Task Force on Preventing and Countering Elder Abuse


According to the National Council on Aging, 1 in 10 adults age 60 and older is being abused, but only 1 in 24 cases of that abuse is reported to authorities. In addition, the National Adult Protective Services Association reports that only 1 in 44 cases of financial abuse is ever reporte​d. True Link Financial estimates that 37% of older adults are affected by financial abuse in any 5–year period, while the National Council on Aging estimates the annual loss by victims of financial abuse to be at least $36.5 billion.

​To address this abuse, the General Assembly, with approval of the Governor, has established the Task Force on Preventing and Countering Elder Abuse, also known as the Elder Abuse Task Force (EATF)  through SB797/CH. 706. The Task Force, effective July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2025, has been directed to study existing laws, policies, and practices relating to elder abuse and other crimes commonly committed against older adults and make recommendations regarding changes to State law, policy, and practice that would aid in preventing elder abuse.

The Task Force must submit two reports: 

  • On or before December 31, 2023, the Task Force will submit a preliminary report of its findings and recommendations to the Governor and, in accordance with § 2–1257 of the State Government Article, the General Assembly.
  • On or before December 31, 2024, the Task Force will submit a final report of its findings and recommendations to the Governor and, in accordance with §2–1257 of the State Government Article, the General Assembly.

Upcoming Task Force Schedule:

  • April 12: Draft of preliminary reports to be submitted (Task Force Chairs to meet to review status) 
  • April 19: Final draft preliminary reports due
  • April 25: Committee Chairs to review report for submission (open to all members)
  • April 30: Preliminary report to be submitted
  • Late June: Chairs to meet
  • First week of August: Full Task Force meeting (open to the public; link will be provided closer to the date of meeting)
  • First week of September: Chairs to meet on status & updates
  • October 15: Final report drafts are due 
  • November 15: Chairs meet to review report
  • Week of November 18-22: Full Task Force meeting (open to the public; link will be provided closer to the date of meeting)​
  • First week of December: Emergency revisions due
  • December 23: Report to be submitted 
​The Task force is made up of the following four committees:
  • Guardianship (Chair​s: Sara D. Walsh & Zoe Breichner)

  • Collaborative (Chairs: Jacke Schroeder & Cornelia Bright Gordon) 

  • Fraud and Scams (Chairs: Deborah Flory, Leslie Ray, & Hannah McCartan)

  • Assisted Health Care and Nursing Home Quality & Hospital Discharge​ (Chairs: Stevanne Ellis & Theresa Lee)

Meeting Minutes:

The Task Force consists of ​​22 members representing various state organizations and 11 members appointed by the Governor:

Members Designated by SB797/CH. 706​:
  • Allie Anderson, Maryland Legal Aid Office Manager
  • Bevian Hensley, Garrett County Ombudsman
  • Cheryl Pasteur, Maryland Delegate
  • Colleen Lull, Baltimore City Fire Department EMS Lieutenant
  • Debra Holbrook, Baltimore Mercy Medical Center Forensic Nursing Director 
  • Franca Fauntleroy, Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City Investigator
  • Greg Sesek, Maryland Office of Adult Services Director
  • Hannah McCartan, Maryland Legal Aid Staff Attorney
  • Jacke Schroeder, CHANA Elder Abuse Awareness Program Director
  • Jesse Halvorsen, Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City Special Victims Unit Division Chief
  • Kelly Charles, Office of Protective Adult Services Program Administrator
  • Leslie Ray, Maryland Department of Aging Interim Elder Rights Manager
  • Louise Lock, Maryland Assistant Attorney General 
  • Quinton Askew, 211 Maryland President and CEO 
  • Sarah Miicke, Baltimore Jewish Council Deputy Director
  • Shari Greene, Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City Economic Crimes Unit Division Chief
  • Shelly Hettleman, Maryland Senator
  • Stephanie Dean, Maryland Chief Medical Examiner 
  • Stevanne Ellis, Maryland State Long–Term Care Ombudsman
  • Timothy Cullen, Baltimore City Fire Department Deputy Chief 
  • Zoe Breichner, Guardianship Attorney for the Circuit Court for Baltimore City
  • Vacant
Members Appointed by the Governor:
  • Andrew Rabinowitz, Baltimore Senior Legal Services Director (Serves as Chair of the Task Force)
  • Carol Fenderson, State Programs Deputy Director 
  • Cornelia Bright Gordon, Advocacy for Administrative Law Director
  • Deborah Flory, Maryland State Police Child Recovery Unit Sergeant​
  • Sara D. Walsh, Baltimore City Circuit Court Guardianship Program Magistrate
  • Stephen Kensinger, Community Banking Senior Vice President and Maryland Bankers Association Member
  • Theressa Lee, Center for Quality Measurement & Reporting Director 
  • Thomas Manion, Montgomery County Sheriff
  • Wendy Myers, Maryland Children’s Alliance Executive Director
  • Vacant, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services Representative
  • Vacant, Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force Representative​

Contact: ​

Erik Mathes, Executive Assistant Maryland Department of Aging ​ erik.mathes@maryland.gov​​

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