2017-05-19 / Government / Neighborhood

The FriendShip serves senior adults who wish to remain in their homes

By Anita Baker

Jane Blair, president of The Friendship Board of Directors leads The FriendShip’s Fourth Annual Meeting.Jane Blair, president of The Friendship Board of Directors leads The FriendShip’s Fourth Annual Meeting.
In 2013, a new, local non-profit organization called The FriendShip was formed to support senior adults who choose to live in their homes as long as possible by providing support through a network of community volunteers. The FriendShip is based upon a national model called the “Village to Village Network” which helps seniors to “age in place.”

The FriendShip has a part-time staff member who manages a corps of volunteers who respond to the needs of its senior adult members daily in their homes. Services provided by community volunteers include transportation to medical or other appointments, grocery shopping, home repairs, yard work, daily telephone check-in calls, and support in participating in The FriendShip’s activities and events.

The FriendShip’s mission is to support older adults who choose to live in their own homes while maintaining healthy, independent, active, and engaged lifestyles.

The organization has grown over the past few years, developing a part- time paid staff administrative position and involving an active board of directors and committee volunteers, while hosting educational and social events for its senior adult members.

On Tuesday, May 9, 2017, The FriendShip held its Fourth Annual Meeting at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Columbia. The following members of the 2016 The Friendship Board of Directors were recognized: Jane Blair, president; Barbara Mullen, secretary; and board members Daniela Friedman, Mary Kelly, Mary Kessler, Macie Smith, Barbara Mullen, Paul McCullough, Shaun Owens, Patricia Rock, and Ann Ruderman, associate board member.

The newly elected board of directors members for the three- year term of July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2020, were introduced: Lucas David, Gloria Prevost, and Donna Ray.

Lucas David is a recent graduate of the University of South Carolina with a masters degree in healthcare administration. He is the senior finance and grant manager for Dorn Research Institute, a research non-profit affiliated with the Veterans Administration.

Gloria Prevost serves as the executive director of protection and advocacy for people with disabilities, Inc., which provides leadership to statewide non- profit organizations. She is responsible for board development and relations, strategic, and program planning, oversight of human resources, public relations, and fiscal activities, as well as legislative, and governmental interactions.

Dr. Donna Ray is a professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and Palmetto Health. Since 2004, Dr. Ray has worked in continuous professional development in undergraduate, graduate, and continuing medical educational design and assessment. She has special interests in functional assessment of the geriatric patient, patient care, and safety performance improvement processes.

The outgoing services coordinator employee Scott Hinkel was recognized and the new services coordinator, Eleanor Stein, was introduced.

The guest speaker for the annual meeting was Dr. Steven Blair. Dr. Blair is an internationally recognized authority on exercise and its health benefits. His research focuses on the associations between lifestyle and health, with specific emphasis on exercise, physical fitness, body composition, and chronic disease.

He has published over 360 papers and chapters in the scientific literature, and was the senior scientific editor for the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health. He is also the author, editor, or coauthor of several books, including Fitness After 50, Active Living Every Day, and Physical Activity and Health. For more information on becoming a member of The FriendShip or to serve as a community volunteer and serve seniors in your area, call The FriendShip office on Monday through Friday (9am to 1 pm) or contact The FriendShip by email at contact@thefriendship.org.

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