RESEDA, Calif. (June 21, 2018)—Molly Forrest, chief executive officer and president of the Los Angeles Jewish Home, has been selected as chair-elect of LeadingAge California, the state’s advocacy group for nonprofit senior living and care. Her two-year term begins July 1, 2018.
Forrest is the first leader of a Jewish home to hold this position, helming an association representing nearly 600 members statewide who together serve more than 100,000 California seniors. LeadingAge's critical work assists the state's older adults with the full continuum of care including issues related to affordable housing, continuing care retirement communities, assisted living, home- and community-based care, and skilled nursing.
"For more than half a century, LeadingAge has demonstrated an unflagging commitment to raising awareness about seniors' needs and putting them front and center on the state and national policy agenda," Forrest says. "I look forward to carrying that tradition forward as we seek to make a difference for California's rapidly expanding senior population."
That expansion—an expected 87 percent increase in California's senior population by 2030—is resulting in unprecedented growth in the market for services. In the next two years alone (through 2020), LeadingAge projects an 80 percent increase in the demand for aging-related health care. "This is a challenge facing all Californians of every age," Forrest says. "Our system for providing senior care is inefficient and fragmented, and everyone pays for that. LeadingAge is playing an instrumental role in helping us think through how we as a society can finance the care our seniors deserve."
Forrest has served on the LeadingAge board since 2009, most recently as vice chair. At the Jewish Home, she has spent more than 22 years overseeing incredible growth and revitalization. The Home serves more than 4,000 seniors annually on campuses in the San Fernando Valley and on Los Angeles's Westside, providing award-winning independent and assisted living, specialized memory care, short-term rehabilitative care, hospice care and groundbreaking community-based services. To build the organization's capacity, Forrest has generated a remarkable groundswell of donor support: The Home is on its way to completing an $265 million campaign to provide quality senior care for future generations.
A graduate of Oregon State University, Forrest is a nationally prominent advocate for equity and excellence in senior care. She frequently advises high-level figures across the public, private and nonprofit sectors and is an in-demand guest speaker on geriatric issues for leading healthcare, eldercare, and nonprofit organizations in California and across the country. In addition, Forrest is active in a variety of community organizations, serving as past chair of the Association of Jewish Aging Services (AJAS), the California State University Northridge (CSUN) Professional Health Care Administration Committee, on the CAL-PACE Board of Directors, and on the LeadingAge CA Strategic Planning Committee. She is a recipient of the Jewish Communal Professionals of Southern California Allan J. Kassin Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement, San Fernando Valley Business Journal Health Care Leadership Award, Jewish Free Loan Association Ben & Anne Werber Communal Service Award, and an Honorary Doctorate from American Jewish University, among many others.
LeadingAge California has represented nonprofit senior living and service providers since 1961. Whether testifying at public hearings, building coalitions, visiting member communities or engaging with elected officials, the organization actively works to create systemic change through advocacy that strengthens members' viability and supports innovations in the delivery of aging services.
Founded in 1912, the non-profit Los Angeles Jewish Home (LAJH) is among the largest providers of senior health care services in Los Angeles. Through its innovative Connections to Care program, each year thousands of seniors benefit from the Home's community-based and in-residence programs. Community-based programs include: A Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE); hospice; home health; palliative medicine; community clinics; short-term rehabilitation; and acute psychiatric care. Three Home campuses serve seniors with options for independent living, residential care, skilled nursing care, short-term rehabilitation, and Alzheimer's disease and dementia care. The Home recently opened its second Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), the Gonda Healthy Aging Westside Campus, in Playa Vista, CA. Further information regarding the Jewish Home can be found online at lajh.org or by calling (855) 227-3745.