2017 was a busy year for DLEA! Through the efforts of our dedicated team of professional, highly skilled Aging Life Care managers, our caring and compassionate Debbie’s Angels and hard-working administrative office staff, we have continued to serve seniors and individuals with disabilities in the Metro DC area and their families. As we reflect on the past year, we are also looking forward to our 30th anniversary as an independently owned and operated business on November 1, 2018.
In 2017 our team of 12 care managers traveled over 100,000 miles visiting our clients in their private homes, assisted living communities or skilled nursing facilities, coordinating their care, driving them to medical appointments and advocating for them during hospital and rehab stays. Through their work, they helped countless family caregivers have peace of mind, knowing that they have a professional working alongside them to ensure that their loved one has the best quality of life possible.
We began our 30th year with a very successful community service project and were able to collect over 400 pounds of food for Manna Food Bank in Rockville. We are planning a number of special activities throughout the year to thank our community and professional partners, as well as to give back through charitable contributions and acts of kindness. In addition to our company’s anniversary, we will also be celebrating the accomplishments and longevity of our staff including Kim Picca, Director of Nursing on her 15th anniversary, Jennifer Sherwood, Nurse Care Manager on her 10th anniversary and Teresa Boring, Assistant Director of Care Management on her 5th anniversary! I will also be celebrating 25 years as an Aging Life Care Manager with DLEA and 5 years as owner since the untimely passing of our founder, Debra Levy.
Some of our 2017 achievements include:
• Hiring our very first male RN Care Manager, Michael DeSarno who brings a wealth of rehab experience.
• Due to an increased demand for Debbie’s Angels concierge companions, we grew the staff size from 6 to 11 Angels over the past year and hired Darcy Newell, who serves as the Debbie’s Angel Coordinator.
• Bree Baldwin, our gerontologist care manager took on coordination of our popular WellSeniorTM Program and Liz Zarate, also a gerontologist, is working alongside her as the program’s assistant coordinator.
• In recognition of her excellent work and commitment to our company, Teresa Boring joined our Leadership Team as Assistant Director of Care Management. She now works closely with Susan Blum in directing the work of our Social Work Care Managers.
• I completed my second year as President of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Aging Life Care Association and addressed our membership at our successful chapter conference in October.
• With invaluable support from Carole Watson, our Office Manager, we were able to help launch the 2nd Edition of the Aging Life Care Association Mid-Atlantic Chapter Resource Directory.
As we bid farewell to 2017, we also want to remember Buckley Kuhn Fricker, a fellow care manager in Virginia, who also served on the Board of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter with me. She and her husband were tragically killed on December 22. As a company that has survived the untimely and unexpected death of its owner, we have a special kinship with the staff that Buckley left behind. We will keep her staff, children and extended family in our thoughts and prayers in the difficult days and months to come. As we reflect on Buckley’s life, we ask that you hold those that you love close to you and cherish the moments with them.
As always, we thank you for your support and look forward to 2018, which we predict will be an exciting, celebratory, inspiring and happy New Year!