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First CEO of OPAN announced

Australia’s newly formed advocacy identity Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) has announced Lewis Kaplan as its first Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Lewis Kaplan has been announced as the first CEO of OPAN (Source: OPAN)
Lewis Kaplan has been announced as the first CEO of OPAN (Source: OPAN)

Joining OPAN with an extensive background as CEO in a number of major organisations including Diabetes Australia, Red Cross NSW and Alzheimer’s Australia, as well as Executive Director of Council on the Ageing NSW, Mr Kaplan’s appointment as the first CEO will allow OPAN to continue to deliver advocacy services under the national Aged Care Advocacy Program’s new national framework.

OPAN Chairperson Craig Gear says Mr Kaplan’s strong familiarity with national service delivery, having previously worked both nationally and across states and territories on dementia and diabetes services, policy reforms and advocacy would benefit the organisation.

“Mr Kaplan brings a deep understanding of aged care, ageing, community services, primary health care, public health and social policy across government and non-government sectors,” Mr Gear says.

“OPAN has an exciting program of work, supporting its state and territory service delivery organisations to ensure the rights of older people are linked to the recent aged care reforms.

“Mr Kaplan will help us navigate and lead these important changes.”

Despite having significant interest in the position of CEO, Mr Gear says Mr Kaplan’s expertise and executive career confirmed him as the ‘right fit for the organisation’.

“We are excited to officially welcome him to OPAN at this important time as we also focus on addressing the issue of contemporary elder abuse in Australia,” Mr Gear adds.

With its built culture of trust, Mr Gear says people from marginalised groups and culturally and linguistically diverse communities know that help is available and accessible through OPAN with Mr Kaplan also noting that no other organisation offers the same level of services, knowledge and practical experience.

“OPAN has a national footprint, with toes in regional and remote communities across Australia,” Mr Kaplan says.

“Our organisation is not just in the major cities, so we are well placed to advocate for those who are most vulnerable and who would otherwise not have a voice in the aged care system.

“I am very proud to step into the role of OPAN CEO and I look forward to working with the Commonwealth government, aged care peaks, consumer groups and other key stakeholders to strengthen the consumer voice at the policy table – especially the voice of special needs groups in rural and remote areas.”

Mr Kaplan adds that he will retain a key focus on key elements in OPAN’s national service delivery model, including the integration and coordination of people, processes and policies, systems, information, innovation and governance.

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