2018 Tess Canja Award Recipients

Patricia Watkins is the winner of the 2017 Claude Pepper Award

Baldwin Family Health Care 

Baldwin Family Health Care provides a wide range of services for older adults, including medical, dental, behavioral health, vision, pharmacy, and in-home care. For more than 25 years, BFHC has offered a respite service which provides in-home, non-medical companionship and supervision of individuals with dementia or individuals too medically frail to be left home alone.

In 2015, in response to an identified need among its respite clients, BFHC implemented an additional bathing service. This service is available to seniors who are not eligible for skilled home care and would otherwise have to pay privately for the service or go without. A major safety concern for the senior population is getting in and out of the shower, a task that is often difficult or uncomfortable for family caregivers to assist with. BFHC respite nurse aides assist with bathing and personal care which increases bathroom safety, improves hygiene, and decreases risk of skin break down and infection rates while providing essential support for family caregivers.

Since Oct. 1, 2017, 38 families were enrolled in the respite service, receiving 2,036 hours of care, 864 hours of which were dedicated to bathing service. During the program year, 90 percent of caregivers reported a reduction in factors that lead to caregiver burnout, while 100 percent noted maintenance or an improvement in their sense of well-being.

Pam Burns is the winner of the 2016 Claude Pepper Award

Partners 4 Health

Partners 4 Health is making strides toward meeting their mission of providing innovative, community-based affordable solutions for people with complex health conditions by addressing the social determinants of health. Partners 4 Health uses the Camden Coalition model of care, focusing their work on the 1 percent of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries responsible for 30 percent of the region's medical expenditures and the 5 percent responsible for 60 percent of care. By assisting patients with care transitions from inpatient settings to home, medication management, behavioral health needs, housing, and transportation, 34 percent of Partners 4 Health's clients showed significantly improved outcomes. Through these program interventions, Partners 4 Health has been able to produce an average savings of $19,715 per patient.

Friendship Centers of Emmet County 

Friendship Centers of Emmet County initiated a Farm-to-Senior project in 2014 to incorporate locally grown, fresh, and nutritious food in its meal programs, while expanding opportunities for local farmers. To realize the vision of increasing access to local produce for older adults, Friendship Centers of Emmet county created partnerships with several organizations, including the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation, Coveyou Scenic Farm, Goodwill's Farm to Freezer program, and Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) volunteers.

Healthy food items are now being offered through Meals on Wheels and at senior centers in Petoskey, Pellston, Brutus, and Harbor Springs. Ninety-six percent of seniors eating at Friendship Centers liked the addition of fresh fruits and vegetables and said that they valued having food from local farms. With over 75,000 meals served annually, the Farm-to-Senior program has had a wide reach.