PORTSMOUTH — Giving thanks. That was common place at this year’s Area Agency on Aging District 7 annual Appreciation Brunch at the Southern Ohio Medical Center Friends Center in Portsmouth.
During the special event, several individuals and groups throughout the Agency’s 10-county district were recognized for their service and dedication to not only the agency, but the communities and seniors served by the agency.
The Area Agency on Aging District 7 serves Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton counties.
Special awards presented at the event to individuals or groups included:
William A. Jenkins Award
This year’s Area Agency on Aging District 7 “William A. Jenkins Award” was presented to Bertha Scowden of the Pike County Senior Center/Community Action Committee of Pike County. The AAA7 presents the award annually to an outstanding contributor to the southern Ohio aging network. The announcement of the recipient of the award is kept secret until the day of the Appreciation Brunch. The award is named in memory of William A. Jenkins, a native of Gallia County, who helped build the aging network in southern Ohio through the Area Agency on Aging District 7.
Scowden, who has been with the CAC of Pike County for the past 39 years, has been an individual the AAA7 has enjoyed working with for many years through her role at the Senior Center.
Lifetime Achievement Award
This year, the AAA7 presented a special “Lifetime Achievement Award” to Janet Miller, staff accountant for payroll at the Area Agency on Aging District 7. This award was a first for the agency as it has not been presented before.
Miller, who will retire this month after more than 36 years at the AAA7, began at the agency as a bookkeeper in February 1980. During her employment, Miller has been involved in many agency committees and has been active with the local United Way chapter and American Cancer Society Relay for Life.
Community Partnership of the Year Award
The Area Agency on Aging District 7 “Community Partnership of the Year Award” was presented to the Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Chillicothe, and National Church Residences’ Heritage Day Adult Day Care Center. Both facilities teamed with the Ohio Department of Aging and the Area Agency on Aging District 7 Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman Department in a coordinated statewide approach to provide Music and Memory SM to Ohio’s Veterans, their caregivers, and others with cognitive impairment in home and community-based settings.
Music and Memory SM is an innovative approach to care developed by New York social worker Dan Cohen that uses personalized playlists on digital music players to help people with dementia and other chronic conditions focus and reconnect with the world around them.
Educational Partnership of the Year Award
The Area Agency on Aging District 7 “Educational Partnership Award” was presented to Dr. Christine Raber, professor with the Master of Occupational Therapy program at Shawnee State University. The award is presented to an individual or group who understands the importance of continued learning surrounding home and community-based care in the lives of students who are working toward careers that support initiatives in this realm.
This past year, Dr. Raber and Shawnee State University’s Master of Occupational Therapy Students teamed with the AAA7 to bring Music and Memory SM into the lives of nursing home residents as well the lives of veterans and adult day care clients. Dr. Raber and her students worked with the AAA7 to provide on-site Music and Memory SM training to the Chillicothe Veterans Affairs Medical Center staff as well as to the staff of Heritage Adult Day Care Center in Chillicothe.
After the trainings were completed, Shawnee State OT Masters students worked one-on-one with veterans and adult day care recipients by interviewing them to identify their individual playlists, purchasing the music for them on iTunes, and downloading the music onto the participants’ iPods. Dr. Raber and her students provided 374 hours of volunteer service or $8,700 of in-kind contribution.
Caregiver of the Year Award
The Caregiver of the Year Award was presented to Luronda Thacker of Vinton County.
Informal caregivers are those unpaid individuals such as a spouse, partner, family member, friend, or neighbor who are involved in assisting others with activities of daily living or medical tasks. 65 million caregivers make up 29 percent of the adult population providing this care in the United States.
Legislator of the Year Award
The Legislator of the Year Award was presented to State Rep. Doug Green, who represents Brown and Clinton counties.
Through the Older Americans Act legislation, the Area Agency on Aging District 7 is charged with advocating for older adults and programs that help them live safely and independently in their communities for as long as possible. Educating legislators about important programs and the impact they have on our older population is important in order to ensure proper funding is available to run the programs successfully and make them available to the populations who need them.
Green stepped up to support an amendment to increase the funding for Adult Protective Services. Although the final budget did not include the increased funding as requested, it did provide additional funding for the service, and the AAA7 applauded Green for his leadership, foresight and awareness of the needs of seniors in the area.
Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman Volunteers
Ronda Bivens, Carol Carter, Lynsi Eason, Beverly Flowers, Betty Gilpan, Sharon Hallam, Jeannette Hayburn, Rachel Inlow, Dena Morris, Debra Neal, Maryellen Pratt, Lavon Shields, Donna Thompson and Karen Vlaskamp.
Wellness Coach Volunteers
Cher Bellar, Judy Bright, Libby Brisker, Daniel Charlebois, Etta Charlebois, Debbie Dailey, Ashley Daniels, Don Davis, Brittany Farley, Cindy Goodman, April Greer, Sue Jackson, Kim Johnston, Tami Jolly, Shelley Lyons, Dee Meddock, Terri Pearson, Dawn Richards, Ashley Salyers, Cathy Shipley, Patty Snyder, Elizabeth Welch and Sandra Williams.
Art Show and Essay/Poetry Contest Volunteers
Joan Arrowood, Shelia Arrowood, Rita Baker, Kathy Bays, Bill Bond, Connie Bond, Jane Bragg, Alice Chinn, Jack Chinn, Dennis Crabtree, Penny Crabtree, Diana Evans, Doris Evans, Phyllis Fulk, Bonnie Harris, Joyce Haag, Jeri Ingles, Mary Maxson, Rushie McAllister, Calvin Minnis, Maudine Minnis, Carolee Lewis, Bob Powell, Vickie Powell, Joan Shasteen, Nancy Shaw, Lavon Shields, Irena Skaggs, Jim Skaggs, David Summers and Don Swisher.
Also recognized were winners at this year’s Art Show, including: Pat Parsons of Gallia County – “Victor Potts Best of Show Award” in the Amateur Category; Mary Jo Copeland of Highland County – “Victor Potts Best of Show Award” in the Professional Category; Jo Ann White of Adams County – “Mary Peck Friend of Animals Award”; Dennis Crabtree of Jackson County – “People’s Choice Award” – R. Eugene Wallace of Ross County for “Best Overall Essay”; and Dorothy Strickland of Scioto County for “Best Overall Poem.”
Adams County – Bobbi Kitchen; Highland County – Sara Burnett; Jackson County – Anna Mae Evans; Lawrence County (Ironton Senior Center) – Gregory L. King; Lawrence County (Sybene-Chesapeake Senior Center) – Ralph Kelley; Pike County – Logan and Kathryn Pendleton; and Ross County – Fred Saunders.
Area Agency on Aging District 7 officials said they werepleased to host what they called “another successful appreciation brunch to extend its thankfulness and appreciation to all the individuals and groups who make the district so special.”