Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Honors Three Senior Advocates with Claude Pepper Award

Thursday, August 21, 2008 General News
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DETROIT, Aug. 20 A senior citizen patient advocate fromWest Bloomfield, a Detroit retiree who volunteers at a downtown senior citizencommunity center, and a Kentwood woman who champions issues in support ofseniors in West Michigan will be honored Sept. 19 with Blue Cross Blue Shieldof Michigan's Claude Pepper Award.

The late Florida Sen. Claude Pepper was a lifelong activist for thenation's elderly, and the award bearing his name recognizes people'scontributions toward improving the lives of Michigan's senior citizens. TheClaude Pepper Award honorees, who each will receive a $1,000 check to be givento nonprofit organizations of their choice, are:

Cheryl B. Dworman, 61, of West Bloomfield, in the working advocatecategory. As a full-time patient advocate, Dworman, a registered nurse, is thevoice of her elderly patients. She helps physicians manage patients' sometimescomplex medical conditions to help bring them back to health, and also meetsthe end-stage needs of both the elderly and their caregivers with caringcounseling.

Alvin Edmunds, 76, of Detroit, and Louise Thomas, 82, of Kentwood, in thevolunteer advocate category. As a retiree, Edmunds has volunteered to servethe elderly at St. Aloysius Church in Detroit for 14 years. Thomas is a memberof the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan Advisory Council and has beena senior advocate for more than 20 years.

The inaugural Diana C. Jones Award, named for the retired Blue Cross BlueShield of Michigan vice president of community affairs, honors an organizationcontributing to the well-being of older adults and enabling them to continueliving meaningful lives. The first award winner is the Antrim CountyCommission on Aging, located in Bellaire in northern Michigan. The commissionprovides seniors in the county with in-home care, food coupons for freshproduce, home upkeep services, and loaner items such as wheelchairs andpatient lifts.

Twenty-six other people will receive honorable mention certificates forhelping improve the lives of the elderly. They are:

Cathy Mozham, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan director of communityaffairs, will present the awards on Friday, Sept. 19 in Traverse City duringthe annual Blues' Senior Advisory Council conference. Themed "Living Well -Celebrate Healthy Aging," the conference is geared toward older adults,service providers, caregivers and others interested in learning more abouthealthy aging.

Featured will be Tai Chi demonstrations and informative sessions on suchsubjects as living holistically, preventing falls, safe driving, elder law andestate planning, with a keynote presentation by octogenarian Art Holst onliving happy and well in retirement.

Cost is $20 per person for seniors 55 and older and caregivers, and $50for service providers. The fee includes continental breakfast, lunch,discussion sessions and conference materials. To register, call 800-733-BLUE(2583) by Sept. 5.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit organization, provides andadministers health benefits to 4.7 million members residing in Michigan inaddition to members of Michigan-headquartered groups who reside outside thestate. The company offers a broad variety of plans including: Traditional BlueCross Blue Shield; Blue Preferred, Community Blue and Healthy Blue IncentivesPPOs; Blue Care Network HMO; BCN Healthy Blue Living; Flexible Blue planscompatible with health savings accounts; Medicare Advantage; Part DPrescription Drug plans, and MyBlue products in the under-age-65 individualmarket. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofitcorporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue ShieldAssociation. For more company information, visit Adrangna, Detroit Roger Bushnell, Allen Park June Dodd, Spring Arbor Karyn Dombrowski Curro, Center Line Yvonne Edwards, Detroit

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