CHARLOTTE-MECKLENBURG AGING COALITION (CMAC) – A BRIEF HISTORY
Compiled by Maryann Gilmore
Early 1993: The Home and Community Block Grant Advisory Committee (appointed by the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners), convened by the Lead Agency Steering Committee (Charles Butler, DSS; George Mundle. COA, Dr. Dena Shenk, COA Board Chair), and Sue Archer, AAA, ex-officio.
As the process ended, discussion revealed: the group had done a good job, the funding allocation was appropriate given the amount available and the structured categories provided by the state. But most felt the structure was too rigid and narrowly defined and that the time-frame did not allow for long-range planning. There was a plea for a broader consideration of the service-delivery process to more effectively meet the needs of older adults.
The group agreed to meet, as a voluntary Coalition, about every three months to discuss these issues. Dr. Dena Shenk, Ph.D., Coordinator, Geriatric Program at UNCC, agreed to facilitate the meetings.
At the first meeting on May 17, three Task Forces and chairs were established:
- Publications (Date Collection) – George Mundle, COA
- System Reform/Service Delivery – Joanne Chuslo, Presbyterian Senior Care
- Advocacy – Alice Hedt, Meck. Cty. Health Dept.
Of these, System Reform/Service Delivery met often, had five sub-committees, and developed a mission, goal, and objectives. (This was the groundwork for what became SMOA, then Just1Call, and is now moving towards the CRC.)
- January 1994: the Coalition began working on an overall mission statement.
- May 1994: the Coalition adopted this mission (still current): The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Aging Coalition will facilitate interagency cooperation, identify critical issues and promote response strategies.
- June 1994: the Coalition decided that the meeting facilitator would rotate among members, and that “ the organization would be realigned into these six committees: System of Access (formerly Service Delivery, Case Management (formerly a sub-committee of S. D.), Policy & Procedures, Funding, Education, and Advocacy
- August 1994: the group chose Joanne Chuslo to be a “liaison” between the Coalition and the community, seeking new members and spreading the word about the Coalition.
- The Funding Committee (chaired by Ruth Huey), worked on seeking grants for a Single Method of Access, and by member vote, the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) was chosen to be the “Applicant Organization” on our proposals. (Unfortunately, we did not receive grants applied for)
- November 1994: the County Commission adopted the “Aging Population Needs” Resolution which the COA had developed, and CMAC had made revisions to and then supported the resolution.
- In 1995, C-MAC met monthly and had many lively discussions on our committed work, especially on the growing issue of Single method/single portal of entry system. Many advocacy issues were presented and support encouraged. The Funding Committee continued its search for funding .
- June 1995: A committee was appointed to began exploring having an elected leadership, and a more formalized structure. In July and August, by-laws were adopted and an election was held.
- September 1995: The first elected leadership began: Maryann Gilmore, Chair; Alice Hedt, Vice Chair; Nan Culp, Secretary; Robin Kaercher, Treasurer. The new Executive Committee consisted of these persons plus these committee chairs appointed by Chair Gilmore: Advocacy, Stephanie Noonan; Care Management, Karen Knutson; Education, Charles Butler; Finance, Ruth Huey; Intake, Policy & Procedure, Peggy Hormberg; Membership, Joanne Chuslo.
- October 1995: Bonnie Cramer, Director, NC Dept. of HR, Div. of Aging, spoke at our meeting.
- December 1995: After membership approval, Chair Gilmore wrote each County Commissioner introducing C-MAC, how it began, some of our concerns, and expressed our support for maintaining funding levels for the senior agencies currently funded.
- January 1996: The Executive Committee held a “mini-retreat” to develop plans, focusing on “What needs to Happen” and “How can we make it happen”. Each chair then developed goals and objectives based on our mission statement, and submitted budgets.
Chair Gilmore felt CMAC should have a “public event” to help us gain community-wide recognition. She asked Charles Butler, Education Chair, to accept this challenge.
- February 1996: The retreat summary was reviewed. Peggy Hormberg presented completed Policy and Procedure report, and recommended the committee be disbanded and the remaining task (Intake) become part of Care Management, renamedSingle Method of Access (SMOA) committee.
- April 1996: Nan Culp facilitated an activity where members developed a matrix of services for seniors in the county. Alice Hedt introduced the “Linkages” directory.
- Spring and Summer 1996: The Access Committee studied and discussed various methods to better achieve progress and success. In May, Charles Butler requested a betterment of $99,500 in the County’s Services for Adults budget. C-MAC’s Gilmore and Noonan, along with the COA, spoke at a Commissioners meeting on the issue; the betterment was subsequently approved, and bid requests for design of a Single Method of Access system were sent out. C-MAC’s Access Committee continued to meet and oversee the project.
- Fall 1996: An Aging Survey was conducted by the Education Committee and volunteers with tremendous support from John Highfill.
- CMAC members staffed a booth and displayed members’ services at the Southern Women’s Show.
