A swearing-in ceremony for the latest members to join the Volunteer Advocates for Seniors program at Franciscan St. Margaret Health – Hammond kicked off a celebration on Aug. 30.
The program, which has been offered at the hospital for about 10 years and serves other area hospitals and agencies as well, has the philosophy that all elderly persons deserve quality care and community support to allow them to lead a safe, dignified and independent life.
The brainchild of Franciscan St. Margaret Health – Dyer and Hammond president Tom Gryzbek, the program, which is a collaborative effort between the hospital and Lake County Superior Court, works to safeguard health care, social service and legal protection needs of incapacitated seniors who are inpatients in the Lake County health care system. Volunteers complete a 40-hour training program and serve as a limited guardian for one case at a time.
The oath was administered by Donald Stepanovich, (center, back row), a Lake County Superior Court probate commissioner. Shown (front row, from left) are: LaVonne Jarrett, VAS program coordinator; and volunteers Pat Nagel, of Valparaiso; Cassandra Kormendy, of Merrillville; JoAnn Manes, of Merrillville; Donna Strydom, of Dyer; Julius Mbughuni, of Hebron; Carolyn Montgomery, of Merrillville; and Vanessa Nathan, VAS program manager. Shown (back row, from left) are: Jennifer Norris, executive director of Northwest Indiana Adult Guardianship Services Inc.; and volunteers Jim Nagel, of Valparaiso; Serita Sewell, of Chicago; (Stepanovich), Denise Simpson, of Crown Point; and Tammi Thomas, of Merrillville.