Gatekeeper Of The Year Awarded

Contact: Karen Carroll (517) 373-8230
Agency: Community Health

May 24, 2005

In cooperation with Consumers Energy, Michigan's Commission on Services to the Aging has selected Kathleen Maurer as the 2004 Gatekeeper of the Year.

While working as a Field Representative in the Revenue Recovery Department of Consumers Energy in Kalamazoo, Maurer went to an elderly customer’s home to disconnect the heat due to nonpayment. Upon arriving at the home, she found an elderly customer that needed food and assistance with organizing her bills. Maurer kept the heat on and bought groceries for the customer with money out of her own pocket. The customer was then referred to the Adult Protective Services unit of the Department of Human Services.

“Mrs. Maurer’s efforts to protect a local senior are extraordinary,” said Sharon L. Gire, Director of the Michigan Office of Services to the Aging. “The Gatekeeper program shows the potential in all of us to look out for our elderly family and neighbors.”

Consumers Energy initiated the Gatekeeper program in Michigan in 1987 as a way to identify elderly community members in need of assistance. Each month, employees of Consumers Energy are nominated for identifying and assisting an at-risk elder who is age 60 and older and in need of assistance. The Michigan Office of Services to the Aging honors one employee each month, and then a Gatekeeper of the Year is selected from the monthly winners.

Kathleen Maurer is currently working as a Consumer Affairs Specialist at Consumer Energy’s Lansing Service Center. She was presented with a plaque and a congratulatory letter from Governor Granholm at the May 20, 2005 meeting of the Michigan Commission of Services to the Aging.