- November 1996: Under our new procedures Stephanie Noonan was elected Vice Chair; reelected were Chair Gilmore, Secretary Culp, and Treasurer Kaercher.
- January 17, 1997: Aging Summit was held, and the Aging Survey results were presented. This survey was quoted often by elected officials, United Way, and other organizations regarding senior issues for many years. CMAC received many accolades for its work on the Summit and the survey.
- March 1997: C-MAC members Charles Butler, Beveryly Patnaik and Maryann Gilmore presented “The Aging Explosion” workshop at United Way’s First Annual Health and Human Services Institute, an outcome of the recognition for the Aging Summit.
- April 1997: Charles Page of United Way asked C-MAC to be a part of its Health & Human Services Institute in 1998, rather than having our own Aging Summit again. The Executive Committee and membership agreed; and the Education Committee chaired by Rita Arundell accepted the task of developing and presenting an “aging track” for it.
- August 1997: Tom Haselden, COA, accepted chairmanship of new Marketing Committee. Membership Chair Camille McLarney, Charter Pines, developed a brochure.
- November 1997: New officers: Stephanie Noonan, Chair; Charles Butler, Vice Chair; Jill Carey, Secretary; Robin Kaercher, Treasurer.
- January 1998: Chair Noonan appointed committee chairs: Ruth Huey and Jeff Aten, Access; Augusta Brown, Advocacy; Rita Arundell, Education; Tom Haselden, Marketing; Nan Culp, Membership; Gilmore remained on the Board as Past Chair. A new “Older Americans Month” committee, chaired by Ellen Shake, was formed to coordinate OAM (May) activities, formerly done by a separate volunteer committee, and agreed to sponsor an annual “Wisdom Tea” each May.
- April 21, 1998: United Way’s Health & Human Services Institute was held. Chair Noonan secured nationally-known Bob Blancato as a featured speaker. C-MAC’S Aging Track had good attendance, good evaluations. United Way very pleased with C-MAC and asked for recommitment for 1999.
- In 1998 Chair Noonan continued emphasis on Advocacy, Method of Access, Education, Marketing and Membership; all members split into committee meetings during a part of some monthly meetings, as well as having their own separate meetings. Many Advocacy “Calls to Action” were issued.
- January, 1999: New officers: Chair, Tom Haselden; Vice Chair, Nancy Hudson; Treasurer, Theo Robinson; Secretary, Julie Adams.
- In 1999 Chair Haselden emphasized membership growth, advocacy at local level (budget SMOA), candidate forum, and education. An Aging Community Calendar was started, maintained by Maryann Gilmore to help avoid scheduling conflicts. The Access Committee continued to work with SMOA; the Advocacy Committee chaired by Noonan continued with its “Calls to Action” reports.
- April 1999: Health and Human Services Institute with United Way.
- May 1999: Older Americans Month activities were coordinated by CMAC, Chair Julie Duckworh.
- June 1999: The Single Method of Access (SMOA) was approved by the BOCC, funding seven positions plus the design and implementation. Alan Geltman, SMOA Coordinator, presented Design Team’s plan to CMAC.
- August 1999: C-MAC Access Chair Ruth Huey presented recommendations the committee made to Alan Geltman, including representation on the new SMOA Advisory Board , and monthly updates.
- January 2000: New officers Chair Rita Arundell; Vice Chair Jeff Aten; Secretary Lisa Burlos; Co-Treasurers Marie Warren, Barbara Barlow
- February 2000:Program “Hunger in the Senior Community” presented; members brought canned food donations. This stirred interest in the “harvest” Fundraiser.
- March 2000: Alan Geltman, Project Coordinator of SMOA, presented the system at the National Council on Aging Conference in Washington, DC.
- April 2000: Program “A Visual Continuum of Care” featured speakers from 10 different service areas.
- May 2000: C-MAC coordinated OAM activities, and sponsored the annual “Wisdom Tea”.
- June 2000, Mike Taylor, Manager, announced that the SMOA system, renamed Just 1 Call, began operating at DSS.
- November 2000: A “Harvest for All Seasons” benefit for food assistance for seniors was hosted by CMAC. ($6500 raised)
- January 2001: New officers Vice Chair Suzanne Bach; Secretary Lyndall Hare; Treasurer Marie Warren; Rita Arundell reelected as Chair.
- May 2001: C-MAC coordinated OAM month, and again sponsored Wisdom Tea.
- November 2001: Second “Harvest For All Seasons” benefit held at the Tyvola Senior Center. (Netted $7,920 for senior food assistance.).
- January 2002: New officers Chair Ruth Huey, Vice-Chair Suzanne Bach, Secretary Gayla Woody, Treasurer Julie Duckworth.
- January 2003: Ruth Huey re-elected as Chair.
- December 2003: Older American’s Month Committee was disbanded, removed from by-laws.
