Campus. Rich Boyson, President/CEO of Eliza Jennings, led a conversation which touched on workforce challenges faced by long-term care providers, while Susan Wallace, Director of Public Affairs at LeadingAge Ohio addressed challenges and opportunities for continuum-based providers in managed care environments. Also joining the conversation were Sandy Skerda, Executive Director, Kimberly Eiting, Administrator and Diane Banning, Independent Living Sales Manager.

Sandy Skerda Executive Director Susan Wallace Director of Public Affairs LeadingAge Ohio Senator Matt Dolan Diane Banning Independent Living Sales Manager Kimberly Eiting Administrator and Rich Boyson President/CEO

“Senator Dolan has a deep understanding of staffing issues, including the importance of attracting and retaining exceptional, dedicated people,” said Eliza Jennings President and CEO Rich Boyson. “He is genuinely interested in listening to our concerns and discussing workable solutions.”

LeadingAge Ohio encourages members interested in hosting their legislators over the summer recess to reach out to Susan Wallace at


Smith Sworn in as Speaker

June 12, 2018-- Last week, the Ohio House of Representatives elected Representative Ryan Smith (R-Gallipolis) as the 103rd Speaker to fulfill the unexpired term of former Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville), who resigned last month due to an FBI investigation. The House cancelled previous sessions to elect a replacement Speaker over the past few weeks due to a lack of 50 republican votes for any one candidate.  Under House rules, if a candidate for Speaker does not receive a majority of votes (with only 91 members present a candidate needed 46 votes), then the candidate with the plurality of votes after the 10th ballot is elected Speaker. On the 11th ballot Representative Ryan Smith received 44 votes, Representative Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton) received 27, Representative Andy Thompson (R-Marietta) received 13 and Representative Jim Hughes (R-Columbus) received 7 votes. Representative Smith was immediately sworn in by Justice Fischer in the House Chamber with his family present.

Speaker Smith Sworn in with family present

Since the House has continued to hold Committee hearings during this interim period, there are over 140 bills waiting to be voted on by the Ohio House. Speaker Ryan announced yesterday the House would cancel its “if needed” Session dates for next week, but would be having Session on June 20 and 27 to continue the work of the Ohio House. Moreover, he stated that there would not be any changes to the current majority leadership team or Committee structure.

With the upcoming general election and end of the current 132nd General Assembly on December 31st, the Ohio House will have to vote on a Speaker for the next General Assembly. Current Speaker Ryan Smith is running against former Speaker Larry Householder (R- Perry), who previously served as Speaker from 2001-2004.  Representative Householder returned to the Ohio House as a freshman this current GA, and has 3 more terms (6 years) to serve, while Representative Smith has one more term (2 years) to serve in the House. Due to term limits there are approximately 20 open seats in the current majority caucus, so the outcome of those races could have an impact on the selection of the next Speaker.

Our national partner, LeadingAge, is an association of 6,000 not-for-profit organizations dedicated to expanding the world of possibilities for aging. Together, we advance policies, promote practices and conduct research that support, enable and empower people to live fully as they age.