Elder Justice Coordinating Partnership

Established by Governor Mills by Executive Order (PDF), the Elder Justice Coordinating Partnership assembled private sector and public sector experts representing a wide array of disciplines to develop an Elder Justice Roadmap to address Maine’s response to and prevention of elder abuse in all its forms.

The United States Department of Justice estimates that one in nine people over the age of 60 will be abused or exploited every year, for an estimated 40,000 victims of elder abuse in Maine alone. Recognizing the value of a multi-disciplinary approach and Maine’s proven track record of success with multi-disciplinary efforts, Governor Mills constituted the Partnership to combat this growing health, justice, financial, and social crisis.

The Partnership was tasked with: 

  1. Identifying challenges to the prevention of, detection of, and response to elder abuse;
  2. Developing strategic priorities across the public and private sectors to prevent and respond to elder abuse; and
  3. Making recommendations regarding direct services, education, public policy, and data collection and evaluation, including legislative changes, if any.

In December 2022, the Partnership issued the Elder Justice Roadmap, a comprehensive and visionary set of recommendations to advance elder justice goals in Maine. A Snapshot of the Elder Justice Roadmap, as well as the full report, are now available.

Initially, a grant from the John T. Gorman Foundation provided funding for consultant support to develop the Roadmap. To continue the activities of the Partnership, the Governor’s Cabinet on Aging, with support from the Partnership members, successfully applied for a grant from the National Center for State and Tribal Elder Justice Partnerships. This grant allows for the hiring of a coordinator to support the implementation of recommendations in the Elder Justice Roadmap.

Partnership Membership

Private Sector Co-chair

Jaye Martin: Jaye Martin serves as Executive Director of Legal Services for Maine Elders (LSE), a nonprofit legal services organization that provides free, high-quality legal services to Maine's socially and economically needy older people aged 60 and over. Committed to preventing elder abuse in Maine, Jaye previously served as Co-chair of the Maine Council for Elder Abuse Prevention (MCEAP) as well as Chair of MCEAP’s Education and Awareness Committee. Jaye also provided staffing support for the Maine Attorney General’s Task Force on Financial Exploitation of the Elderly.

Public Sector Co-chair

Elizabeth Gattine: Elizabeth Gattine serves as a Senior Policy Advisor and Coordinator of the Governor’s Cabinet on Aging. Prior to her current role, Elizabeth was a Senior Policy Associate specializing in disability and aging issues at the Catherine Cutler Institute at the University of Southern Maine. Among other roles, Elizabeth also served as Maine's Legal Services Consultant for Maine’s Office of Aging and Disability Services to help coordinate and promote the state's legal and advocacy services for older adults. 

Current Members

  • Jeanne M. Lambrew, PhD, Commissioner, Maine Department of Health and Human Services
  • Brian Day, Acting Associate Director, Adult Protective Services, Office of Aging and Disability Services
  • Karen Mason, Associate Director, Aging and Long Term Care Services and Supports, Office of Aging and Disability Services
  • Regional Associate Director, Office of Child and Family Services
  • William Montejo, Director, Division of Licensing and Certification
  • Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Michael Sauschuck, Commissioner, Department of Public Safety
  • Colonel William G. Ross, Maine State Police
  • Maine Office of Behavioral Health
  • Suzanne Russell, Assistant Attorney General, Maine Office of the Attorney General
  • Elizabeth Ward Saxl, Executive Director, Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault
  • Francine Garland Stark, Executive Director, Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence
  • Patricia Kimball, Executive Director, Elder Abuse Institute of Maine
  • Brenda Gallant, Executive Director, Maine Long Term Care Ombudsman Program
  • Megan Watson, Executive Director, Southern Maine Area Agency on Aging
  • Sheriff Joel Merry, Sagadahoc County
  • Officer Candice L. Simeoni, Kennebunk Police Department
  • Kathryn M. Slattery, District Attorney, York County
  • Andrew McCormack, Assistant United States Attorney and Elder Justice Coordinator

Partnership and Roadmap Updates

Since the issuance of the Roadmap, Maine has invested over $4 million in the FY24-25 biennial budget to help advance several recommendations, including:

  • Making permanent the Elder Service Connections program to connect Adult Protective Services (APS) clients to services, allowing APS to refer clients to an Elder Advocate through the Elder Abuse Institute of Maine who can help with arranging services and setting client-centered goals. Originally piloted in 2018 as a grant-funded research project, the Elder Services Connections program has operated successfully statewide since 2021 and will now be sustained into the future with this funding.
  • Expanding APS capacity at OADS to prevent and respond to elder abuse by creating 10 positions statewide within APS.
  • Supporting civil legal services for older adults by increasing the capacity of Legal Services for Maine Elders, which offers free legal assistance to Mainers aged 60 and older.
  • Funding for the Office of Attorney General to support the restructuring of the Maine Elder Death Analysis Review Team (MEDART).

As of this year, Maine now requires training every four years of all mandatory reporters of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. OADS also released an APS Data Trends Report (PDF) covering State Fiscal Years 2021 and 2022. The release of the report fulfills a priority recommendation of the Elder Justice Roadmap and will help identify trends and patterns and develop ongoing recommendations for system improvement.

For more information about the Partnership, please contact Jaye Martin at jmartin@mainelse.org or Elizabeth Gattine at elizabeth.gattine@maine.gov.