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Ohio Department of Aging Press Release

Feb. 4, 2010

Department of Aging, OAGE Open Practitioner of the Year Nominations
Annual Award Honors Excellence in Gerontology Research and Partnerships

COLUMBUS - For the fifth consecutive year, the Ohio Department of Aging is partnering with the Ohio Association of Gerontology and Education (OAGE) to present the OAGE Practitioner of the Year Award. The award recognizes individuals and organizations that either have improved services to older adults through research and evaluation or have developed noteworthy partnerships with institutions of higher learning for the betterment of Ohio's older population. Nominations will be accepted via the OAGE Web site, www.oage.org, through March 5, 2010.

"We know there are educators, researchers, professionals and students throughout the state who are dedicated to improving the quality of life for all our older citizens," said Barbara E. Riley, director of the Department of Aging. "At a time when resources everywhere are limited, it is crucial that we recognize innovation and truly valuable contributions in gerontology, a study that only grows more important with our aging population."

Examples of initiatives eligible for the Practitioner of the Year Award include student intern and mentorship programs; intergenerational programs that benefit students and older adults; use of performance measures to improve services; partnerships with institutions of higher learning to improve or expand services; research that results in improved practices or new services; and partnerships aimed at expanding the health and long-term care labor forces. Previous honorees include Bonnie Walson, founding director of Heritage Day Health Centers; Kaye Inoshita, ombudsman program director for Area Agency on Aging District 7, Inc.; Dr. Kyle R. Allen, D.O., chief of the division of geriatric medicine and medical director of post acute senior services for Summa Health Systems; Debby Allen, long-term care ombudsman for northeast Ohio and Salli J. Bollin, executive director of the Alzheimer's Association's northwest Ohio chapter.

The winner will be announced at the OAGE annual spring conference, March 26, in Kent, Ohio.

About OAGE

The Ohio Association of Gerontology and Education (OAGE) is a membership organization comprised of gerontology educators, researchers, practitioners and students. OAGE supports Ohio's aging network as a resource for research and practice, and provides professional development opportunities. Visit www.oage.org.

About ODA

The Ohio Department of Aging provides leadership for the delivery of services and supports that improve and promote quality of life and personal choice for older Ohioans, adults with disabilities, their families and their caregivers. Working with 12 area agencies on aging and other community partners, the department offers home- and community-based Medicaid waiver programs such as PASSPORT, the long-term care ombudsman program, the Golden Buckeye Card and more. Visit www.aging.ohio.gov.