Advisory Council Meeting

February 14, 2008


Held at 1501 Blue Spruce Drive

Fort Collins, Colorado  80524

Members Present:

Nancy Arthur

Roger Bailey

Steve Budner


Helen Davis

Rene DeMattei

Elnora McCloughan


Ellen Pihlstrom

Mary Shultz

Earl Stevens


Barbara Tuttle

Stan Ulrich

Don Venneberg





Members Absent:

Jim Barlow

Cassie Castleberry

Manfred Diehl


Marcy Greenslit

Matt Jackson

Janet Montera


Barbara Nuss

Sharon Zamora






Staff Present:

Tina Barker

Tina Hugo

Margaret Long


Ruth Long

Katy Mason

Glen Rathgeber


Linda Rumney

Laura Sutherlin






Guests Present:

Connie Nelson-Cleverlet

Gary Thomas



Elnora McCloughan called the meeting to order at 1:34 p.m.


Gary Thomas introduced himself and his Volunteer Coordinator, Connie Nelson-Cleverlet.


Earl Stevens moved to accept minutes as presented, Stan Ulrich seconded motion.  Motion was carried.


Elnora McCloughan reminded the council members that committee meetings were tomorrow.  Elnora warned the council about a jury duty scam that is currently taking place around the country.


Elnora McCloughan introduced Gary Thomas from SAINT.  Gary gave a presentation to the council regarding his program.  Gary introduced Connie Nelson-Cleverlet as SAINT’s full-time volunteer coordinator.  Gary started his presentation with a video about SAINT, a volunteer based transportation system that serves Loveland and Fort Collins.  Individuals volunteer to use their personal cars to drive seniors and disabled people to appointments and other activities.  The video featured Cora Bell Hall, one of SAINT’s clients.  Cora Bell has volunteered at a local church for over 10 years as a bookkeeper.  Connie is her driver.  One day Connie went to pick up Cora Bell at 8:45 a.m. to take her to the church.  When Connie arrived at Cora Bell’s house, Cora Bell did not answer the door.  Connie notified SAINT and the SAINT schedulers made a call to the church to see if they knew why Cora Bell wasn’t answering the door.  SAINT and the church were concerned; the church was expecting her that morning at her usual time.  SAINT called the police to break in and found that Cora Bell had fallen and broken some ribs.  Cora Bell is out of the hospital now, but may have died had SAINT not shown up at her house that morning.  SAINT gets to know their regular clients well and that morning, they knew something was wrong.   Last year, SAINT completed a total of 20,000 rides and 70% of those rides were for seniors.  In addition, Gary reported that SAINT is becoming more popular with the working disabled population.  Gary feels that getting out into the community and keeping independence is just as important as going to medical appointments.  Therefore, SAINT gives no preference for the type of ride needed.  Gary stated that unlike Dial-A-Ride, SAINT is not able to deal with wheelchairs but does provide door to door service.  SAINT give rides to clients that may not qualify for Dial-A-Ride or be in the Dial-A-Ride service area.  Gary reported that some clients prefer SAINT because of the socialization with the driver.  There is no charge for riding with SAINT, although they do suggest a $1 donation.  SAINT’s hours are 8:15 – 4:00 Monday – Friday, but they can arrange an occasional evening ride.  Clients need to call ahead at least a week in advance to ensure a ride.  SAINT schedulers are part-time, working until noon Monday – Friday.  Gary stated that there is a gap in service between Loveland and Fort Collins.  In the past, SAINT tried having a Loveland driver meet a Fort Collins driver for a hand off, but this did not work well and is no longer an option.  At this time, SAINT cannot meet all the requests it gets for rides.  Gary stated that the solution isn’t more money, they need more volunteer drivers.  Gary went on to report that SAINT has grown 33% in the last few years.  The cost of rides averages approximately $1 per trip.  In comparison, Gary reported that the Dial-A-Ride cost is somewhere around $23 per trip.  In addition to running SAINT, Gary is also very active on the Fort Collins Transportation Board, the Chair of the Loveland Transportation Board and he also participated on the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA). 


