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Commonwealth Council on Aging 2021 Best Practices Award Winners

The Commonwealth Council on Aging is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 Best Practices Awards.

FIRST PLACE

FIRST PLACE AWARD ($5,000):
Bay Aging (BA) Stable Foundations for Older Adults Experiencing Homelessness

Focusing on housing as the foundation for successful outcomes of older adults, BA’s housing opportunities provide safety and stability for older adults experiencing homelessness, ensuring that the plethora of support services can be maintained to increase positive outcomes.

BA has bridged the gap between Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) and the homeless services’ Continuum of Care (CoC) to provide diverse housing opportunities for people exiting homelessness. In 2018, BA’s age- and income-restricted rental housing worked with the local homeless services’ CoC, the Northern Neck Middle Peninsula Housing Coalition, to develop a homeless preference. BA was the first U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly owner/manager to be approved to implement a homeless preference in Virginia.

BA can quickly identify older adults experiencing homelessness and match the person to unique housing that meets their needs, limiting the amount of time that someone spends homeless, reducing trauma, and regaining health measures. Once transitioned into permanent housing, older adults benefit from health assessments, Meals on Wheels, employment training, assistance with mainstream resource applications, insurance counseling, and transportation. This multidisciplinary continuum is poised to make homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring, while supporting older adults at every stage of independence.

Since 2018, 31 new tenants have moved into BA’s housing, and an additional 189 older adults have been served by BA’s homeless response system. The average wait time for placement in BA rental housing currently is 59 days, a 25% decrease since 2018 when the program started. Of the 31 older adults served by BA’s housing, only one has exited to an unknown location, evidence of sustained positive outcomes of tenants.

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SECOND PLACE

SECOND PLACE AWARD ($3,000):
Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA) Friends in Schools Helping (FISH)

JABA has been serving the needs of seniors and their families in Charlottesville and five surrounding counties for 45 years. Since 2004, FISH has been JABA’s intergenerational school-based mentoring program that provides volunteer mentors to students who need individualized attention. The FISH program recruits, screens, and trains volunteers to help students with reading, math, writing, STEM, and art, as well as often working with English learner students and assisting children with their emotional well-being. Students working with FISH mentors demonstrate improved academic achievement, confidence, social skills, and trust.

FISH mentors now serve all across JABA's service area, including Charlottesville City and Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, and Nelson counties. The FISH program serves students in a variety of settings, but due to COVID-19, mentoring moved to a virtual format with one-on-one or small groups. During the 2019-2020 school year, 58 FISH volunteers provided support to over 1,370 students in 21 schools, and reported providing over 2,250 hours of individualized mentoring attention to students, a value of over $61,000 to the local communities. Looking ahead, the FISH program is excited to welcome 22 new volunteers and several returning FISH volunteers to provide vital support to students during the pandemic.

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THIRD PLACE

THIRD PLACE AWARD ($2,000):
Inova Health System Medical House Calls (MHC) Program

The MHC program provides in-home primary care services to older adults above the age of 65 and who are homebound. MHC opened its doors in 2017 and has continued to expand the provision of quality in-home care services to our community ever since.

MHC’s mission is to allow older adults to receive care in their most comfortable environment, their homes. This also helps to support caregivers, reduce caregiver burden, and increase the overall wellness of patients and their support system. Through an interdisciplinary model, patients receive quality medical care, including coordination of in-home diagnostic testing and wraparound services such as social work support. The MHC program currently serves approximately 700 older adults throughout most of Fairfax County, Alexandria, and areas in eastern Loudoun County.

In 2020, MHC performed just under 9,000 encounters with patients. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the MHC program has seen an extensive increase in in-home care services. Between January-March 2021, the Medical House Calls program administered 1,260 doses of the COVID vaccine resulting in a total of 655 vaccinated homebound older adults and family caregivers in our community. Looking ahead, the MHC program will soon be expanding to support Medicaid patients and uninsured members in the community, building on a steadfast commitment to ensuring that all community members have access to quality healthcare regardless of their ability to pay.

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The Council gave honorable mentions to the following organizations:

  • The Art of Healthy Aging Forum & Expo by Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia, Norfolk
  • Virtual Center for Active Adults by Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services and ServiceSource, Fairfax
  • Home Repair Program by Appalachian Area for Senior Citizens, Cedar Bluff
  • Calling Angels Friendly Caller Program by Arlington Agency on Aging
  • Benefits Enrollment Center by Senior Connections, The Capitol Area Agency on Aging, Richmond
  • Virtual Social Visitor Program by Volunteer Solutions, Fairfax

To view a copy of the 2021 press release, click here. To learn more about the winning and honorable mention programs and how to contact them, click here.

The Council has recognized organizations as examples of best practices since 2006. A list of these organizations and a brief overview of their programs can be found for 2017-2020 and 2006-2016.


Dominion Energy Logo
With the support of Dominion Energy, the Council is pleased to offer monetary awards to the winners. This year, the First Place program received $5,000, the Second Place program received $3,000, and the Third Place program received $2,000.


Boards, Councils, and Commissions - Background

The Aging Programs within the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services has three advisory boards. Pursuant to Virginia Code § 2.2-2100, advisory boards provide advice and comment to an executive branch agency or office. An advisory board, commission or council serves as a formal liaison between the agency or office and the public to ensure that the agency or office understands public concerns and that the activities of the agency or office are communicated to the public. An advisory board, commission or council does not serve a regulatory or rule-making purpose. It may participate in the development of public policy by providing comment and advice.


Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Commission logo    Commonwealth Council on Aging logo    Virginia Public Guardian and Conservator Advisory Board logo   

The advisory boards meet quarterly and all meetings are open to the public. All meetings will be held from 10 am to 2pm at the Aging Programs, unless otherwise noted. View directions to DARS Office for Aging Services.

Upcoming Meetings can be found on the Commonwealth Calendar. You can search by date or by keyword.




Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Commission

Established pursuant to § 51.5-154 of the Code of Virginia, the ADRD Commission develops and oversees the implementation of the Commonwealth's Dementia State Plan. Among the Commission’s duties and activities are to:

  • Examine the needs of persons with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders, as well as the needs of their caregivers, and ways that state government can most effectively and efficiently assist in meeting those needs;
  • Develop and promote strategies to encourage brain health and reduce cognitive decline;
  • Advise the Governor and General Assembly on policy, funding, regulatory, and other issues related to Alzheimer's disease and related disorders;
  • Develop the Commonwealth's plan for meeting the needs of patients with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders and their caregivers, and advocate for such plan; and
  • Establish priorities for programs among state agencies related to Alzheimer's disease and related disorders and criteria to evaluate these programs.

The Commission also sponsors a website, www.alzpossible.org, that is accessible to Virginia citizens who wish to learn more about the Commonwealth's commitment to those affected by Alzheimer's disease. This website contains information that can assist both family members and community service providers. It lists a series of free educational "webinars" on topics that impact persons dealing with the disease.

The Virginia Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Commission has released the Dementia State Plan 2020-2024: Building a Dementia-Capable Virginia. The Dementia State Plan 2020-2024 [PDF] serves as a blueprint for a dementia-capable Virginia that is ready to meet the challenge of the rising numbers of citizens of the Commonwealth living with dementia or caring for individuals living with dementia. The Commission updates the plan every four years. Previous editions of the plan are available below.

More Information:

Powers, Duties & Bylaws    Reports    Members   

Dementia State Plan    Previous Electronic Meetings

Upcoming Meetings:

  • April 5, 2021 - BRFSS Workgroup - Electronic Meeting 2pm - 3:30pm
  • April 5, 2021 - Electronic Meeting 1pm -2pm
  • June 8, 2021 (Annual Meeting)
  • September 14, 2021
  • December 14, 2021

Electronic meetings may be viewed live at DARS YouTube DARS YouTube at the time of the meeting (usually 10am on the date above)

You can find agendas and minutes from past meetings on our SharePoint site. You can also select a committee below to see just that committee's documents.


For Questions:
George Worthington
Dementia Services Coordinator
Phone: (804) 662-9154



Commonwealth Council on Aging

Established pursuant to §§ 51.5-127 and 51.5-128 of the Code of Virginia, the CCOA promotes an efficient, coordinated approach by state government to meeting the needs of older Virginians. The CCOA supports communities that are accessible, livable, age-friendly, and promote independence. Among its duties and activities, the CCOA:

  • Examines the needs of older Virginians and their caregivers and ways in which state government can most effectively and efficiently assist in meeting those needs;
  • Advises the Governor and General Assembly on aging issues and aging policy;
  • Advocates for and assists in developing the Commonwealth's planning for meeting the needs of the growing number of older Virginians and their caregivers; and
  • Assists and advises the Department regarding strategies to improve nutritional health, alleviate hunger, and prevent malnutrition among older adults.

More Information:

Powers, Duties & Bylaws    Reports    Members   

Previous Electronic Meetings

Upcoming Meetings:

  • March 17, 2021 – Best Practices Committee Electronic Meeting
  • March 24, 2021 – Nominating Committee Electronic Meeting
  • April 8, 2021 – Nutrition Special Committee Electronic Meeting
  • April 28, 2021
  • July 28, 2021
  • September 22, 2021

Electronic meetings may be viewed live at DARS YouTube DARS YouTube at the time of the meeting

You can find agendas and minutes from past meetings on our SharePoint site. You can also select a committee below to see just that committee's documents.


For Questions:
Charlotte Arbogast
Policy Analyst
Phone: (804) 662-7093



Virginia Public Guardian and Conservator Advisory Board

Established pursuant to § 51.5-149.1 of the Code of Virginia, the VPGCAB reports to and advises the Commissioner of DARS on the Virginia Public Guardian and Conservator Program (VPGCP). The VPGCAB: Assists in the coordination and management of the local and regional programs appointed to act as public guardians and conservators:

  • Provides advice and counsel on the provision of high-quality guardianship service and avoidance of conflicts of interest;
  • Promotes the mobilization of activities and resources of public and private sector entities to effectuate the purposes of this [Code of Virginia] article; and
  • Makes recommendations regarding appropriate legislative and executive actions.

More Information:

Powers, Duties & Bylaws    Reports    Previous Electronic Meetings

Upcoming Meetings:

  • June 22, 2021
  • September 21, 2021
  • November 9, 2021

You can find agendas and minutes from past meetings on our SharePoint site. You can also select a committee below to see just that committee's documents.

Electronic meetings may be viewed live at DARS YouTube DARS YouTube at the time of the meeting


For Questions:
George Worthington
Dementia Services Coordinator
Phone: (804) 662-9154


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