A message from the Chair of the Board of Directors and Executive Director:
As the Area 1 Agency on Aging prepares to enter its fourth decade of service to the people of Humboldt and Del Norte counties, the twin realities of increased need experienced by increasing numbers of seniors, people with disabilities, their families and caregivers, and inadequate and declining funding present ongoing and critical challenges. This year a faltering State economy produced a series of difficult decisions—decisions that, when implemented in our communities, altered, stretched and, in some respects, tore the fabric of support for some of the most vulnerable segments of our population. Programs serving fragile and at-risk seniors were eliminated; collaborative efforts with our sister organizations were jeopardized; services for the frail and endangered were reduced. As a result we have found Agency services increasingly sought and ever more crucial as other services have been eliminated or have seen their effectiveness wane.
The Agency Board of Directors and Advisory Council, staff and volunteers remain committed to the preservation and enhancement of these essential services and programs--support that helps seniors live at home, safe, healthy and independent.
Against this backdrop of growing need and funding reductions, we can take pride in a number of accomplishments.
- In partnership with The California Endowment, we completed our first year of a multi-year grant-funded process of information-gathering through paper and on-line surveys and Town Hall meetings that will result in the development of a useful model for data collection.
- We began to develop the Project for Senior Action advocacy program—also funded through The California Endowment.
- When State of California budget considerations demanded effective representation for seniors, we moved quickly to serve as a reliable and timely conduit of information, conveying seniors’ concerns and opinions to Sacramento.
- As proposed budget reductions became a discouraging reality, we re-allocated our staff resources, combined programs, streamlined our functional hierarchy and cross-trained our staff.
- We consolidated all Humboldt County programs and offices in one building, beginning with a move of administrative staff on June 29, 2008 and culminating, eight months later, with an official Open House on March 19, 2009.
- We partnered with the FCC to help seniors retain their connection to their communities through the transition to digital television broadcasting.
- We re-formed the North Coast Senior Services Collaborative as a vehicle for program and service partnership in these unpredictable times.
- And we continued to provide service and assistance, support and advocacy through our HICAP, Caregiver Services, Senior Information and Assistance, and Volunteer Services programs.
We expect that the challenges facing our state, our counties, our communities, and our Agency will continue to be profound and complex. We will continue to support the seniors of Humboldt and Del Norte, to work with other organizations and agencies to mitigate the impact of an uncertain economy, and to maximize our efforts to advocate for seniors and assist them as they advocate for themselves. We thank all those who share this commitment; all who dedicate their efforts and their resources to helping the most vulnerable among us. Their generous support will be vital as we work to preserve and enhance the quality of life of our aging family, friends and neighbors.
Area 1 Agency on Aging Board of Directors 2012
Photo by: Julie Van Devere
Members from left to right: Nyle Henderson (Vice-Chair), Steve Beckman, Dianne Bennett, Tom Cochran, Darlene Penfold (Chair), Naomi Johnson, Victoria Onstine, R.N., George Ingraham, M.D. (Secretary), Dean Charlton.
Not pictured: Scott Sattler, M.D. (Treasurer), Sharon Mellett, Sid Noyes