Many individuals and groups were recently recognized for their contributions to the community and programs and services through the Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) at its Annual Appreciation Brunch held at the Southern Ohio Medical Center Friends Center in Portsmouth.
The AAA7 serves 10 counties in southern Ohio including Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton.
The agency was pleased to have Ohio Department of Aging Director Beverly Laubert and staff as guest, as well as Gallia County Chamber of Commerce volunteer Marianne Campbell, the featured guest speaker. Campbell, who has been a volunteer at the chamber for 16 years since her retirement from Holzer Medical Center in Gallipolis, has had a remarkable career in broadcasting and public relations, serving on several state and national broadcasting boards during her lifetime, including being the first woman elected to the Board of the National Association of Broadcasters. She spoke to the group about volunteerism.
Special awards that were presented by the AAA7 at the event to individuals or groups included:
This year’s AAA7 William A. Jenkins Award was presented to Charles Harper of Lawrence County, a past board member and president of the board of trustees of the AAA7. The award is presented annually to an outstanding contributor to the southern Ohio aging network. It is named in memory of William A. Jenkins, who helped build the aging network in southern Ohio through the AAA7.
Harper is retired from the Lawrence County Department of Job and Family Services, where he worked for 30 years holding a number of positions. He retired in 2002 after having served as social services administrator for 13 years. Harper also worked 15 years at the Ironton-Lawrence CAO Head Start Program as project manager.
The AAA7 presented the Community Involvement Award to the Brown County Seniors Alive Group.
The Brown County Seniors Alive group began in 1997 and is a volunteer coalition with representatives that include consumers and agencies or organizations who work with older adults. This includes 32 people from different county entities who help promote health and wellness for seniors in Brown County. The coalition’s goal is to enhance the quality of life by maintaining and prolonging the independence of older adults in Brown County.
The AAA7 recognized three Wellness Champions from Lawrence County for their work with a local falls prevention event. Honored were Laura Brown, Mary Cogan and Stephanie Barnett.
This year’s Partnership Award was presented to hospital and provider partners who assist the AAA7 with the agency’s Hospital2Home program.
The AAA7’s Hospital2Home program helps older adults in the AAA7’s district transition from the hospital to their homes. The program gives eligible patients vouchers for services like personal care and home-delivered meals. To determine those who could benefit from the program, hospital discharge planners and social workers identify recently admitted patients who are age 60 or older, not currently on Medicaid, and have a high risk of being readmitted to the hospital. Currently, the AAA7 is working with six hospitals in the district with the Hospital2Home program including Adams County Regional Medical Center, Adena Pike Medical Center, Chillicothe VA Medical Center, Highland District Hospital, Huntington VA Medical Center and Southern Ohio Medical Center.
Provider partners who have worked with the Hospital2Home program to provide the services in the home include: Abbott Home Care Plus, LLC; Adams Brown Economic Opportunities, Inc.; Adams County Senior Citizens Council, Inc.; Alternative Home Care; B&B’s Catering; Brown County Senior Citizens Council; CAO of Scioto County, Inc.; Comfort Home Care; Community Action Committee of Pike County; Community Home Health Care; Dave and Brenda’s Catering; Family Senior Care, Inc.; Frontier Community Services; Gallia County Council on Aging; Hallmark Health Care; Highland County Community Action Organization, Inc.; Holzer Extra Care; Home Helpers; Jackson County Board on Aging, Inc.; Kendall Home Care, Inc.; Ohio Valley Home Health, Inc.; ResCare Health Care; Simply EZ of Columbus, Ltd.; and Vinton County Senior Citizens, Inc.
In Hospital2Home’s first year, over a three-month period, 89 percent of patients were not readmitted to the hospital and 80 percent reported that the services they received as a result of the Hospital2Home program helped their recovery process.
The Ohio Senior Health Insurance and Information Program (OSHIIP) made a surprise announcement and presented the AAA7 and benefits specialist Kristy Bowman with its Partnership of the Year Award.
OSHIIP and the AAA7 partner on Medicare Check-Up events during open enrollment each year and work together on outreach and education for low income assistance for Medicare Part D and Medicare Savings Programs. In addition, Bowman was recognized for the daily outreach, education and one-on-one counseling she provides.
In 2017, the AAA7 was able to save individuals a combined total of $760,800 through special programs or drug plan comparisons.
Wellness Coach Volunteers help others in their hometown or county discover ways to live with their chronic diseases and become empowered to take better care of themselves through classes and workshops that discuss caregiving, chronic disease, chronic pain, diabetes and falls management.
Volunteers recognized included: Angie Adams, Sharon Bell, Cher Bellar, Judy Bright, Libby Brisker, Teresa Carr, Etta Charlebois, Daniel Charlebois, Penny Crabtree, Don Davis, Lillian Elkins, Greg Ervin, Brittany Farley, Patty Fleming, Elizabeth Florea, Cindy Goodman, Mary Grote, Jacqueline Jones, Teresa Jones, Melissa Kimmel, Shelley Lyon, Doreenia Meddock, Terri Pearson, Patricia Pekar, April Porter, Dawn Richards, Ashley Salyers, Marti Sauer, Patty Snyder, Mary Stout and Donna Williams.
Also recognized were winners at this year’s Art Show, including: Julia Rice of Jackson County – “Victor Potts Best of Show Award” in the Amateur Category; Eileen Lafferty of Adams County – “Victor Potts Best of Show Award” in the Professional Category; Patricia Parsons of Gallia County – “Mary Peck Friend of Animals Award”; Brenda K. Miller of Jackson County – “People’s Choice Award”; Diana J. Randolph of Gallia County for “Best Overall Essay”; and Charles A. Murray of Gallia County for “Best Overall Poem.”
Outstanding Seniors as selected by each county were: Adams County – Carolyn Work; Highland County – Gerri Pierson; Jackson County – Ancil Cross; Lawrence County (Ironton Senior Center) – John Crance and Gary Creger; Lawrence County (Sybene-Chesapeake Senior Center) – Senior Day Committee which includes Janice Bills, Bob and Betty Kiogima, Donna McClure, Carl Murdock, Billy and Mary Nance, Donna Plybon and Lorene Plybon; Pike County – Donnie and Betty Stroud; and Ross County – Geraldine Francis and Roger Moore.
Those interested in learning more can call toll-free at 1-800-582-7277 (TTY: 711). Individuals can speak directly with a trained resource specialist who will assist them with information surrounding the programs and services that are available to best serve their needs. The agency also offers an in-home assessment at no cost for those who are interested in learning more. Information is also available on www.aaa7.org, or the agency can be contacted through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The agency also has a Facebook page located at www.facebook.com/AreaAgencyOnAgingDistrict7.
Submitted by Jenni Lewis, community outreach, AAA7.