Region 10’s Community Living Services program adopted the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) 18 months ago from RSVP, which had been managing the program for many years.  When SHIP needed a home we were more than happy to bring them under the Community Living Services umbrella. The bonus for Region 10 was that all of the SHIP volunteers came with the package. These dedicated and knowledgeable volunteers donate more than 40 hours of their time and talent each week.

Medicare is a confusing world of acronyms, formularies, and programs– Parts A, B,C, D, just to name a few. Our SHIP volunteers know their stuff and every year they help consumers save thousands of dollars by finding them the plans that best meet their needs. They also manage the Senior Medicare Patrol which helps consumers understand the explanation of benefits; identify potential billing errors and possible Medicare fraud.

Mabel Risch, a Medicare guru, leads our SHIP team. The team of SHIP and Region 10 champions includes Judy Dietrich, Anne Britton, and Gloria Hudson. Administrative assistant Norma Abrahamson completes this dynamite band of volunteers.

Open enrollment continues through December 7th and SHIP counseling slots are filling fast. Call Norma at 970-765-3132 if you need to talk to one of them. This program would not be possible without dedicated volunteers. If you like helping people and want to join a fun group of people call Eva at 970-765-3127 to learn more about becoming a SHIP volunteer

We also count Barbara Ward among our many blessings. Barbara has been a steadfast volunteer ombudsman, as well as helping us with special events and projects, for more than 2 years. As a long-term care (LTC) ombudsman, she listens to and addresses the concerns of nursing home and assisted living facility residents. Because issues can range from the food service to problems with therapy or laundry, Barbara visits two of our facilities on a regular basis, spends time getting to know the residents, and works with Sandy Walker and the facilities to help resolve issues.

“There’s just about nothing I wouldn’t do for Region 10,” says Barbara Ward.

Volunteers like Barbara and our SHIP team help Community Living Services expand our reach to more people in our six-county region, and for this we are truly thankful.