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Margaret Casey gets award for her work on behalf of senior citizens

Post by Joe Turner on Oct. 26, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
October 26, 2009 12:14 pm

After a 10-year absence, Margaret Casey came back to lobby this past legislative session.

Washington State Council on Aging recognizes winners of 2009 Excellence in Action Award

OLYMPIA — The Washington State Council on Aging has named the Pierce County site of the Chronic Care Management Project and Margaret Casey, lobbyist for the Seattle-King County Aging and Disability Services, as this year’s recipients of the Excellence in Action Award for their work and service to senior citizens.

The Washington State Council on Aging is a 24-member advisory council to both Gov. Chris Gregoire, and the state Department of Social and Health Services’ Aging and Disability Services Administration. The awards honor a program and an individual associated with Washington’s Area Agencies on Aging.

Program Award:

The Chronic Care Management Project has been successful in lowering mortality and improving the health among Medicaid clients with chronic conditions (diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc.). Five Area Agencies on Aging participated in the two-year project that assigned nurses to more than 400 adults. Pierce County’s Aging and Long Term Care was one of the first two Area Agencies on Aging to start providing chronic care management and has served approximately 80 clients on this project. Pierce County Aging and Long Term Care engaged a variety of community based experts and programs to support clients in chronic care self-management. Examples include dieticians, therapists, home modifications, pain management specialists and physical activity programs. The nurses focused on face-to-face interactions with clients who live at home – eventually getting the clients to take charge of their health issues and use evidence-based practices that reduced the need for health care services. Potentially, 12,000 people would qualify and benefit from such a program.

“These are the most medically expensive, high-risk Medicaid clients in our long-term care system,” said Connie Kline, Pierce County Area Agencies on Aging director who nominated the project. “The Chronic Care Management Project not only changed people’s lives for the better, it saved some lives. We want everyone to know that we have a proven method that can save future health costs while adding quality of life for those with chronic diseases.”

Individual Award:

Margaret Casey – a former lobbyist in Olympia for more than 20 years – was working as a planner for the Aging and Disability Services – the Area Agencies on Aging in Seattle-King County when the organization asked her to put on her lobbying hat for the 2009 legislative session.

“We nominated Margaret for the Excellence in Action Award because she really worked tirelessly to help preserve important services for low income vulnerable adults statewide,” said Pam Piering, director at Aging and Disability Services. “In a time when state budgets were being cut, we believe Margaret contributed to preserving funding for services such as senior information and referral centers, nutritious meals and transportation for the elderly.”

“The State Council on Aging is always looking for ways to recognize individuals and programs put forth by the Area Agencies on Aging,” said Robert Stevenson, chair of the Washington State Council on Aging. “Congratulations to the winners and nominees whose actions result in positive outcomes for Washington’s aging population.”

Gov. Gregoire will recognize both winners of the Washington State Council on Aging Excellence in Action Awards on Oct. 30 at the Senior Citizens’ Foundation’s Fall Conference in SeaTac.

For more information about this year’s award winners or to set up an interview, please contact Beth Brown at 360-260-9845.

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The Washington State Council on Aging was established in 1952 as the Governor’s Council for Aging. In 1965, the Legislature passed a law giving the group its current citizen’s advisory role. The Council can advise the Governor, the Secretary of Social and Health Services, and the Aging and Disability Services Administration on matters pertaining to policies, programs, and services affecting senior citizens in the state. For more information on the Council’s yearly priorities, meeting schedule and members of the Council please contact Traci Adair, 1-800-422-3263 or Washington State Council on Aging.

DSHS does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.

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