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LGBT service organization honors DHS, Board on Aging

Award recognizes inclusion of older LGBT Minnesotans in planning, services

May 16, 2013

Katie Mintz

PDF version of news release

Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson and members of the Minnesota Board on Aging will accept an award honoring the Minnesota Department of Human Services and the Board on Aging for including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults in program planning and services provided by the organizations.

Training to Serve’s 2013 John Yoakam Award for Service will be presented at the organization’s benefit from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, May 16, at the Doubletree Park Place in Minneapolis.

“As the Minnesota Board on Aging and DHS work to sustain quality services for the rapidly growing aging population, we are mindful of the diversity of older Minnesotans,” said Jesson. “The perspectives we have gained from working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Minnesotans have been invaluable as we plan for the major demographic shift approaching our state.”

Jean Wood, executive director of the Minnesota Board on Aging, said board members are deeply appreciative to be recognized by LGBT service partners.

“These community partners share our vision of a Minnesota where older people have choices in how they receive services and how they live their lives, said Wood.

Cathy Croghan, Training to Serve board chair, said the award recognizes efforts DHS and the Minnesota Board on Aging have made in recent years to support increased access to services for LGBT older adults, training of staff and service providers on the needs of LGBT individuals as well as LGBT input on important initiatives in aging.

“All of these activities support Training to Serve’s vision of safe, welcoming and supportive services available to LGBT older adults,” Croghan said.

Training to Serve established the annual award to honor a Minnesota organization in Minnesota that has made strides to provide an environment where compassionate care for LBGT older adults can flourish.  The award is named in memory of John Yoakam, an advocate for aging within the LBGT community in the Twin Cities who died in 2009.

Training to Serve assists Minnesota providers of aging services with education and tools to help them meet the needs of LGBT persons as they age. 

DHS helps provide essential services to Minnesota’s most vulnerable residents. Working with many others, including counties, tribes and non-profits, DHS helps ensure that Minnesota seniors, people with disabilities, children and others meet their basic needs and have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

The Minnesota Board on Aging administers federal Older Americans Act funds that provide a spectrum of services to seniors, including Senior LinkAge Line® and Insurance Counseling.  The board also listens to senior concerns, researches for solutions and proposes policy to address senior needs.

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