2022 Award Recipient: Patty Scholtes, Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging

Patty has consistently risen to meet the needs of consumers when providing information and support to secure needed services as an advocacy specialist. Patty has shown excellent leadership through support for newly trained Tai Chi instructors, by identifying an opportunity to provide nutrition education and other programs in an underserved rural Iowa town. Patty’s approach will provide a replicable approach to reach other underserved areas. Patty added training and education opportunities at Iowa Cafe’s funded by Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging. Along with teaching Tai Chi to instructors and to older Iowans, Patty nurtured community-based relationships that assist with delivering meals through the RSVP program in Winneshiek County, to offer Tai Chi at the Decorah Fish Hatchery, and is a liaison for the Waukon Wellness Center and Decorah Senior Center. Further, Patty consistently mentors staff and advocates for services for older adults.

2021 Award Recipient: Sherrie McDonald, R.N., Connections Area Agency on Aging

Sherrie McDonald

Sherri developed and piloted the Connections AAA’s care transitions program by partnering with a hospital in Council Bluffs. Through this leadership, a statewide initiative led to the piloting of the Iowa Return to Community which assists individuals in transition from residential medical care back to their homes and communities. Sherrie’s vision for health support for those served by Connections AAA led to the establishment of Community Health Workers at the agency. Community Health Workers are now considered an invaluable resource for local police, fire, and public and mental health services providers through a Community Intervention Program. Sherrie oversees the CAPABLE Program, which is a collaborative pilot program with Habitat for Humanity and the Iowa Department on Aging that provides access to nursing and occupational therapy services along with modest home modifications that assist older adults remain in their homes rather than entering long-term care. Sherrie provides leadership for nearly all of the Connections AAA’s services [i.e., homemaker services, care transitions, options counseling, caregiver program, case management, and elder abuse prevention]. Sherrie’s legacy has assisted individuals and communities create a healthier and safer space for older adults to age in their communities of choice.