Josefina Carbonell, the Senior Vice President of Independent Living Systems, specializing in Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) and Nutrition, will be moderating the 50th Anniversary of Medicare & Medicaid taking place Thursday, July 30, at Florida International University’s Wertheim Performing Arts Center Auditorium from 9:30-11:30 a.m. The event is being sponsored by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

July 30, 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of President Johnson signing the Social Security Act into legislation, establishing Medicare and Medicaid. Prior to that, roughly half of America’s age 65 and older population were uninsured, and low-income Americans and those with disabilities were unable to afford medical care. Medicaid and Medicare have transformed the delivery of healthcare in the United States and now covers more than 100 million people.

Medicare and Medicaid have come a long way in the past 50 years, said Carbonell. Consumers have more choices and benefits, but there is still more room for these programs to grow when it comes to innovation and navigation of options. That is why an event like this is so important.

Carbonell has spent her career advocating for healthcare and the rights of the aging. In 2001, she was appointed by President George W. Bush as the Assistant Secretary for Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) where she directed all operations and managed $4.1 billion in Federal grant programs to support community-based long-term care services for the U.S. elderly. She also guided the implementation of the Medicare Modernization Act, Special Needs Plans (SNPs) and Part D Benefits, as well as served as a principal advocate in the U.S. for independent living for the elderly. Carbonell established, modernized, and guided numerous programs, campaigns, and networks in HHS until she joined the Independent Living Systems management team in January 2009.

Last month, Josefina participated at the White House Conference on Aging in Washington D.C. and spoke at the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging Conference in Philadelphia. She addressed modifying health care policy in regard to helping older Americans remain healthy and independent as they age, promoting retirement security, preventing financial exploitation, and combatting other forms of elder abuse.