FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Akiko Takano
Deputy Director of Communications
June 17, 2008
Volunteers Needed to Teach Health Advocacy Skills and Medicare Benefits to Westchester Residents Volunteer Training to Take Place in September
New York, NY—The Medicare Rights Center is currently seeking Westchester volunteers age 50+ for three Westchester programs: Seniors Out Speaking on Medicare (SOS Medicare), Health Advocacy Players, and the Health Advocacy Resource Center.
"The goal of all three programs is to give people the tools they need to advocate for themselves, family members and friends, so they can get the care they need," said Lois Steinberg, Ph.D., Director of Westchester programs for the Medicare Rights Center. "Health care is becoming increasingly complicated and expensive. Being informed is the key to managing the Medicare maze."
The programs, which are conducted in senior centers, senior residences and libraries throughout Westchester County, include:
Volunteers for the above programs are required to attend five half-day training sessions the week of September 22 in Tarrytown.
- Seniors Out Speaking on Medicare (SOS Medicare): Volunteers in this award-winning program reach over 1500 senior center members each month with brief presentations on Medicare benefits, rights and options.
- Health Advocacy Players: Volunteers in this program work in teams, telling stories that show people how to stand up for their rights in difficult situations with health care professionals in a non-confrontational way. For example, participants learn "How to Talk to Your Doctor" and "How to Navigate a Hospital Stay." Over 500 Westchester residents participated in these interactive programs in the past year.
- Health Advocacy Resource Center Counselors: People who prefer to help others on a one-on-one basis can volunteer as a counselor at one of the Health Advocacy Resource Centers located in public libraries in Yonkers and Shrub Oak. Counselors have access to a wide range of resources with which to help people find answers to Medicare and other health-related questions. This program will expand to other branch libraries if we have more volunteers.
Volunteers must meet the following requirements:
Some knowledge of the health care system is also a plus. Health care professionals are encouraged to apply.
- Westchester resident
- age 50+
- excellent public speaking skills (for programs requiring public speaking)
- computer literate
- excellent interpersonal skills
- fluency in Spanish is a plus
- Able to commit to a minimum of 12 hours per month, including update meetings
To apply, learn more about becoming an SOS Medicare volunteer, a Health Advocacy Player or a library counselor, or to schedule a program for your organization, call 1-800-480-2060, ext. 6266, or 212-204-6266.
Dr. Steinberg, a resident of Larchmont, was named a Purpose Prize Fellow by Civic Ventures, as part of its major initiative to recognize Americans over 60 who are leading a new age of social innovation and tackling the toughest problems in their own communities. She was inducted into Westchester's Senior Hall of Fame in November 2007.
To learn more about the Medicare Rights Center's Westchester programs log on to www.medicarerights.org/westchesterframeset.html.
Medicare Rights Center (MRC) is the largest independent source of health care information and assistance in the United States for people with Medicare. Founded in 1989, MRC helps older adults and people with disabilities get good, affordable health care.