A Tucson public interest attorney recently was appointed to the National Policy Council for AARP.
"I am honored to join the AARP National Policy Council," said Sally Hart, who has handled a variety of health-care-related cases, including many dealing with Medicare and Medicaid. "It is an organization committed to service, inspiring social change and ensuring that people of all backgrounds age with dignity and respect. I look forward to serving AARP members and the broader 50-plus population."
This year, the council received 225 applicants for 12 open spots.
Hart's "wealth of experience" made her ideal for the position, said Cynthia Fagyas, AARP's Arizona spokeswoman.
As a member of the policy council, Hart will help make policy recommendations to the AARP's board of directors.
Hart met in Chicago last month with the council and began her duties.
The National Policy Council is made up of 25 volunteers who have extensive experience in matters of health, business, government and utilities. The volunteers come from across the country and serve on the council for two-year terms. The board members meet three to five times a year at the AARP headquarters in Washington, D.C., to discuss issues and policy propositions.
"She will be able to represent the Arizona AARP community," said Fagyas. "This is a very prestigious appointment, and Hart will be able to take the concerns of Arizona's AARP community and represent them actively.
"With this appointment, Hart hopes to bring discussion and awareness to the problems that seniors in Arizona have had accessing necessary health care."
Hart, a graduate of Boston University law school, has 40 years of experience working on Medicare and Medicaid matters and has represented numerous beneficiaries in class-action suits.
Hart retired last fall, and says the AARP post is the perfect opportunity to do more work in public-interest matters.
Hart moved to Tucson in 1990 after working almost 20 years as a health-care specialist at the national senior citizens law center.
Organizations Hart has worked for include Southern Arizona Legal Aid, Arizona Center for Disability Law and the Center for Medicare Advocacy. She has also volunteered for the Tucson Adult Loss of Hearing Association.
Cecelia Marshall is a University of Arizona student who is an appren-tice at the Star. Contact her at email@example.com or 573-4117.