Area Agency on Aging wins statewide award | Community Spirit
St. Petersburg, Fla. -- At an awards ceremony celebrating the contributions of more than 450 statewide volunteers, the Florida Department of Elder Affairs’ SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) program awarded volunteers in Pasco and Pinellas counties with the Planning and Service Area of the Year award. Volunteers in these counties operate out of the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc.
According to the agancy, SHINE volunteers in this area completed nearly 12,300 client contacts last year, a 42 percent increase from the previous year. Of these contacts, more than half were completed in assistance to clients with low incomes for savings on their Medicare costs. These SHINE volunteers provided outreach and education to more than 21,000 clients in Pasco and Pinellas counties. Additionally, they spent over 7,500 hours with their clients during the last Federal fiscal year.
“Volunteers with the SHINE program in Pasco and Pinellas counties have a strong sense of commitment, compassion, and volunteerism,” SHINE Statewide Director Anne Rogers said in a release of the recent opportunity to recognize counselors for their dedication to the program. “These volunteers have dedicated their time and expertise in order to serve their clients. Along with staff from the Area Agency on Aging, they have found innovative ways to make our program succeed in their area.”
The SHINE program is measured annually by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on eight performance measures, including total client contacts, hours spent with clients, contacts through outreach and education, and contacts with low-income Medicare beneficiaries. As the winners of the SHINE Planning and Service Area of the Year, volunteers in Pasco and Pinellas counties shined brightly in all eight performance measures.
SHINE is a program of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs which is operated throughout the state in partnership with the Area Agencies on Aging. The program provides free and unbiased education and counseling for Medicare beneficiaries and caregivers. Trained SHINE volunteers help elders understand and receive the health insurance coverage they need through Medicare, Medicaid, prescription assistance, Long-Term Care planning and insurance, and other health care issues.
If you are interested in volunteering for the SHINE program, please contact Sue Samson, SHINE Liaison, at Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc. by calling 1-800-963-5337.