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Spotlight on Innovations and Achievements: Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources

Learn how this agency partnered with a nonprofit to host an annual outreach and educational event for health care professionals, volunteers and family members to get to know what resources, services, programs, supports and benefits are available to help older adults and individuals of all ages remain safe, independent and active whether at home or in a care facility.

We're proud to highlight the award-winning work of the 2020 winners of n4a's Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards in this weekly spotlight feature. This week, we are focusing on the Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources' Making the Link program. The agency was a 2020 Aging Achievement Award winner in the Health-LTSS Integration category. The 2020 AIA Awards were made possible thanks to the support of Centene.
 
Making the Link is an annual outreach and educational event for all types of front-line health care professionals that showcases the community's range of long-term care services and supports (LTSS) for older adults and individuals living with disabilities, so that these professionals understand how to help the older adults and caregivers they interact with to link to LTSS. The expo, a collaboration between Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources (ADR) and the nonprofit Health Care Providers Council of Pierce County, features more than 70 exhibitors.
 
Making the Link has successfully reached its target audiences of clinics, hospitals, social workers, care providers, faith communities and local volunteers. More than 300 people attended the event in 2019. Incoming calls and referrals to the Pierce County ADR's Aging and Disability Resource Center have steadily increased.
 
“Our interactions with health care providers, social service agencies, community groups, faith communities and businesses serving older adults and individuals living with disabilities have grown. Our knowledge of each other and our trust in each other continues to deepen. There is little doubt that, from our perspective, Making the Link has made our Aging & Disability Resource Center an invaluable resource for professionals in Pierce County,” said Bob Riler, Community Outreach and Education Specialist, Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources.
 
The COVID-19 pandemic put a pause on Making the Link in 2020 and the program adapted to a virtual setting. When it is safe to do so on an in-person basis, Making the Link will resume in person as the premiere event it has always been.
 
To learn more about the Making the Link program and how your agency can replicate this program in your community, contact Bob Riler, bob.riler@piercecountywa.gov.

For more information about the 2020 winners, see the press release and read the book of winners! To read about past winners and find other best practices for your agency to consider, visit our Best Practices Clearinghouse page.

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