Advisory Council Meeting

January 14, 2010


Held at 2573 Midpoint Drive, Ste. 108

Fort Collins, Colorado  80525


Members Present:

Nancy Arthur

David Born

Cassie Castleberry


Caryll Cram

Helen Davis

Valerie DiBenedetto


Tim Dolan

Carolyn Funk

Marcy Greenslit


Judy Jones

Ellen Pihlstrom

Bill Prather


Mary Shultz

Earl Stevens

Stan Ulrich


Sharon Zamora







Members Absent :

Peggy Bowers

Manfred Diehl

Howard Hay


Gail Reader







Staff Present:

Tina Barker

Tina Corrigan-Hugo

Margaret Long


Ruth Long

Katy Mason

Lynette McGowan


Glen Rathgeber

Linda Rumney

Laura Walker





Guests Present:

Kathleen Gronberg




Marcy Greenslit called the meeting to order at 1:35 p.m.


The Council members shared their New Year Resolutions.  The following guests were introduced:  Kelli Fritts from AARP and Kathleen Gronberg from the Fort Collins Senior Center Advisory Board.


The minutes were approved as written. 


Marcy Greenslit stated that the Executive Committee reviewed the current provider site visit reports.  The committee also discussed the Community Outreach & Education committee’s decision not to co-sponsor a job fair this year.


Margaret Long reported on the budget.  Margaret stated that the budget details were discussed with the Planning, Funding & Partnership Development Committee.  Because of some additional funding that was not included in the initial budget, the budget will be changed to prevent an excess carryover.  Margaret informed the Council that she proposes increasing the RVNA contract by $30,000 to be spent between January 1 to June 30, 2010.  Margaret went on to explain that RVNA currently has a waiting list for homemaker services.  Crystal Day, RVNA director, stated that they can use this money and acknowledged that RVNA knows this is a temporary funding increase.  Margaret called for a vote to approve amending the RVNA contract.  Earl Stevens moved to increase the RVNA contract by $30,000.  Cassie Castleberry seconded the motion.  Ellen Pihlstrom asked Margaret if she knew of any other needs in the community.  Margaret stated that there are, but this seemed to be the best choice at this time.  Cassie Castleberry amended Earl’s motion to state that additional funding amounts should be funded at Margaret’s discretion.  Ellen Pihlstrom seconded the amendment.  The amendment and motion passed unanimously. 


Marcy pointed out a change to the agenda.  Staff reports have been added to Margaret’s report in order to make sure there is time to hear from the staff.  Marcy asked the staff members to give an overview of their jobs.


Staff Reports

The ombudsmen, Linda Rumney and Tina Barker, explained their role as advocates for people living in nursing and assisted living facilities.  Tina reported that the ombudsmen have been part of the committee, Community Resource Advisory Council (CRAC).  At this time, CRAC is focused on addressing the staff training needs in assisted living facilities.  They received a mini-grant from the Office on Aging to put together training modules on working with difficult behaviors.  Currently, the committee is working on letters of support from various agencies for a Hartford grant application.  The grant of $30,000 is a two-year grant and the application is due in February.  Ultimately, the CRAC goal is to provide training to the staffs of all assisted living facilities in Larimer County.


Lynette McGowan distributed the brochure summarizing the Family Caregiver Support Program.  This program gives support, guidance and links to other community resources to caregivers who provide care to family members living at home.  The program also provides small respite grants every six months.  Lynette described a training opportunity, “Powerful Tools for Caregivers.”  A class leader training is schedule for February 8, 9 and 10 at 1501 Blue Spruce.  The cost is $120.  See Lynette if you are interested in becoming a class leader. 


Katy Mason described her job as being the “jack-of-all trades” and an assistant to Margaret.  Katy participates in a number of community collaborations, runs the Senior Tax Work-Off program and completes program evaluations for providers that receive funding from the Office on Aging.  The Senior Tax Work-off Program begins every year in early February and places workers in county departments.  The commissioners approved a $10,000 increase to the program for this year.  The budget is now $30,000 per year.  Health & Human Services is duplicating this program for the first time this year, but the focus of the new program will be on placing workers in non-profit organizations in the community.


Bill Prather gave a brief autobiography.

OFFICE ON AGING PARTNER PRESENTATION:  Kelli Fritts, Associate State Director, AARP

Stan Ulrich introduced Kelli and reported that her expertise is legislation. 


Kelli discussed how bills are passed and how constituents can be advocates.  She distributed a flowchart on how legislation is passed and explained that bills can be introduced in the senate or house. 


Currently, there is no funding for bills, so the majority of bills will not have a fiscal note attached.  Kelli stated that there are two reasons why the state lacks funding. One is the economic downturn, and the other is TABOR.  Kelli explained that there are two bills in progress that may take the state in the wrong direction.  Kelli stated that it is very hard to pass a bill because of all of the hoops that legislators have to go through.  Kelli discussed the process which includes the first reading, the second reading and then amendments which can also be referred to as “poison pills”. 


How do constituents get involved in the process?  Kelli emphasized how important it is to know your local representatives.  The “game” involves building personal relationships with representatives.  You can work on their campaigns, write checks, or get together for coffee.  Representatives want to hear from their constituents.  Kelli noted that lists representatives by zip code.  The best time to call is while they are in session and a bill is being heard.  Kelli distributed an AARP bill tracking sheet.  Kelli announced that there will be “AARP Day at the Capitol” on March 24.  Please call 866-554-5376 to RSVP. 


Discussion ensued about specific legislation.


Fort Collins Senior Advisory Board Report

Kathy Gronberg announced that the board is advocating and pushing for the Senior Center expansion. 


Loveland Senior Advisory Board

Earl Stevens reported that the Board listened to a presentation about the VITA program.  The Board is looking at their goals.  They will continue their outreach program and will be meeting at various locations in Loveland a few months out of the year.


Foundation on Aging

Mary Shultz reported that the Foundation on Aging is gearing up for the Summit next week.  At last count, there were RSVP’s for approximately 100 people and about $18,000 has been raised. 


Larimer County Commissioner

No report given.


Human Relations Commission 

No report given.


Community Outreach & Education Committee

Mary Shultz reported that the Committee discussed the job fair.  Given the fact that there are not many jobs available and no money, the committee will not help sponsor a job fair this year.  The Committee looked at marketing the Special Needs Registry and distributing Medicare Part D brochures.


Media & Public Relations Committee

Marcy Greenslit reported on yesterday’s committee-sponsored luncheon with the local media.  Eight people attended.  The Coloradoan offered a monthly column to the Office on Aging. 


Planning, Funding & Partnership Development Committee

Valerie DiBenedetto reported that there was no January meeting.  David Born and Margaret sent a letter to Poudre Valley Hospital Systems urging them to have heart infusion treatments at the Harmony campus.  Having these treatments solely in Loveland has caused a transportation issue for patients needing this treatment. 


Public Policy & Advocacy Committee

Stan Ulrich reported that the legislative forum was rescheduled for March 20.  Stan hopes to have a representative from the Bell Institute attend the meeting.  Currently, the committee is conducting a housing survey addressing the issue of waiting lists for affordable senior housing.



Katy announced that this will be Glen Rathgeber’s last meeting. 



Marcy adjourned the meeting at 3:17 p.m.