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Aging and Adult Services Honor Organizations That Help Older Adults

Feb. 26, 2018 — A paramedic program, volunteer center and the town of Mooresville were the winners of the Division of Aging and Adult Services’ 25th annual Busse, Maddox and Messer Awards. The awards, handed out during January and February, recognize individuals or organizations that went above and beyond to help aging citizens in North Carolina.

“The Division of Aging and Adult Services has presented these awards for the last 25 years, which has allowed us to recognize and affirm a variety of individuals, communities and organizations across the state,” said DAAS Director Suzanne Merrill. “The awards are a long-standing tradition and mark significant achievements in our state’s efforts to improve services to those in need.” 

The Mayor’s Senior Roundtable in Mooresville was the recipient of the Messer Award, named for the late aging advocate Ernest B. Messer. The group of experts, public decision makers and older adults was convened to determine the town’s “senior friendliness.” Coupled with Mayor Miles Atkins’ involvement, Mooresville and its officials now have a greater understanding of the needs and issues of older adults.

The Center for Volunteer Caregiving in Cary was the recipient of the 2017 Maddox Award for excellence in creative programming for older adults. For 25 years, the center has provided volunteer services to help people live independently for as long as possible, while maintaining their dignity and quality of life. 

In their nomination form, the center stated they would “like nothing better than to see a Center for Volunteer Caregiving in every county of North Carolina. It is a model that works, and we have developed tools that could be shared.” The award was named for the late Dr. George L. Maddox, who was a noted gerontologist and director of Duke University's Long-Term Care Resource Program.

The Macon County Community Paramedic Program received the 2017 Busse Award, which is named in honor of the late Dr. Ewald W. Busse, president emeritus of the N.C. Institute of Medicine and a founding director of the Duke University Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development. The program began as a way to bring healthcare to people’s homes in Macon County and has grown to 60 patients, making a significant impact on the health of county seniors through direct health-related services. 

Paramedics make weekly in-home visits to patients, performing blood draws, managing medications and providing other procedures. In addition to helping Macon County’s senior population, the program has led to a reduction in hospital readmissions, calls to 911, ambulance transports for medical or behavioral health issues and improved quality of life for participants.

“We are very proud of the winners of this year’s awards,” Merrill said. “All three stand out in their communities for their commitment to the needs of older and disabled adults, and we are pleased to recognize them with our division’s awards.”

Ryan Hill