PA Secretary of Aging is set to deliver keynote at the 2022 AL DÍA Top Lawyers Forum
Robert Torres, an attorney, administers various services for the Commonwealth's older population, and will provide an address during the annual event.
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When the sixth annual AL DÍA Top Lawyers Forum rolls around next week, attendees will be in the presence of a prominent advocate for the state’s aging community.
Robert Torres, Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Aging, will serve as the event’s keynote speaker.
He was appointed into his role by Governor Tom Wolf in January 2019, before being confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate in June 2019. He had previously served in roles such as executive deputy secretary and acting secretary at the Pennsylvania Department of State, Pennsylvania’s health information technology coordinator, and deputy secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
In his current role as Secretary of Aging, Torres is responsible for administrating aging programs and services throughout the Commonwealth. Throughout his tenure, he has shown a commitment to ensuring that the department is responsive to older adults even during the most dire challenges.
“I’ve had the honor of serving older adults and individuals living with disabilities under extremely challenging circumstances while navigating a pandemic that greatly impacted this population,” Torres said to AL DÍA.
While ensuring that the delivery of service remains a priority during a public health emergency remains a priority, Torres notes that those challenges strengthened the Department’s resolve.
“For me, ensuring equity of health and social services and supports for the growing and diversifying population of older Pennsylvanians is a priority,” he added.
This is particularly true given that according to the U.S. Census, adults over the age of 60 are projected to increase to 30% of the Commonwealth’s total population by 2030.
Torres believes that increasing our capacity to reach and serve older adults through strategic partnerships and collaborations will be essential in helping meet the demand for services over the next decade and beyond.
Torres’ selection as the keynote speaker for the 2022 AL DÍA Top Lawyers Forum is fitting, as he too, is an attorney by profession.
He told AL DÍA that he has had an interest in the law since his teenage years “because I saw it as a vehicle to help others,” he said.
“This was especially the case when I learned of or witnessed injustices growing up in the South Bronx,” Torres continued.
However, Torres actually began his career in accounting after earning a business degree from Pace University.
It wasn’t until the Widener University Commonwealth Law School opened in Harrisburg that he saw an opportunity to study law while working full-time.
“Some of my experiences working in contracting and credentialing for an insurance company and serving as an elected school board member in Harrisburg, also prompted my renewed interest in studying law,” said Torres.
During his law studies and throughout his career, Torres has seen the underrepresentation of people of color within the legal profession. He believes it’s paramount for diverse students and professionals to be present in the field “to bring their varied perspectives to the many opportunities that a law degree and career will afford them,” he said.
“Hopefully, the success of more diverse students will encourage others to pursue a legal career and they can then serve as a support system to help lift others up on their journey,” added Torres.
At the sixth annual AL DÍA Top Lawyers Forum, six diverse legal professionals will be honored for their work and influence within their respective areas in the field.
The 2022 AL DÍA Top Lawyers Forum will take place Friday, Nov. 18, 2022. Don’t miss your opportunity to attend. For more information, click here.