Blake Applauds Senate Confirmation of Two Local Residents to Wolf Cabinet Posts

HARRISBURG, May 13, 2015 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today applauded the unanimous Senate confirmation vote in favor of two Lackawanna County residents.

The Senate voted 47-0 earlier today to confirm Teresa Osborne as secretary of the Department of Aging and Karen Murphy, R.N., Ph.D., as secretary of the Department of Health.

“Teresa Osborne and Karen Murphy are excellent choices by Governor Wolf to lead the missions of the state Department of Aging and Department of Health and I am grateful that my Senate colleagues unanimously confirmed their respective nominations,” Blake said. “I have had the pleasure to work closely with both of these women over the years and I am confident that they will make a significant impact at the state level.”

Teresa Osborne had recently served as the executive director of the Luzerne/Wyoming Counties Area Agency on Aging. She has also served as the chancellor of the Diocese of Scranton; the executive director of the Lackawanna County Department of Human Services; and the executive director at the Lackawanna County Area Agency on Aging.

“Ms. Osborne has dedicated her life to improving the quality of life for the growing senior citizen population in northeastern Pennsylvania and now she will extend that dedication to seniors across the Commonwealth,” Blake added. “With significant challenges facing our seniors and their families across the state, it was imperative that Governor Wolf chose an individual such as Ms. Osborne who has a strong background in the field and good experience in public policy to lead the Department of Aging.”

Dr. Karen Murphy recently served as Director of the State Innovation Models Initiative, a $900 million investment by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation aimed at accelerating health care innovation across the nation. She is also the former president and CEO of Moses Taylor Health Care System in Scranton and is a Clinical Faculty Member in the Medicine Department at The Commonwealth Medical College.

“Ms. Murphy has a proven record of success at every level of the health care system and she has a wealth of knowledge and experience.  As someone who began her wonderful career as a nurse, she brings great sensibilities and intelligence to the PA Department of Health,” Blake said.  “As an effective leader and experienced managerial executive, she will keep our Department of Health on the cutting edge of technology and innovation in public health.”

# # #

Sen. Blake to Address Annual Conference on Aging at U. of Scranton

SCRANTON – State Sen. John Blake will address the third annual Northeastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference on Aging on Thursday, April 11, at the University of Scranton.

Blake is scheduled to speak at 12:30 p.m. at the Patrick & Margaret DeNaples Center. The conference is being hosted by the university and The Commonwealth Medical College.

Media coverage is encouraged.

WHAT:          Sen. John Blake to address 2013 Northeastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference

WHEN:          12:30 p.m., Thursday, April 11

WHERE:       Patrick & Margaret DeNaples Center , University of Scranton, 800 Linden St., Scranton



Blake Speaks on Aging Issues and Funding to Support Seniors and Their Families

SCRANTON, April 28, 2011 – – State Sen. John P. Blake today spoke about funding opportunities and the challenges facing the Pennsylvania legislature as the state’s population continues to age.

Participating as a panelist at the University of Scranton’s Conference on Aging Research, Blake said that with more than 500,000 Pennsylvanians set to turn 65 over the next 15 years, the legislature needs to work toward innovative solutions that will allow the state to continue to adequately fund programs that are essential to our elder residents.

“The University of Scranton is beginning to set the bar for research on aging issues and their research efforts can inform the decisions we must make as policy makers in this state,” Blake said. “It is my hope that as we move forward out of the current recession, Pennsylvania will be able to provide the essential services and care not only to our seniors but to the members of their families who are often the key providers of that care — and data from good research is the key to ensure we spend money wisely.”

Blake said that he was encouraged by the funding levels proposed for senior programs in Gov. Corbett’s budget proposal, specifically the $26.5 million increase in programs funded under the state’s Lottery Funds. These funds are used to support initiatives such as property tax and rent rebates, transportation subsidies, prescription drug assistance, long‐term care, and home and community services.

Senator Blake also extended thanks to Acting Secretary Brian Duke for his visit to Northeast PA and for lending his professional experience to the important work being done at the University of Scranton. Also graduate of the University of Scranton, Duke was the keynote speaker at the conference.

# # #