Long-Term Care for All: Identifying & Reducing Inequities in Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) Access

Session type
General credits
Total credits
Credit status
Pending Approval
Cost notes


Program Overview:

This CLE will examine how underlying inequities across a multitude of systems have impacted older adults and people with disabilities from historically marginalized identities, particularly communities of color. These inequities have led to increasing disparities in Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS). The COVID-19 pandemic further highlighted the magnitude in which older adults of color have reduced access and lower quality long-term care.

This presentation will (i) identify the role of Medicaid LTSS in exacerbating inequities for both nursing home residents and Home- and Community- Based Services (HCBS) beneficiaries; (ii) review states’ actions under the Public Health Emergency (PHE) and the impact of the unwinding of the PHE on marginalized communities; and (iii) provide best practices and examples from other states to advance equity among Medicaid LTSS beneficiaries.  This training will be beneficial for all legal services attorneys, volunteer attorneys involved in Legal Aid’s pro bono program, and attorneys in private practice who work with elderly and disabled clients.



Gelila Selassie is a staff attorney based out of Justice in Aging’s Washington, D.C. office. Gelila works to help state advocates improve access to Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) and Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS) with a focus on advancing equity for historically marginalized groups. Gelila previously worked in Charlotte, North Carolina representing clients in Medicaid and Marketplace appeals and improving health care access to low-income individuals. She also served as an Equal Justice Works Fellow there, where she helped preserve seniors’ dignity and autonomy through increased access to public benefits and preventing elder abuse. Gelila is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and Wake Forest University School of Law.

Valencia Sherman-Greenup is the 2021-2022 Borchard Law and Aging Fellow at Justice in Aging, returning after serving as Justice in Aging’s Racial Justice Fellow in Summer of 2020. Her fellowship focuses on identifying and recommending opportunities to improve equity in New Jersey’s Home and Community Based Services. Prior to attending law school, Valencia was a clinical research coordinator at Columbia University Medical Center and managed affordable housing in Harlem, NY. Her experiences caring for her elderly father and working with the diverse population of New York City at the intersection of health and housing inspired her focus of addressing inequities in these fields, especially for older adults. Valencia has interned at the Health Law Group at New York Legal Aid Society and at the Abortion Rights and Women’s Health Group at the National Women’s Law Center. She also currently serves on the Board of Directors of Central Harlem Senior Citizens’ Centers, Inc. Valencia recently graduated from Georgetown University Law Center where she was a Blume Public Interest Law Scholar. She earned a Master’s in Business Administration, a B.S. in Business Administration and a B.A. in Spanish from Florida A & M University.

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