PSS Honors Event Toasts Local Heroes in Elder Care, Family Caregiving and Introduces Impact Award for Leadership in Positive Aging

NEW YORK, NY, April 29, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ — PSS, a multi-service nonprofit agency that has served older New Yorkers and their families since 1962 (www.pssusa.org), will present awards to three distinguished leaders in the field of aging at its annual PSS Honors event at Club 101 in Manhattan on Thursday evening, May 2:

• The 24th annual Maggie Kuhn Award will go to Dr. Ruth K. Finkelstein, Executive Director, Brookdale Center on Aging, Hunter College, who has devoted the last decade to transforming the understanding of aging from that of a time of decline to one of challenge and opportunity. Established in 1995, the Award is named for Margaret Kuhn, an American social activist central to the founding of the Gray Panthers in the early 1970s.

• The third annual Circle of Care Award, named after PSS’s Circle of Care program, which provides assistance and respite to family caregivers, salutes Aetna Better Health of New York for its ongoing support of public education programs for older adults on Managed Long Term Care services and how to apply for Medicaid. Kevin Nelson, CEO, will be accepting on behalf of Aetna Better Health of New York.

PSS also is presenting its first Impact Award, stemming from its “Coming of Age” program, which inspires people 50 and older to live with passion and purpose, to Betsy Werley, a founding member of “Coming of Age” in her role as Executive Director of The Transition Network and now Director of Network Expansion at Encore. Founded in 1998, Encore is an “innovation hub” for new approaches and practical models to realize the potential of longer lives and intergenerational connection to solve society’s most pressing problems.

“These three awards are our best evidence of how PSS has evolved to respond to the growing needs of the New Yorkers we serve,” noted PSS Executive Director Rimas Jasin. “Our original award, the Maggie Kuhn Award, has long showcased those who were champions of older adults, particularly those who had no real voice. In 2017, recognizing the surge in the number of caregivers in our communities—people of all ages struggling to care for a friend or relative who is frail, ill or suffering from memory loss—we created the Circle of Care Award to honor those individuals or organizations helping to make their caregiving a bit easier.”

“We are excited to add the Impact Award to this roster. Because people are living longer, this honor spotlights those whose efforts give people the tools to make their later stages of life more meaningful. Collectively, our award winners are exceptional leaders who stand out for their longtime commitment to improving lives,” he said.

Commenting on PSS today, Jasin added that “the real beauty of our programming is that it can seamlessly help people manage some of the major transitions of adult life: family caregiving, retirement, lifelong engagement and old age. For too long there have been too few resources focused on these later-life issues. Luckily, PSS is there to help.”

The honorees:
Maggie Kuhn Award–Dr. Ruth K. Finkelstein: Dr. Finkelstein is Executive Director, Brookdale Center on Aging, Hunter College. Previously Associate Director of the Columbia Aging Center and Director of the International Longevity Center at Columbia University, earlier in her career, she served as Senior Vice President for Policy and Planning and Director, Division of Health Policy: Special Populations at The New York Academy of Medicine. Dr. Finkelstein was also one of the founders of Age Friendly New York City, which was created to make New York a great place to age.

Circle of Care Award—Aetna Better Health of New York: Aetna Better Health of New York serves seniors and persons who qualify for Medicaid and who need long term care. With its commitment to providing high-quality, cost effective, outcomes-oriented care for its members, Aetna has 30 years of experience serving high-risk populations, building relationships with local partners, integrating the delivery of clinical care, and developing innovative programs and technology.

Impact Award—Betsy Werley: Ms. Werley is currently Director of Network Expansion at Encore.org. She was the first Executive Director of The Transition Network, where she grew that nonprofit organization for women from one chapter to 12. Ms. Werley spent the first 26 years of her career as a lawyer, then as a business executive at JPMorgan Chase. She is a past President of the Financial Women’s Association, and launched its Baruch College mentoring program.

About PSS, PSS Circle of Care, and Coming of Age NYC:
PSS was founded in 1962 as Presbyterian Senior Services by volunteers to serve older members of their church community. Today, PSS is an innovative, multi-service nonprofit 501(c)(3) agency whose mission is to strengthen the capacity of older New Yorkers, their families, and communities to thrive. PSS has over 70 dedicated staff and over 250 committed volunteers and interns. With a $6+ million annual budget, we are able to run nine busy community centers for older adults, family caregiver and kinship family support programs through PSS Circle of Care, three residences – including the first one purposefully built for grandparents raising children – and Coming of Age NYC’s popular educational programs that inspire adults 50+ to live with passion and purpose. Website: pssusa.org

PSS’ Circle of Care program, established in 2003, assists families struggling to care for someone who is frail, chronically ill or has Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. This includes individual consultations to connect the caregiver to information and resources that meet their needs; temporary time off with care inside or outside the home; caregiver support groups; and activities such as Memory Café for caregivers and care receivers to participate in together. Since 2016, with the help of a $7.5 million, five-year state grant from Governor Cuomo’s Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support initiative and funding from the NYC Department for the Aging, the program was able to add 15 staff members and broaden its reach to all five boroughs. Website: PSSCaregivers.org

Coming of Age NYC, a leader in the positive aging movement, inspires people 50+ to live with passion and purpose with an informative monthly newsletter and workshops and presentations by experts. We partner with a number of leading organizations in the field. Our monthly “Men’s Morning” conversation group for men who have retired from full-time jobs or nearing it provides a much welcomed opportunity to talk about life in general and life after retirement. Website: comingofagenyc.org


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