- January 2004: New officers Chair Gayla Woody,. Vice Chair Marie Warrant/Trena Palmer; Secretary Debbie Garrison/Martha Callahan; Treasurer Les Farnum. By-laws change requires these officers to serve until June 2005.
- February 2004: Membership approved Board’s proposal of yearly Special Projects Grants. Financial year changed to October 1 – September 30.
- May 2004: Special Task Force holds Wisdom Tea.
- June 2004: First Special Project Grant awarded to SOSI’s Information & Education Workgroup to support their first Aging Boot Camp in September, focusing on Leisure, Education Recreation and Social (LERS) programming, a preventative measure.
- September 2004: Status of Seniors Initiative presented to CMAC by members Trena Palmer, and Maryann Gilmore; invited others to participate. Members John Highfill and Gayla Woody are also involved in SOSI.
- June 2005: New officers, Chair Trena Palmer.; Vice Chair Julie Adams; Secretary Jennifer Sexton; Treasurer Sarah Privette. Chair led discussion and review of C-MAC purpose and other aging organizations to see if changes needed; consensus : C-MAC mission and vision is still valid.
- December 2005:Trena Palmer stepped down, Gayla Woody returned as Chair.
- Early 2006: Several months’ programs were updates on SOSI ‘s work on various senior issues.
- June 2006: 10th Anniversary celebration; seven Past Presidents attended. New Officers, Chair Julie Adams, Vice-Chair Jennifer Sexton, Secretary LuAnn Peters, Treasurer Sarah Privette.
- June 2006: First Annual Educator/Advocator of the Year Award presented to Evelyn Berger. (The Board later votes to name this award after Evelyn.)
- May 12 2006: Over 30 people came together to complete CMAC’s initial Special Project, assembling emergency kits for 250 seniors in the county.
- November 2006: Medicare Part D update presented by Jeanie Schepisi. Regional Coordinator for the Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) and Peco McCoy from the Social Security Office.
- June 2007: New officers Chair Jennifer Sexton, Vice Chair Maryann Gilmore, Secretary LuAnn Peters, and Treasurer Sarah Privette.
- June 2007: The second annual Evelyn Berger Educator/Advocator of the Year Award is presented to Maryann Gilmore.
- April 2008: For the first time, the Chair of the Mecklenburg County Board of Commision was our featured speaker. Chair Jennifer Roberts spoke about making our communities more senior friendly, emphasized the need for the county to partner with the private sector to help address some of the needs and to increase public awareness . She also encouraged CMAC members to participate on Citizen Advisory Committees. (Ms. Roberts returned in 2009.)
- May 2008: First CMAC Special Project (proposed by Jen Sexton) serviced 250 homebound seniors with Emergency Preparedness starter kits were filled by CMAC members with items donated by local companies; the kits were distributed through Friendship Trays, Senior Centers, CAP, and others to their clients, maintaining the clients’ privacy.
- June 2008: New officers: Chair Sheryl Owens; Vice Chair Cindy Greer, Secretary Emily Richardson; Treasurer Sarah Privette. (Cindy Greer declined to serve)
- June 2008: The third annual Evelyn Berger Educator/Advocator of the Year Award is presented to Gayla Woody.
- January 2009: CMAC awards its Special Project Grant to the Mecklenburg County Community Resource Connection (CRC), to cross train core collaborators and the community in working with aging and disabled adults in a person-centered model.
- February 2009: CMAC debuted its new website: http://www.cmac-nc-com.
- May 2009: Second annual Special Project distributed 250 “Senior Care Kits” through various community agencies. CMAC members filled the kits with items donated by local companies; agencies such as Shamrock Senior Center, Prebyterian Hospice, Mecklenburg Health Department, Shepherd Centers East and South, Hospice and Palliative Care of Charlotte, Levine Senior Center and Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services.
- June 2009: New Officers: Chair Sheryl Owens; Vice Chair Craig Doyon; Secretary Erin Warchol; Treasurer Sarah Privette. (Erin did not serve) Linda Bass stepped up.
- June 2009: The fourth annual Evelyn Berger Educator/Advocator of the Year Award is presented to Evelyn Newman.
Throughout the years, senior issues presented at meetings for education and/or advocacy included: Transportation, Housing, Long-term Care, CAP/OA, depression and grief, Adult Day Care, Elder Abuse, Drug Abuse, Adult Protective Services, Care Management, Caregiver Support, Senior Nutrition, Scams and Fraud, Disabilities, International Seniors, Older Americans Act (reauthorization). Emergency Preparedness, VA Benefits, Gerontology and Aging Programs, Aging with Disabilities
Also, CMAC supported other senior programs or events, such as: COA’s Successful Aging Forum, Candidate Forums; Alzheimer’s; C-M Senior Games; C-M Senior Center Programs, AARP, Job Fairs, Health Fairs; BBB’s Scam Jam; Senior Resources Job , Health, Resource Fairs; Aging Resources Network; Older Americans Month; Status of Seniors Initiative; Senior Nutrition Program; Just1Call.