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Aging Leaders Honor Utility Company Employees for Helping Seniors

Friday, May 18, 2018

LANSING, Mich. – Two utility company employees were celebrated today by state officials and the Commission on Services to the Aging (CSA) for recognizing older adults who were in desperate need of help, and for acting to ensure that those people were connected to much-needed services.

For their efforts, Consumers Energy’s Dana Pearson and DTE Energy’s Robert Servick, were each awarded the 2017 Gatekeeper of the Year award by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Aging and Adult Services Agency (AASA) and the CSA.

Pearson helped a customer who was without heat and who was living in a home with a basement that needed immediate and extensive cleaning and repair due to water damage. Pearson made a referral, which led to that person receiving much-needed services that cleaned and repaired her basement, allowing her to continue to live in her home independently.

Servick made a referral for his neighbor who was battling health issues and was living in a home with no power and damage from a fire and flooding. In addition to making the referral, Servick helped find a place for his neighbor to stay while work was being done on his home. His efforts lead to his neighbor being able to move back into his home and live independently after he received the services that he desperately needed.

“The Gatekeeper program is another important way the aging network can get connected to those who are in desperate need of help,” said Aging & Adult Services Agency Senior Deputy Director Richard Kline. “I’m honored to be here to thank both Dana and Robert, and Consumers and DTE Energy, for their commitment to Michigan’s seniors.”

The Gatekeeper program provides information to employees of Consumers Energy and DTE Energy to help them recognize and refer at-risk older adults and people with disabilities to the local Area Agency on Aging.  Each month a Gatekeeper of the Month is named and from that group a Gatekeeper of the Year is selected from each participating organization.