September 27, 2018 - Issue: Vol. 164, No. 160 — Daily Edition115th Congress (2017 - 2018) - 2nd Session
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. ____________________