2017 Annual Meeting Media Release

Peter Gallagher speaks at AIHS’ 42nd annual meeting;

“Communities for a Lifetime” awards announced

Fort Wayne, IN – Actor and Alzheimer’s advocate Peter Gallagher was the featured speaker at the Aging & In-Home Services of Northeast Indiana (AIHS) 42nd annual meeting and awards ceremony today at Parkview Mirro Center for Research and Innovation in Fort Wayne.

“We are delighted that Peter Gallagher was able to join us this year and share his heartfelt story about caring for his mother during her 20-year battle with Alzheimer’s,” said Connie Benton Wolfe, AIHS President and CEO. “His story resonated with many of our attendees, who understand the profound challenges involved with caregiving to a loved one suffering from dementia as they age.”

Gallagher is well known for his TV roles beginning with “The O.C.” and continuing today on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” as well as Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie.” In the 1999 film “American Beauty,” he co-starred with Annette Bening; in the 1995 film “While You Were Sleeping,” he played opposite Sandra Bullock; and his next film due out this holiday season is “A Bad Mom’s Christmas,” also starring Mila Kunis and Christine Baranski. Gallagher also serves on the National Advisory Council of the Alzheimer’s Association, organizes Los Angeles-chapter fundraisers and participates in Memory Walks.

In a special surprise presentation, President and CEO Connie Benton Wolfe was named a Sagamore of the Wabash honoree by Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb. AIHS board chair Keith Huffman presented the award.  

The Sagamore of the Wabash is an Indiana honorary award created during the term of Governor Ralph F. Gates, who served from 1945 to 1949. Until 2006, the award was the highest honor that the Governor of Indiana bestows, a personal tribute usually given to those who render distinguished service to the state or to the governor. Among those who have received Sagamores have been astronauts, presidents, ambassadors, artists, musicians, politicians and citizens who have contributed greatly to Hoosier heritage. Recent recipients include TV host David Letterman, newly appointed administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Seema Verma, and Adam Vinatieri of the Indianapolis Colts.

AIHS also announced today their 2017 “Communities for a Lifetime – Awards of Excellence” recipients. The award recognizes achievements by individuals and/or organizations that have contributed to building a livable community for older adults, and all ages. The 2017 honorees are:

Past honorees include: Dr. Deborah McMahan, Allen County Health Commissioner; Linda Jackson, co-anchor and producer, ABC 21Alive News; Dr. Michael Mirro, medical director, Parkview Research Center; The Honorable David Long, Indiana State Senate; Melissa Long; Steven R. Counsell, MD, Indiana University School of Medicine; Dr. Abraham Schwab, IPFW; Larry Wardlaw, Asher Agency; Dr. Lee A. Lindquist, Northwestern University; Frank Gray, The Journal Gazette; Sue Johnson and the Rev. Richard Hartman, Epiphany Lutheran Church; Sheriff Ken Fries and Allen County Sheriff’s Department; Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry; Mike Packnett, Parkview Health System; Betty Erxleben; Indiana Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman; Zach Benedict & Dodd Kattman, MKM architecture + design; Lillian Embick, Audiences Unlimited; Foellinger Foundation; Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne; and Faith Laird, Indiana Division of Aging.

About Aging & In-Home Services

Aging & In-Home Services of Northeast Indiana Inc. (AIHS) is the primary resource for older adults, persons with disabilities, and their caregivers providing person-centered, evidence-based, leading-edge programming to help individuals remain safe and independent at home. In addition, AIHS has transformed from a traditional Area Agency on Aging (AAA) into the integrated care arena to better serve individuals across care settings and impact health outcomes. Nationally, AIHS has received recognition for their innovation in addressing social determinants of care and their community partnerships to achieve this important part of the healthcare equation.  NCQA (National Committee for Quality Assurance) recently awarded LTSS (Long-Term Services and Supports) accreditation to AIHS’ case management program making them the first Area Agency on Aging in the country to receive this accreditation, and also the first community-based organization in the country to receive this accreditation.

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