Seven organizations, care providers, and volunteers were recognized for outstanding efforts on behalf of older adults at Serving Seniors 2018.
The awards ceremony was hosted by Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) on Nov. 15. Speaking to more than 200 guests, SCES Executive Director Paul Hollings said the theme was honoring those who work together to benefit older adults in Cambridge and Somerville.
“Today’s event is about recognizing those individuals who strive to make a difference in the lives of older adults, and to help them live a healthy life, as independently as possible, in the setting of their choice,” said Hollings. “That is our mission at SCES, and we are fortunate to have many partners in our two cities to help us achieve it.”
The following awards were given at Serving Seniors 2018:
Lynne Tyree of the Cambridge Multiservice Center received the Nancy P. Kahn Award, which recognizes outstanding advocacy and collaboration on behalf of older adults. In presenting the award, SCES Case Manager Cassie Cramer said Tyree has done amazing work helping people find and maintain housing over 20 years at the multiservice center.
“Lynne is known for her knowledge, warmth and humor,” said Cramer. ”When facing homelessness, people are scared, under stress. She has a way of putting people at ease.”
Eleni Carr of Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) received the new Community Partner Award, which recognizes leaders who foster inter-agency collaboration in order to improve the quality of services and care available to older adults in our community.
Carr is the Chief Care Integration Officer at CHA. In presenting the award, Hollings said Carr has championed CHA’s Hospital to Home partnership with SCES, which was nationally recognized for outstanding work reducing unnecessary hospital readmissions.
“Eleni values the perspective of CHA’s community partners and frequently reaches outside the hospital to gain insights that enhance the model of care provided at CHA,” said Hollings. “She has built strong relationships with our team, bringing warmth and humor to all her interactions.”
Cassie Cramer of SCES received the John Phillip Sousa award, which recognizes advocacy on behalf of older adults. In presenting the award, SCES Clinical Director Annie Fowler described Cramer as a tireless advocate for older adults and mental health issues.
“So many direct care staff at SCES have worked with Cassie on supporting clients and have seen how dedicated, persistent and empathic she is with her clients,” said Fowler. “But we don’t always see that she puts that same energy toward advocacy work to improve the mental health system for older adults, whether it be funding for older adult peer specialists, supportive housing, or in-home therapy.”
Marian Petrillo of Associated Home Care received the Compassionate Care Provider award, which recognizes those who work directly with older adults and demonstrate compassion and commitment to ensuring the highest quality of care. Petrillo was nominated by SCES Case Manager Tessa Brisson, for her outstanding work as a care aide at Manning Supportive living.
“Marian is very caring and has been doing this work for many years,” said Brisson. “She goes above and beyond for consumers and she is very much loved by everyone in the building.”
Maria Veliz of Somerville received the Outstanding Caregiver Award, which honors the outstanding efforts of a family member or friend who is caring for a person over 60. Veliz was nominated by SCES Case Manager Michelle Mazzola, for outstanding work in providing in-home care for her 92-year-old mother.
“Maria’s priority is to keep her mother happy,” said Mazzola. “Maria spends her time caring for her mother and she does it with patience and a positive attitude. Maria is her daughter, her caregiver, and her friend.”
Jeanne Leyden of the Adult Family Care program at SCES received the James “Cotton” Tingle Sr. Award, which recognizes volunteerism on behalf of older adults.
Leyden was credited for doing outstanding volunteerism with elders facing grief or loss by Spiritual Caregiver Program Coordinator Loretta Saint Lewis
“Jeanne is a bright star in the program, always kind and positive, with a gentle sense of humor,” said Saint Louis.
Aimee Baum of the S&S Restaurant in Cambridge received the Jalna Perry LGBT Audacity Award, which honors individuals who create a positive and affirming environment for LGBT elders and caregivers. Baum was nominated by Melissa Bryant of the SCES LGBT Task Force, for her ongoing support of the agency’s monthly LGBT dinner, Kate’s Café.
“Aimee has always been committed to making the cafe a welcoming space for older LGBT adults,” said Bryant. “We want to honor and acknowledge all of the hard work she has put into this partnership”
Serving Seniors 2018 closed with employee recognition ceremony, which highlighted Richard “Mac” McDonald’s 40th anniversary with the agency. MacDonald, of Somerville, has been a van driver, case manager, Transportation Record Review Coordinator, Case Manager Supervisor, and Homecare Operations Coordinator in his time at SCES.
Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) is a non-profit agency that supports the independence and well-being of older people in Somerville and Cambridge. For more information, visit eldercare.org, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or contact the SCES Aging Information Center at 617-628-2601 for free advice and guidance.