Margaret reported that Silver Print had their first set of five committee meetings and announced their second set of meetings.  Margaret will email updated information to council members.  Margaret noted that she is discouraged because Silver Print has not set up a “call in” option for participation for most of the committees.  Laura Sutherlin attended the Long Term Care sub-committee meeting. 


Margaret distributed an information flyer regarding Digital TV.  Margaret reported that she is challenged with how to get these flyers out to other providers.  The Digital TV conversion is less than a year out.  The conversion only affects people with roof top antennas and old TV sets.  If people already get cable through a converter box, the change to Digital TV will not be an issue.  Margaret noted that TV is a major source of information and the only voice some people hear on a daily basis.  Margaret reported that the government is distributing coupons for converter boxes to the general public.  It was noted that there is an expiration date on the coupon.  There was some discussion among council members that people should wait until summer to get the converter box as there seems to be some discrepancies with the technology.


Margaret reported that Laura Sutherlin is on the emergency response committee spear headed by 211 to get a registry for people with special needs.  This registry is voluntary and will be part of a database with the Sheriff’s department. 


Margaret stated that on the funding front, we are still waiting to hear what the federal dollar amounts will be.  HB1108 passed the first hearing; this bill would add another $150,000 to Larimer County OOA. 


Margaret had a discussion with Nancy Wallace and learned that Legal Services had an increase in clients.  Nancy has exhausted the Wallace & Kling funding; therefore the Office on Aging will increase the contract from $14,000 to $19,000 from contingency funding.  Nancy will start tracking client visits by subject to see if this is an anomaly or if this is a new trend.  Half of the cases she had in January were regarding Medicaid questions. 

Margaret discussed changing meeting rooms.  So far, there are two options that might work.  One is the Spirit of Joy Church on Lemay and Harmony and the other option is the Northside Aztlan Community Center.  The Northside Aztlan Community Center will require payment for use. Tina Hugo will continue to investigate options.


Earl Stevens gave a brief autobiography.


Fort Collins Senior Advisory Board Report

Stan Ulrich announced that the Fort Collins Advisory Board reassigned liaisons to other boards.  Matt Jackson has been assigned to be the liaison to this Advisory Council.


Loveland Senior Advisory Board

Earl Stevens reported that the board submitted their first report to the Loveland City Council on what they have done, and what they are planning to do.  The Loveland Senior Advisory Board invited the Fort Collins Advisory Board to meet in March or April.  Earl Announced that Lynn Hayden-Ugarde, director of the Chilson Senior Center, resigned after 23 years.  Lynn has accepted a full-time position at The Wexford an independent living senior community, which is part of the Columbine System.  Her job at the Chilson Senior Center will now be covered by three different people. 

Foundation on Aging

Mary Shultz reported that the Foundation on Aging voted to continue their ongoing relationship with the Office on Aging.  The Foundation discussed potential board members in order to increase the number of representatives.  Mary stated that they are moving forward with the JVA, a consulting firm in Denver, for March 13th to create a vision statement and work on strategic planning.


Larimer County Commissioner

No report given.


Human Relations Commission 

Elaine Boni reported that the commission will have their Annual Breakfast in May.  Last year the council nominated Karen Reinhardt for the Human Relations Award.  Elaine requested that the Advisory Council consider another nomination for this year.  The application is due by March 31st. 


Commission on Aging

No report given.


Community Outreach & Education Committee

Mary Shultz updated the council on the committee goals for this year.  One goal is to reach out to minority populations.  Mary reported that the committee initiated a meeting at the Northside Aztlan Community Center during the congregate lunch time, one Tuesday and one Thursday of each month.   One council member and one Office on Aging staff member will attend.  Nancy Arthur commented that she and Katy attended the first lunch and found it to be a very position experience.  There were about 20-30 people in attendance.  Nancy believed that they were well received and reported a lot questions about the caregiver and respite program as well as dental questions.  Mary reported that the second goal is to reach out to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transsexual (GLBT) community.  Mary stated that some of the committee members and Office on Aging staff attended a Project Visibility Train the Trainer program in January.


