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  2001 Press Releases  

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Jan Costello
Phone: 217-785-9020, TTY: 1-800-252-8966

July 25, 2001

Outstanding Long Term Care Ombudsmen and Elder Abuse Caseworker of the Year Named

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Department on Aging Director Margo E. Schreiber has announced the names of individuals honored for exemplary work in nursing home resident advocacy and responses to elder abuse and neglect.

The awards were presented today by Schreiber and Lt. Governor Corinne Wood to an outstanding Long Term Care Ombudsman, Ombudsman Volunteer, and Elder Abuse Caseworker during the Illinois Department on Agingís 15th Annual Elder Rights Conference at the Holiday Inn City Centre in Chicago.

"The honorees have excelled in a very challenging field," said Schreiber. "They have put their heart and soul into their work and have earned the esteem of their colleagues while striving to improve the lives of seniors in need."

"I am very honored to help celebrate the achievements of these heroes," Wood said. "They work hard to protect the rights and dignity of vulnerable seniors and demonstrate the very highest standards of professionalism and altruism."

Winners were chosen based on qualities of team work, professionalism, client advocacy, work ethic, accomplishments and positive attitude.

Winners are:

Outstanding Long Term Care Ombudsman Volunteer –Betty Ford of Jacksonville volunteers for the ICARE Long Term Care Ombudsman Program in Springfield. Ford has served as lead volunteer advocate for Morgan and Scott Counties for nearly a decade. A retired teacher and community civic leader, Ford is described in her nomination as having the "demeanor and heart of someone who truly cares about her community." Ford is an excellent recruiter and trainer and has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to residents.

Marilyn Hall, who volunteers for the ICARE Long Term Care Ombudsman Program in Springfield, and Rose Hilger, who volunteers for the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, each received a "Certificate of Recognition" for their work as Long Term Care Ombudsman Volunteers.

Outstanding Long Term Care Ombudsman – Todd Shackelford of Quincy has been an ombudsman since 1988 and chairs the Ombudsman Program State Advisory Group. He is described as a powerful advocate for long term care residents and a proponent of the "Pioneer Movement" to enhance the culture of long term care facilities and resident rights.

The following Long Term Care Ombudsmen received Certificates of Recognition: Kathleen Allison of the East Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging in Bloomington; Dana Cappelen, of DuPage County Senior Citizen Services; and Rae Kocinski, also of DuPage County Senior Citizen Services.

Outstanding Elder Abuse Caseworker – Andrew Love, caseworker for the DuPage County Department of Human Services. His nomination states that he is "an advocate who will not only go that extra mile but will, bottom line, do whatever is necessary to respect the wishes of his clients while offering them the maximum protection allowed...His broad level of experience, his calm presence and approach make him an invaluable mentor for new staff. He always demonstrates the highest degree of integrity and dedication in a very difficult and challenging job..."

The following Elder Abuse Caseworkers received Certificates of Recognition: Yvonne Anderson of the Visiting Nurse Association of Rockford; Kim Crutcher of PATH in Bloomington; Maria DeMarco of Proviso Council on Aging in Bellwood; Ranelle Eigsti, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet in Kankakee; Paula Elliott of the Montgomery County Health Department in Hillsboro; Mary Jo Farley of SeniorStrength in Peoria; Ed Fewell of Alternatives for the Older Adult in Rock Island; Debra Foust of the Stephenson County Senior Center in Freeport; Siv Goulding of the Prairie Council on Aging in Jacksonville; Jane Hadden, also of Prairie Council on Aging in Jacksonville; Jill Hawkes of Leyden Family Service Senior Citizens Center in Franklin Park; Mary Holmes of Prairie Council on Aging in Carrollton; Katherine Honeywell of North Shore Senior Center in Northfield; Aileen Kokaska of PLOWS Council on Aging in Palos Heights; Valerie Kristopherof Proviso Council on Aging in Bellwood; Judy McElhoe of West Central Illinois Case Coordination Unit in Quincy; and Mary Lee Williams of Catholic Charities Northwest Senior Services in Arlington Heights.

The Illinois Department on Agingís Elder Abuse and Neglect Program responded to almost 7,400 allegations of abuse and neglect in Fiscal Year 2000.

The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program responded to6,230 complaints in Fiscal Year 2000 and answered more than 20,000 inquiries from residents and their families, as well as long term care facility staff and others.

In addition, 7,424 older persons received legal assistance last year through the Departmentís Legal Assistance Program, which provides help with civil legal matters such as elder abuse and neglect, financial exploitation, consumer fraud, simple estate planning, advance directives, nursing home residentsí rights, and government benefits programs.

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Anyone who suspects elder abuse should call the Departmentís Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966 (Voice and TTY, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday) or 1-800-279-0400 after hours and on weekends and holidays.



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