Michigan Commission on Services to the Aging Appoints New Advisory Council Members

May 30, 2002


Michigan Office of Services to the Aging Director, Lynn Alexander, today announced the Michigan Commission on Services to the Aging has made 20 appointments to the State Advisory Council on Aging.  The 40-member Council reviews and studies issues relevant to the aging population and makes policy recommendations to the Commission on Services to the Aging. 


"This year's candidates had exemplary credentials, making the selection process particularly difficult," said Alexander.  "The senior community is extremely fortunate to have had more than 60 individuals interested in serving on the State Advisory Council." 


"We are delighted to have such a talented and knowledgeable group of members," said Elwin Johnson, chairperson of the Michigan Commission on Services to the Aging.  "I look forward to their innovative ideas and recommendations because I know these individuals will do an outstanding job on behalf of Michigan seniors."


New appointees are:

Shirley Bentgen, of St. Ignace, is a former social worker and Veteran's Administration counselor.  She is Michigan Director of Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) National.


Kathy S. Crawford, of Novi, is director of the Novi Senior Center.  She is the city's first and only administrator of senior citizen programs and services and is active in many civic organizations.


Lois M. Hitchcock, of Southfield, is an information specialist with Citizens for Better Care, Inc., is a certified Eden Associate and Chairperson of Southfield's Senior Adults.  She was named Michigan's 2001 Senior of the Year.


Diane Levande, Ph.D., of East Lansing, is on the faculty of Michigan State University in the School of Social Work.  Much of her work has focused on issues in the fields of family caregiving and elder abuse.


Robert Martin, of Saginaw, works part-time for the Saginaw School District.  He is a member of the Buena Vista Charter Township Trustees and the Marie Davis Senior Center.


Penny Murphy, of Lansing, is Executive Director of the Michigan Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.  She is Board Certified in Home Health and Hospice Nursing.


Kathleen Williams Newell, of Detroit, is an attorney experienced in tax and corporate law, served on a state task force to investigate guardianship and conservatorship convened by the Michigan Supreme Court, and was chairperson of the Michigan State Bar's Elder Law & Advocacy Section.


Michael J. Sheehan, of Cedar, is a former college English instructor.  Presently he maintains The Senior Corner web site sponsored by the Traverse City Area District Library and is co-host of Words to the Wise, on WTCM, News Talk Radio in Traverse City.


The following members were reappointed:

David Ellens, of Holland, is director of senior services at Evergreen Commons Senior Center in Holland.  Formerly, he was director of family and community outreach at Forest Psychiatric Hospital in Grand Rapids.


Linda Glasper El-Rice, of Flushing, owns an Adult Day Care Center in Genesee County, is active with the Michigan Association for Adult Day Services, and has served the Valley Area Agency on Aging in various volunteer capacities


Alice Richmond Hurst, of Battle Creek, is a registered Social Worker, is employed by Guardian, Inc. of Battle Creek and has been a strong advocate for Region III-C Area Agency on Aging located in Coldwater.


Viola V. Johnson, of Battle Creek, was an administrator with The Veteran's Administration, a hospital administrator, and has been an active member of Region III-B Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council in Battle Creek.


Cleopatra Jones, Ph.D., of Detroit, is a former adult education teacher, holds a specialist in aging certificate from the University of Michigan, and is a strong proponent of intergenerational education for aging.


Jeanne Karr, of Hudson, is employed by a private home care agency, Friends Who Care of Adrian, and has been active in her community as an advocate for both children and senior issues.


Robert W. Littke, of Sturgis, is Director of Senior Services, Inc. in Kalamazoo and is a national speaker.  He was also Executive Director of the St. Joseph County Commission on Aging.


Lucas E. Pfeiffenberger, of Alpena, has been involved in the development of Alpena Village for Independent Living in partnership with Presbyterian Villages of Michigan. 


Sharbyn Pleban, of Ann Arbor, is an attorney who is a trained mediator for guardianship mediation and serves on the Public Policy Committee for Michigan Great Lakes Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.


Dolores Remick, of Grosse Pointe Woods, is a retired nursing instructor, serves on the Senior Citizens Commission of Grosse Pointe Woods and has been an active member on the Board of Trustees for Services for Older Citizens (SOC).


Kate Snow-McCaffrey, of Harbor Springs, is an R.N. with extensive experience in adult day care and elder health services development.  She has administered the Home & Community Based Waiver Program for the Region IX Area Agency on Aging in Alpena, and is past president of the Michigan Adult Day Service Association.


Marilyn Willson, of Lincoln Park, served on the Board of Directors for The Senior Alliance in Wayne for almost 20 years, has been a speaker for many civic and church-related organizations, and has been active with the Lincoln Park Historical Society.