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Congratulations 2014 Consumer Voice Leadership Award Winners!

November 04, 2014

Thank you to those that nominated individuals and organizations for our annual Leadership Awards. The nominees are all extraordinary advocates and choosing the recipients was quite difficult. The recipients will receive their awards during our Annual Conference in November.

The winners are:

Janet Tulloch Memorial Advocacy Award This award was established in 2000 after the death of Janet Tulloch, a nursing home resident, author, committed advocate and long-time member of the Consumer Voice’s Board of Directors. It honors a citizen advocate, family caregiver or long-term care consumer (e.g. resident of a nursing home or assisted living facility or an individual receiving home and community-based services) who has worked directly with and for consumers to improve the lives of long-term care consumers.

Winner: Kathy Keegan Clare, co-founder Family Council at Belvoir Woods, VA

Kathy’s involvement at the Belvoir Woods Health Care Center started when her father was admitted to the skilled care floor in 2009.  After listening and sharing experiences with other family caregivers Kathy recognized a need for some kind of support mechanism for the spouses, and sons and daughters of the residents.  The first meeting of the Belvoir Woods Health Care Center Family Council was in June of 2009 with Ellen Fuller, Kristen Barcomb and Kathy Keegan Clare as co-chairs.  In co-leading the Family Council and supporting the residents and families, Kathy feels she is continuing her father’s "service to others" as he was a volunteer on the skilled care floor for a number of years and living as he taught her "to leave a place better than you found it.

Cernoria Johnson Memorial Advocacy Award Cernoria McGowan Johnson (1909-1990) set up the national program of Nursing Home Ombudsmen in 1974. The award in her honor is presented to someone whose work has had national impact or is a model for national excellence and who exemplifies accomplishment in his or her chosen field.

Winner: Jacqueline "Jackie” Majoros, VT State LTC Ombudsman

Jackie Majoros has served as Vermont’s State Long Term Care Ombudsman (SLTCO) and Director of the Vermont Ombudsman Project at Vermont Legal Aid (VLA) since 1996. Prior to serving as SLTCO, Ms. Majoros was a staff attorney in the Senior Citizens Law Project of VLA.  She represented individuals and groups on a wide range of issues in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies.

As SLTCO, Ms. Majoros advocates for individuals in facilities and in the community who need long term care services and supports. She has served on numerous work groups and legislative task forces and study committees.  Currently, she is a member of the Vermont Health Care Innovation Project Steering Committee and Vermont’s Medicaid and Exchange Advisory Board where she represents the interests of individuals in need of LTSS as Vermont moves toward a single payer health care system.

Winner: Esther Houser, OK State LTC Ombudsman (retired October 2014)

Prior to her recent retirement, Esther Houser was the first and only State Long-Term Care Ombudsman for Oklahoma, serving as the SLTCO in the Aging Services Division of the Department of Human Services since 1979.  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Oklahoma and a Master of Science in Social Work degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Ms. Houser has served two terms as President of the National Association of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs.  Her work has been published in Long Term Care and the Law (1983), The Oklahoma Bar Journal (1994), and various other publications and manuals related to Ombudsman practice and long-term care issues. In 2003, the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women inducted Ms.  Houser into the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame, in recognition of her advocacy on behalf of elder residents in long-term care facilities.  She was a charter member of the Board of Directors of Oklahoma Court Appointed Advocates for Vulnerable Adults (OCAAVA), and has served as Conservation Chair for the Oklahoma Chapter of the Sierra Club.  In 2013, she was honored with induction into the University of Oklahoma School of Social Work Hall of Fame.

Howard Hinds Memorial Award The Howard Hinds Hinds Award was established in 2005 in memory of the late Howard Hinds, a Tennessee District Long-Term Care Ombudsman. Howard was a true champion for residents and for the ombudsman program as well as a passionate advocate on national issues. The award honors an individual who has effectively advocated for long-term consumers on the local level.

Winner: Janet Tadsen, Associate Ombudsman, Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, OH LTC Ombudsman Program

From 1969 - 2008 I was a primary teacher. For the past six years I have been an ombudsman associate for ABLE. Prior to his retirement my husband taught Chemistry at the high school and at the college level. My daughter has a degree in Chemistry from Michigan State University. I enjoy my family, good friends, good food, good health, and a good book.

