Aging agency unveils 2013 winners

COLUMBUS – The Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging announced the recipients of its 2013 awards at its 24th annual conference last weekend.

The winners were:

Ohio State Innovators Award: Ohio Department of Aging Director Bonnie K. Burman and State Medicaid Director John McCarthy.

“Directors Burman and McCarthy have demonstrated a willingness and ability to seek meaningful input from stakeholders and national experts as they steer Ohio toward innovative approaches to integrating health and long-term services and supports as well as improving the long-term care system,” said Larke Recchie, association CEO. “They have both shown the fortitude and conviction needed to press forward.”

Outstanding Advocate of the Year: Will Petrik.

“In his role as the State Director of Advocates for Ohio’s Future, Will motivated and organized advocates with a steady and respectful approach to accomplish many policy and legislative victories, including the recent push for Ohio to extend Medicaid benefits to 275,000 individuals,” Recchie said.

Outstanding Area Agency on Aging/Provider Partnership: Chillicothe Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Area Agency on Aging 7 and the Medical Center’s Ohio Veteran-Directed Program, the largest rural initiative of its kind in the nation, helps veterans of all ages move back home and out of institutionalized care.

Outstanding Area Agency on Aging/Provider Partnership: Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine Department of Geriatrics.

The Dayton Area Agency on Aging and the Department of Geriatrics collaborated to close a gap in care in their community.

Elected Official Advocacy Award: State Rep. Ron Amstutz.

“We honor Rep. Amstutz for his dedication to developing a deep understanding of aging issues and coming to thoughtful conclusions,” Recchie said.

The OAAAA Product Development and Price Modeling Group led by Sharon Fusco of the Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio was recognized for its service.

“Area Agencies on Aging have deep roots in their communities and use those relationships to benefit seniors and people with disabilities and to move public policy,” Recchie said. “These partners represent a sampling of the strong connections the agencies have in their communities.”

The Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging, a nonprofit organization, is a statewide network of agencies that provide services for the elderly, as well as advocate on behalf of older Ohioans. Find more at