Ellen Schmeding. Courtesy photo

Ellen Schmeding, chief operating office for St. Paul’s Senior Services, was recently elected to chair the California Commission on Aging, a position elected by her peers.  

The position is a one-year term, which began at the start of the year. She was first appointed to the commission by Gov. Jerry Brown in December 2018. Schmeding was one of only two San Diego County residents appointed to the state’s oversight boards at that time, part of a suite of 16 nominations of California residents.  

“I have been a part of senior services for the past 24 years and am passionate about improving the welfare of seniors from all backgrounds and income groups,” said Schmeding. “The California Commission has a front row seat to view the aging issues in the state/nation and has an opportunity to influence and impact the future development of senior services.” 

“I am also able to advocate for our services and identify resources that we may be able to benefit from accessing,” Schmeding adds. “During the pandemic, I have been able to help tell the story of the serious impacts experienced by our residents/participants, as well as identify needs.” 

Schmeding represented St. Paul’s and the Commission on the Master Plan for Aging Long-Term Care Services/Supports Committee.  Recommendations from this committee have been included in the Governor’s Master Plan for Aging released in January 2021.  Among these recommendations include a focus on expanding integrated care models, like the PACE (Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) program. 

Schmeding held positions throughout the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency from 1987 to 2016, including serving as the Director of Aging & Independence Services. She is also a member of the San Diego Senior Alliance and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.