MANSFIELD – The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) – Ohio Chapter is excited to announce Ohio District 5 Area Agency on Aging, Inc. has been selected as the 2021 NASW Ohio Region 8, Agency of the Year.

NASW Ohio’s region 8 includes Ashland, Coshocton, Crawford, Holmes, Knox, Marion, Morrow, Richland, Stark, Tuscarawas and Wayne counties. 

The Agency of the Year Award honors the agency that best exemplify social work values in the field, using best practices to make positive change in their communities. The Agency of the Year must uphold NASW standards and Code of Ethics, develop and implement innovative approaches for the provision of more effective services, make a significant contribution to a population of concern to the social work profession, have a diversity of employees that reflects their clientele and policy that implements culturally competent and anti-racist practice.

The Ohio District 5 Area Agency on Aging, Inc. (AA5) was selected for this award based on its commitment to excellence in service which begins within – with their commitment to their employees, including the many social workers they employ – and extends out to their innovative services to their community.

AAA5 supports their employees professionally, providing trainings and opportunities for advancement, but more importantly, they care for staff as whole people. When a newly hired staff member’s home burned down, AAA5 rallied together to provide support, and when a team member passed away staff held the repass, providing all the food made by staff and in memorandum gifts for his family. 

In 2020 CEO, Duana Patton recognized the entire staff as employee of the year. The impact of this internal environment can be seen in AAA5’s efficiency, dedication, and service. Throughout the pandemic AAA5 has distributed an abundance of PPE, converted their parking lot into a drive through offering meals to the community, including individuals who did not qualify for any waiver programs.

AAA5 is also building one level community apartments to provide equitable housing to older adults, which will include case managers on site. They are also the first AAA to hire an onsite STNA to provide home health services. Under the leadership of Patton, AAA5 fosters an environment that supports the dignity and worth of both their employees and older adults in their community.

The NASW Ohio Chapter, Executive Director – Danielle Smith, is proud to award District 5 Area Agency on Aging, Inc. with the Region 8 Agency of the Year Award. District 5 Area Agency on Aging, Inc. will be honored, along with the other 2021 NASW Award Winners, at a regional award celebration and at the Annual Social Work Gala in Columbus, Ohio.

The Ohio District 5 Area Agency on Aging, Inc., located at Hawkins Corner in Ontario, serves the North Central Ohio area including Ashland, Crawford, Huron, Knox, Marion, Morrow, Richland, Seneca and Wyandot Counties, providing assistance to aging individuals and disabled individuals. Contact the Area Agency on Aging at 419-524-4144 or 1-800-560-5799. Find us on Facebook.

The Life section is supported by Brethren Care Village in Ashland.

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