Improving Adult Services Under New Leadership

March 22, 2019

OADS Director Paul Saucier

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services is pleased to announce that Paul Saucier has been appointed as Director of the Office of Aging and Disability Services. Saucier comes to the Department with extensive aging and disability experience nationally and locally. He has done oversight work in Maine's developmental disabilities system, worked for the Legislature's Office of Policy and Legal Analysis, and directed the Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy at the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service. Most recently, he served as Senior Director of Integrated Care Systems for IBM Watson Health.

Saucier has a master's degree in Public Policy and Management from the Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service and a Bachelor's degree from Cornell University. He is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance and serves on AARP's LTSS Scorecard National Advisory Panel.

He and his wife Myrna Koonce live in Brunswick.

"I am honored to be entrusted with OADS' mission to promote the highest level of independence, health and safety of Maine's older citizens, adults with disabilities, and adults at risk of abuse, neglect or exploitation. I look forward to continuing to connect with stakeholders in Maine's aging and disability communities, many of whom have already reached out to offer help as we assess the needs of the system and establish priorities," Saucier said.

Adult Protective Services

Elder abuse occurs all too often in homes, facilities, and community settings. It erodes the wellbeing and depletes the resources of individuals, families, and businesses. Research shows that victims are admitted to nursing homes at four times the rate and to hospitals at three times the rate of non-victims. Elder abuse leads to sharp increases in premature death, morbidity and suffering.

OADS' Adult Protective Services unit investigates allegations of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of incapacitated and dependent adults reported through a statewide intake phone line (1-800-624-8404) and a web referral form (www.maine.gov/dhhs/oads/aps-guardianship/report.html).To protect Maine's most vulnerable populations and ensure the integrity of the APS system, we continually strive to use evidence-based practices.

As such, Maine DHHS is pleased to announce that OADS has been awarded a $1,288,000 federal grant from the U.S. HHS Administration on Community Living to develop an evidence base for APS. Throughout the next 3 years, OADS will partner with the Elder Abuse Institute of Maine and researchers from the University of Ontario, the University of Southern California and Weill Cornell Medical College. By undertaking this ambitious and innovative study, Maine has an opportunity to lead the way in addressing the long-standing knowledge gap in elder abuse intervention research. The study is being watched across the country by APS programs, researchers and others. This study, given its rigorous methodology, will further our knowledge about ways to provide and supplement adult protective services to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those the program exists to serve.