HONORING JONATHAN LAVIN; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 160
(Extensions of Remarks - September 27, 2018)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1319]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                        HONORING JONATHAN LAVIN

                                 ______
                                 

                       HON. JANICE D. SCHAKOWSKY

                              of illinois

                    in the house of representatives

                      Thursday, September 27, 2018

  Ms. SCHAKOWSKY. Mr Speaker, I rise today to honor the distinguished 
career of Jonathan Lavin. After 45 years of dedicated service in the 
field of aging, Jon will be retiring as President and CEO of 
AgeOptions, the suburban Cook County Area Agency on Aging, on October 
31st.
  Jon Lavin is a leader, innovator, advocate, and a mentor who has 
trained many advocates to fight for the needs of seniors, including 
Kris Sadur and Maribeth Stein who went on to work in my district office 
helping constituents. As the former executive director of the Illinois 
State Council of Senior Citizens and as a member of Congress, I am one 
of many who have learned from Jon. He is my friend, and I will miss 
working with him as he steps down from his current role.
  Jon combines serious policy knowledge with a commitment to service 
and making real improvements in people's lives. Jon earned a master's 
Degree in Public Administration and a bachelor's Degree in Government 
from the American University in Washington, D.C. After working for the 
City of Chicago Department on Aging for five years, he went on to spend 
the next 40 years shaping AgeOptions to be what it is today; one of the 
most respected Area Agencies on Aging in the country. His oversight of 
a staff of 40 and coordination of grants and contracts to more than 45 
different community agencies, have enabled AgeOptions to serve 523,000 
older adults living in more than 130 communities.
  In Illinois, Jon Lavin is the go-to person when it comes to 
identifying the needs of seniors and then working to meet them. Some of 
the positions he has held are: Vice President and Legislative Committee 
Chair for the Illinois Association of Area Agencies on Aging, past 
Board Director of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, 
and Co-Chairman of the 2015 and 2017 American Society on Aging Annual 
Conference in Chicago. He was a delegate to the 1995 and 2005 White 
House Conferences on Aging, former member of the National Council on 
Aging Board of Directors, and former President of the Illinois 
Coalition on Aging.
  In his mission to continually advocate for the most vulnerable older 
adults in the region, he has pioneered many innovative programs. Those 
include the care coordination units to assure appropriate care planning 
for the frailest older adults, one of the original demonstration 
programs to protect older adults from abuse and neglect, the Senior 
Medicare Patrol (SMP) program created to protect Medicare beneficiaries 
against fraud and abuse, and the development of the first long-term 
care ombudsman program in the region.
  As a true advocate, Jon has promoted the need for public and provider 
educational outreach and greater access to state and federal benefit 
programs. His administration of programs like the Red Tape Cutters 
Program and BenefitsCheckUp have provided millions of dollars in 
program benefits for eligible older adults and persons with 
disabilities. AgeOptions also leads the renowned Make Medicare Work 
Coalition (MMW), which works with partner agencies to educate and 
explain the intricacies of health insurance and Medicare, as well as 
Medicaid's critical health and long-term care benefits for seniors.
  Jon's commitment to providing support for caregivers led to the 
creation of the National Family Caregiver Support program in the Older 
Americans Act to ensure that family support givers were recognized and 
funded.
  The talent of Jon Lavin has not gone unnoticed. He received the 
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging's Excellence in 
Leadership Award in 2017 and Distinguished Director Award in 1992. He 
is the 1994 recipient of the Phyllis Pinkerton Award for Leadership in 
Advocacy and Make Medicare Work Coalition recognized him at their April 
Summit for his dedicated service. In May, Metropolitan Asian Family 
Services presented him with its 2018 Community Service Award for his 
``dedicated, continued support and advocacy on behalf of the ethnic 
elderly population through various public benefit programs.''
  I invite my colleagues to join me in honoring Jon Lavin for the work 
he has done for the older adults of suburban Cook County. I am 
confident that Jon will continue to put his passion and his experience 
to use in advocating for older Americans and their families. I thank 
him for his invaluable service and wish him the best of everything in 
his future endeavors.

                          ____________________