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MDHHS awards Older Adult of the Year Award to AARP volunteer Joy Murphy

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Behavioral and Physical Health and Aging Services Administration awarded the Older Adult of the Year Award earlier this month to Joy Murphy of Grand Rapids during an Older Michiganians Day celebration.  

“The Older Adult of the Year Award is an important state tradition celebrating and recognizing older adults in Michigan who are making a difference in their communities through their active engagement and volunteerism,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “We are grateful for Joy Murphy’s volunteer service and the positive impacts she has made in her community and our state.” 

Murphy has volunteered for AARP for almost 10 years, and as their lead volunteer in Grand Rapids she spearheads volunteer engagement efforts across the state. Most notably, she has taken the lead in technology efforts to help onboard and organize volunteers as well as train other older adults in using new technology.  

Murphy also volunteers for her church where she launched an aging conference that has been so impactful over the past two years that other churches are following suit with their own events, furthering the spread of this type of education to older adults. She also sings in the church choir and is a member of the United Women of Faith. Murphy has also served on the Michigan Commission on Services to the Aging for the past three years where her efforts positively impact the entire state. 

The Older Adult of the Year Award is a tradition dating back to 1974. The award recognizes an older adult whose community has been enhanced through their active engagement, volunteerism and acts of service. Nominations are sent in from a variety of agencies across the state, including area agencies on aging, senior centers and places of worship. The award is presented annually at Older Michiganians Day and is sponsored by Consumers Energy.  

Older Michiganians Day is organized by the Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan, a statewide association that advocates on behalf of Michigan’s older adults. This year approximately 400 people traveled to the State Capitol to show their support for the needs of older adults across Michigan.  

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