News & Press: Message from George

The Power of Togetherness

Wednesday, December 11, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Julianna Ems
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A couple of weeks ago, I was privileged to attend the grand opening of the Ventana by Buckner, Buckner Senior Living’s newest community. I was, of course, in awe of its grandeur and forward-thinking design, but what was most palpable was The Power of Togetherness – so many of our LeadingAge Texas members coming together in support of the team at Buckner and coming away with ideas to incorporate into their own missions.

Similar sentiments of support and shared best practices are seen within the LeadingAge Texas Leadership Institute. The Power of Togetherness shines through in this program as the small group of emerging leaders comes together to dive into self-improvement work, cultivate leadership skills, and learn from seasoned leaders in the field. By touring several communities, each slightly unique in their mission and approach, but all with a shared dedication to caring for older Texans, the group also gains insight into progressive models of caring for residents and strengthening workforce and community.

The Power of Togetherness has been fruitful in the creation of programs that provide benefits to members and their staff:

  • The Communities of Faith Risk Retention Group was formed 16 years ago to provide professional and general liability coverage during the peak of the insurance crisis. The RRG remains successful in not only providing insurance coverage, but also in sharing best practices in risk management and holding one another accountable.
  • In 2019, two additional programs were launched with similar aspiration to benefit members:
    • First, the LeadingAge Texas Health Plan, Inc. was formed and is set to launch on January 1, 2020. Modeled after a similar plan of LeadingAge Kansas’ (again, togetherness!), HPI will provide excellent, affordable employee health insurance and ancillary benefit options for LeadingAge Texas members and their employees.
    • Second, on October 1, 2019 the LeadingCare Network Texas was launched with the purpose of negotiating with managed care companies as a group. We know our members provide quality care and rather than each individual community negotiating contracts separately, this network provides more leverage for better terms.

Members within the same locale are capitalizing on The Power of Togetherness. For example, San Antonio-area members are exploring ways to save on goods and services through a regional arrangement with Value First. Members in other regions throughout the state have expressed interest exploring a similar venture.

Another area that requires The Power of Togetherness: Advocacy. United in our values, we made some positive strides this year during the 86th legislative session. The LeadingAge Texas legislative team focused on clearer rules for assisted living, strengthening Medicaid to focus on quality measures, and defeating a number of bills that would have made it more difficult for members to operate in Texas. Groundwork is being laid to address workforce issues in the next session.

Even outside of these notable association-related initiatives, there are countless examples of members living out The Power of Togetherness as they create & sustain collaborations with each other and other organizations, agencies, foundations, and community groups.

The message is simple: Nobody can do it alone and there is always space at the table. Although it may not always come easy – politics, personalities, and egos can get in the way – The Power of Togetherness is tangible and we are better together.

We at LeadingAge Texas wish you a very happy and joyous holiday season. And as we head into the New Year – with “together” as the theme for LeadingAge (state and national) conferences in 2020 – may we all embrace what we can do together.


George Linial, CAE, CASP
President & CEO, LeadingAge Texas