Mary announced that on July 18 & 19 there will be a dental treatment event at The Ranch sponsored by the Colorado State Dental Society.  It will start at 5:00 a.m. and will be on a first come first serve basis.  A similar event in Alamosa sponsored by the Colorado State Dental Society served 1,301 patients.  There is no cost to participants and there will be a variety of treatments provided, including surgery.  The event will require about 500 volunteers.  The council raised concerns about the heat in July and if the frail elderly would be required to stand for long periods of time waiting in line.  The committee will look into this issue.


Media & Public Relations Committee

Elnora McCloughan reported on the committee meeting with Deni LaRue, Community Information Manager with the County, to discuss publicity for the Office on Aging.  Elnora reported that a draft plan has been completed.  A few of the ideas discussed at the meeting were, a column in a newspaper, distributing materials to various churches to be included in their bulletins, and creating a specific design for the materials.  The committee asked Deni to attend the March committee meeting.


Planning, Funding & Partnership Development Committee

Steve Budner reported that the Senior Law Project is running out of money and that the Office on Aging decided to award Wallace & Kling a one-time increase of $5,000.  Nancy Wallace has been asked to determine if this is an on-going issue.  If the issue is on-going, the Office on Aging will have to review the budget and the Senior Law Project might have to limit the number of clients served.  Steve confirmed that the Foundation on Aging voted to continue their relationship with the Office on Aging and is looking forward to the JVA meeting.  The committee will also be reviewing funding issues for the Oral Health Task Force as well as the ARCH program. 


Pubic Policy & Advocacy Committee

Stan Ulrich reported that on January 28th, the HB1108 bill passed (8 to 3 vote) without any problems.  Stan stated that he and Ellen Pihlstrom attended the meeting and listened to the reading of the bill.  They also visited the state AARP office.  Stan discussed concerns with HB1124.  If this bill passes, it will be the end of Medicaid.  This bill has an option for Medicaid client’s to sign a waiver.  If a Medicaid client signs the waiver, the State would no longer assume responsibility for that client’s medical care with the exception of 70% of what they think that client would require for the rest of that client’s life.  This bill would allow a Medicaid eligible person to purchase long term care services from any provider in the state. 


Stan announced that Jim Spencer, a columnist for the Denver Post, wrote an article regarding the crisis in our constitution.  Stan went on to report that the Speaker of the House brings this subject up on a regular basis.  The Speaker appointed a committee to investigate the possibilities of fixing the constitution. 


Staff Reports

Tina Barker introduced Bethany Allen, the new Ombudsman intern from The School of Social Work at Colorado State University.  Beth is now certified and visiting facilities and handling cases on her own.  Tina reported that Larimer County has recently seen a substantial growth in Assisted Living beds.  Park Regency in Loveland, is licensed for 110 beds, including 10 Medicaid beds with a goal of 30 Medicaid beds.  The Arbours at McKenzie Place a new assisted living facility in Fort Collins announced they are opening March 1st with 26 memory care beds and 26 high acuity beds.  In addition, Turnberry Place a new assisted living facility in Fort Collins is close to being licensed with 8 beds.  Tina also noted that there are now seven trained trainers for Project Visibility in Larimer County included both Ombudsmen and three advisory council members. 


Katy Mason reported that she finished the hiring process for the Senior Tax Work-off program.  Katy reported there was enough funding to pay for 2,804 hours and the program received applications from 76 people for a total of 2,801 hours. Katy reported that the Senior Tax Work-Off program received some good publicity on Channel 7. 



Rene DeMattei announced that Easter Seals had two presentations regarding transportation, one regarding rural and one for city transportation.  Rene stated that the transcripts from the presentations should be available in approximately 45 days. 



Elnora adjourned the meeting at 3:28 p.m.