Connecticut has lost a great leader. Edith Prague stood head and shoulders above others. She wasn’t a politician. She was an advocate for those in need. She taught by example. She gave freely of her time, energy, and expertise. Passionate, dedicated, a champion of seniors and those in need is only the start of descripting Edith Prague. She worked tirelessly to create a world and the systems needed to help others. Edith stood up when others said it couldn’t be done. She did what was right even when she knew she would pay a high price. She taught me and many, many others the skills we needed and still use today to create a better world.
I worked with Edith to raise the income limits for ConnPACE. She made the time to help me start and build a mail in campaign that was so successful the ConnPACE asset test has carried over to the MSP program many seniors benefit from today. This campaign grew into thousands of prescription bags being mailed to key state officials from all over the state. Seniors in Connecticut continued to mail them until the income limits for ConnPACE had automatic increases that equaled Social Security increases. Parts of that program has carried over to today’s MSP – Medicare Savings Program – that offers assistance to eligible Medicare enrollees.
During her first term as Commissioner of the Dept of Aging she stood her ground and fought for what was best for Connecticut’s seniors. Then when she wouldn’t play ball with Governor Lowell Weicker, he fired her. He went on the eliminate the Department and threw the needs of the seniors into the Department of Social Services. But Edith never quit!
Again, I worked with Edith to successfully recreate the Department on Aging in 2013. It was a long, hard-won fight. But when it was all over, she was rightfully named the Commissioner. Unfortunately failing health caused her to leave in 2014. And without her, the Department was again swallowed up. This time into the Department of Aging and Disability Services.
(As a side note – it’s beyond me on how aging and a disability are similar. What’s the common ground for each group? If a person celebrates a certain birthday – they then are automatically disabled? If a person has a disability that makes them old? I just don’t get it…)
Being a true problem solver, Edith was a driving force behind lower prescription costs, long-term care, senior housing and was an expert on counseling seniors on which health insurance program was best for them.
The legacy Edith Prague leaves the seniors of Connecticut is endless and the impact of her advocacy will be with us for decades more. She worked tirelessly to create the systems and the programs many use and benefit from today!
Thank you, Edith for making the world a better place!!