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Ombudsman recognizes volunteers who advocate for older adults

Resident Rights Month helps raise awareness about free services

10/7/2019 10:40:11 AM

The Minnesota Office of Ombudsman for Long Term Care is recognizing Minnesotans who volunteer to advocate for the rights of residents in long-term care facilities as part of Resident Rights Month in October. Each year the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care designates the month as an opportunity to focus on and celebrate the awareness of dignity, respect and rights of each resident.

“The Office of Ombudsman for Long Term Care cannot function effectively statewide without the help of certified ombudsmen, the volunteers who undergo extensive training and donate their time and skill to help make a positive difference in quality of life for many people,” said Cheryl Hennen, Minnesota Ombudsman for Long Term Care.

At no cost to residents and their families, the ombudsmen advocate for residents in assisted living, residential care, nursing facilities and adult foster care facilities. The office helps to resolve disputes, complaints and problems relating to quality of care and services, quality of life, rights violations, access to services and service termination, discharge or eviction. 

People interested in volunteering to be ombudsmen or who would like to reach an ombudsman may call the Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care, a program of the Minnesota Board on Aging, at 651-431-2555 or 800-657-3591.  

Current certified ombudsmen are:

Northwest Minnesota

  • Dorothy Chizek, Morris
  • Betty Clark, Moorhead
  • Charlotte Hanson, Alexandria
  • Edith Hoyum, Bemidji
  • Jane Kill, Alexandria
  • Kathy Nornes, Moorhead
  • Elizabeth Spohr, Morris
  • Pat Westman, Roseau

 Northeast Minnesota

  • Katherine Grafft, Stacy 
  • Christine Marcotte, Deer River
  • Joy Mesia, Mountain Iron
  • Joan Nephew, Dayton
  • Audrey Witta, Mountain Iron

 Southern Minnesota

  • Fred Simon, New Prague
  • Ruth Steffensen, Rochester
  • Myrna Yenter, Mankato 

 Central Minnesota

  • Jay Fier, Donnelly
  • Gary Hennen, Cold Spring
  • Jo Hennen, Cold Spring
  • Betty Johnson, Cold Spring
  • Pat Loban, Pine River
  • Patricia McCormick, Merrifield
  • Tom Oven, St. Cloud

 Twin Cities metro area

  • Gloria Alexander, Plymouth
  • Larry Clausen, Minneapolis
  • Sue Halverson, St. Paul
  • Rose Hansmeyer, Eagan
  • Ronna Locketz, Plymouth
  • Barb Risken, Minneapolis
  • Barb Spears, St. Paul
  • Yolanda Williams, Eden Prairie

 These volunteers were formally recognized at a July event during the Age & Disabilities Odyssey Conference, sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Human Services and the Minnesota Board on Aging, in Duluth. 


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