First of all, I would like to thank GGS Committee in given me this opportunity of being a part of the 66th GGS Annual Conference. As soon as I walked through the doors here at Lake Lanier Island Lodge Resort, it felt very warmth and inviting. From the registration table with Mrs. Alvarez’s smile and the key note speaker, there was excitement and anticipation in learning the Intersectionality in Aging. The information in my first class, Golden Girls Living, was informative, inspiring, and much needed. Sharon Cooper talked about the fight to pass the bill for older adults. She also talked about the quality and efficiency in Golden Girls Living. I also had the opportunity in being a part of the class about empowering the person in person centered care with Libby Dunahoo. Mrs. Dunahoo gave us great information about knowing your rights for your love ones and being a part of their lives.
This conference confirmed to me that this journey must continue in knowing the dynamics of the Aging Process in America. I’m ready as a GGS member to KEEP MOVING, ENGAGING, EMBRACE & UNDERSTAND THE DYNAMICS OF THE AGING PROCESS.
For over 65 years, the Georgia Gerontology Society (GGS) has reached across the state to connect, support, and educate those working with older adults and their families. GGS is committed to advocating for equitable and just treatment for all older adults and their families, but especially those who are marginalized and discriminated against. Institutional and interpersonal racism, inequities in healthcare, and a systematically perpetuated racial wealth gap, all contribute to older adults of color being at unnecessarily heightened risk for health challenges.
The recent surge in harassment and acts of violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is another stark reminder of how much work we need to do in this area and how urgently the work is needed. GGS continues to support decisive actions that address longstanding inequities, push back against prejudice, and eliminate social injustice when and wherever it is encountered. To do this effectively, we need your help and your input. You can find out more about what GGS is doing by visiting the Diversity- Equity- Inclusion section on our website or help with GGS’ advocacy efforts.
I would like to draw attention to a phenomenal resource for the Pan Asian community that we have here in Georgia. The Center for Pan Asian Community Services (CPACS) was established in 1980 as the first and largest health and human services agency for AAPI families in the southeast region and is dedicated to helping immigrants fully integrate into society through advocating, educating, and upholding the civil and human rights of the immigrant and refugee communities. CPACS works by strengthening community leaders, collaborating with partners, building alliances, and fostering civic engagement. Visit http://www.cpacs.org to learn more about this valuable resource and how you can be involved.
– Pat Baker, GGS President
Disclaimer: Vaccine distribution has been challenging for many and a success for some. We encourage members to share their stores about vaccine rollout to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration in our blog.
On January 2, 2021 91 residents of Woodland Ridge along with our care partners and health care staff at CaraVita Home Care were vaccinated by Physicians Pharmacy. Beth Cayce stated it is the first time we have been on the offensive in this fight against COVID-19 -19. Staff and residents received the vaccine to allow them to begin a process of reuniting with families and friends. Anna Williams, a 16-year veteran CMA, C.N.A who was a little apprehensive at first, said she got it because she knew it would help. Joan Chege C.N.A stated that it will help keep her family, clients and her safe and she wants to be there for them.
While we know this will take some time, we are encouraging as many who are able to take the vaccine to receive it, so we can stop the spread of the Pandemic. Since the clinic on Saturday, we have had more requests as staff have seen that their colleagues, and the residents have had very little side effects. It is important to share information on this vaccine to increase acceptance. # Vaccination Saves Lives.
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I received my first job in the aging network based on connections I made at a GGS Annual Conference while a student at UGA. To be a part of the GGS Leadership many years later as a GGS Board Member and then the GGS Executive Director has truly been an honor and a privilege. I have enjoyed working with you over the past 4.5 years. I will be assisting GGS with their transition to a new director. Please continue to reach out to me at email@example.com with your GGS questions and concerns. Thank you for making my job so enjoyable. GGS is an exceptional organization and I hope to see you all at a future conference!
November 14th marked the beginning of the season of light with Diwali. The Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Christmas, and other celebrations will follow and an anticipation of a new year in which we all hope for change and new beginnings. In what has felt like dark times for many of us and for many of the older adults we serve, we could all use more light in this world. We continue to hear stories of how our members and the larger aging network have been this light for the people we serve and for each other. Though the work is not done, we hope this holiday season will allow you to reflect on the grace and goodness you have provided in this world and encourage you to continue to be a source of light for those around you. As president of GGS, I am humbled by your work and sacrifice and I am proud to lead an organization with such amazing members. On behalf of the Board, thank you for allowing us to serve you as you serve others.
Your GGS President,