Gatekeeper Of The Month Awarded

Contact: Karen Carroll (517) 373-8230
Agency: Services to the Aging, Office of

April 13, 2006

In cooperation with Consumers Energy, the Michigan Office of Services to the Aging has selected Christopher Harbert of Muskegon as the Gatekeeper of the Month.

Working as a Customer Service Representative out of the Grand Rapids branch of Consumer Energy, Mr. Harbert expressed concern about the health and safety of an older adult customer. Because of his referral to the local area agency on aging, it was determined that the older adult was eligible for a number of services. She is now receiving home delivered meals, transportation to appointments, and visits from home health care providers. Most importantly, the customer is now connected to the local aging network, which will continue to monitor her situation.

“Mr. Harbert’s efforts to protect local seniors have helped connect seniors in need to the services of the aging network,” 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. Gatekeepers serve as an extra set of “eyes and ears” in looking out for local seniors. 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 a Gatekeeper of the Year is then selected from the monthly winners.