Toby S. Edelman Legal Justice Award This award was created in 2009 to honor those who, working through or with the legal system, go to extraordinary lengths to achieve justice for long-term care consumers. It is named in honor of Toby Edelman of the Center for Medicare Advocacy, whose work for more than 30 years has influenced and shaped long-term care law, policy and enforcement.

Winner: Eric Carlson, Directing Attorney, National Senior Citizens Law Center

Eric Carlson is a Directing Attorney at the National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC).  Mr. Carlson has over twenty years of experience in long-term services and supports (LTSS), including home and community-based services, nursing facility care, and assisted living facilities.  He currently is leading NSCLC’s research and advocacy around LTSS provided through Medicaid managed care, and NSCLC’s project to advance reform in California’sassisted living facilities.  Mr. Carlson counsels attorneys from across the country, co-counsels impact litigation that protects LTSS consumers, and is author of the legal treatise Long-Term Care Advocacy (Matthew Bender and Co.).

Elma Holder Founder's Award Established in 2002 as a lifetime achievement award to honor a person whose life work exemplifies leadership in the field of long-term care reform, the award is also a tribute to Elma Holder, the Consumer Voice’s founder and friend. Elma’s personal commitment, integrity and vision shaped the organization and quality of care and life in long-term care.

Winner: Kathy Greenlee, Administrator, Administration for Community Living (ACL), Assistant Secretary, Administration on Aging (AoA)

Kathy Greenlee serves in the dual roles of Administrator of the Administration for Community Living and Assistant Secretary for Aging. Ms. Greenlee was appointed by President Obama as Assistant Secretary for Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Senate in June 2009.

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is a new federal agency operating within the Department of Health and Human Services. ACL brings together into a single entity the Administration on Aging, the Office on Disability, and the Administration on Developmental Disabilities. ACL is charged with working with states, tribes, community providers, universities, nonprofit organizations, businesses and families to help seniors and people with disabilities live in their homes and fully participate in their communities.

Assistant Secretary Greenlee believes that people with functional support needs should have the opportunity to live independently in a home of their choosing, receiving appropriate services and supports. She is committed to building the capacity of the national aging and disability networks to better serve older persons, caregivers, and individuals with disabilities.

Kathy Greenlee served as Secretary of Aging in Kansas, and before that as the Kansas State Long Term Care Ombudsman. She also served as the General Counsel of the Kansas Insurance Department and served as Chief of Staff and Chief of Operations for then-Governor Kathleen Sebelius.

Ms. Greenlee is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and a Juris Doctor degree in law

Janet Wells Public Policy Leadership Award The Consumer Voice’s Public Policy Leadership Award recognizes an individual who has provided exemplary leadership in the public policy field in advancing quality of care and quality of life for residents receiving long-term care services. It is named in honor of longtime advocate and former Consumer Voice/NCCNHR Policy Director, Janet Wells.

Winner: Cathy Hurwit, Chief of Staff, Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)

Cathy L. Hurwit currently serves as chief of staff to Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), where she also has responsibility for health care, senior and labor issues.  Prior to joining Rep. Schakowsky’s staff in January 1999, she was a legislative affairs specialist at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).  She served as legislative director of Citizen Action, an independent consumer and environmental watchdog organization for twelve years.  With her particular focus on health care, Ms. Hurwit was the founder of the Campaign for Health Security and served as its chair from 1991 to 1998.  She also co-chaired the health care task force of Jobs with Justice, and provided technical assistance on single-payer and state implementation issues to the President Clinton’s Health Care Task Force.                                       

Ms. Hurwit served as energy director for Representative Toby Moffett (1976-1979), adviser to the House Government Operations Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment, Energy and Natural Resources (1979-1982), and legislative director for Representative Ed Markey (1987-1989).  She has co-authored “Insuring the Uninsured:  Options for State Action,” “National Health Care:  An American Priority,” and “The Managed Care Consumers’ Bill of Rights:  A Health Policy Guide for Consumer Advocates.”  Ms. Hurwit received a B.A. from Brown University in 1974.

Read the press release announcing the award winners.

Congratulations to all of the winners!  We're looking forward to seeing you at our Annual Conference.

We are extremely grateful for the members of our Governing Board and Leadership Council that volunteered to serve on the Leadership Award Selection Committee to review the numerous qualified nominees and select the award recipients.  We extend our thanks to Yvette Green, Brian Capshaw, Brian Lee, Deanna Okrent, Heather Porreca, Jennifer Golle, and Patricia Warnick.

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