PUBLIC POLICY BRIEF—LICENSING AGENCIES
MYTH: Assisted living is a small part of
the long-term care system.
TRUTH: Assisted living serves more than
one million seniors in more than 36,000
licensed communities across the country.
MYTH: Assisted living communities only
take care of the healthy elderly.
TRUTH: About 68 percent of assisted living residents need assistance with bathing,
52 percent require the use of a walking
device, 25 percent need assistance with
transferring, 25 percent use a wheelchair at
times or at all times, and 22 percent need
assistance with eating.
MYTH: Assisted living is just another
name for a nursing home.
TRUTH: The philosophy of assisted living
is to provide resident-centered care based
on the needs and desires of the residents.
Residents are treated with respect and dig-
nity in a home-like environment. Residents
enjoy privacy and freedom of choice in a
setting that values quality of life in addition
to quality of care.
ALFA ADVOCACY CHALLENGE
While you can reach out to your elected
officials in a variety of ways, you now
have a unique opportunity to write a letter
of congratulations to newly elected or reelected officials and invite them to attend
a victory party at your community. Be sure
to tell them about your community and
the numbers of residents, staff, and families
that look forward to meeting him or her
Not sure who your elected officials are?
Go to ALFA’s Advocacy Central Web site at
www.alfavotes.org, a free resource that
provides this information and much more.
The need to educate and inform elected
officials is critical, especially now. We
want to make sure that the decision makers
at the federal and state levels truly under-
stand assisted living.
Maribeth Bersani is ALFA’s senior vice
president, public policy.
Reach her at mbersani@
State Licensing Agencies and Contacts for Assisted Living
Rick Harris, Director, Alabama Department
of Public Health, Division of Licensure and
Certification, 334/206-5366, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jane Urbanowski, Administrator, Medical
Assistance, Health Facilities Licensing &
Mary Wiley, Assistant Director, Division of
Licensing Services, Arizona Department of Health
Services, 602/674-4200, email@example.com
Renee Mallory, Director, Health Facility Services
Arkansas Department of Health, 501/661-2201,
Kathleen Billingsley, Deputy Director,
Licensing & Certification Division, California
Department of Health Services, 916/445-3054,
Ellen Mangione, Director, Health Facilities
Division, Colorado Department of Public Health
& Environment, 303/692-2819
Joan Leavitt, Director, Division of Health
Systems Regulation, Connecticut Department
of Public Health, 860/509-7400,
Enrique Unanue, Deputy Director, Office of Health
Care Regulation, Illinois Department of Public
Health, 217/782-2913, firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry Whitson, Assistant Commissioner,
HealthCare Regulatory Services Commission,
Indiana State Department of Health,
Marvin Tooman, Administrator, Division of
Health Facilities, Iowa Department of Inspections
& Appeals, 515/281-4125, email@example.com.
Martin Kennedy, Commissioner, Licensure,
Credentialing and Evaluation, Kansas
Department of Aging, 785/296-0383,
Jennifer Mitchell, Inspector General, Office of
Inspector General, Cabinet of Health Services,
Lisa Deaton, Manager, Health Standards Section,
Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals,
Louis T. Dorogi, Director, Division of Licensing
& Certification, Maine Department of Human
Services – BMS, 207/287-9300,