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AAA7's Pam Matura receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Jul. 18, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

ASHLAND, Ohio -- Pamela Matura,executive director of the Area Agency on Aging District 7, was given a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ohio Association of Gerontology and Education at its conference at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio.

OAGE is an association of educators, researchers, professionals, and students in Ohio dedicated to gerontological education, research and practice. The organization promotes gerontological education, supports Ohio's aging network as a resource for research and practice, and provides professional development for students, faculty and professionals in the field of aging, according to a news release.

OAGE's Lifetime Achievement Award, is given to individuals who have exemplified excellent leadership through the aging network in Ohio throught their career, according to OAGE President Bob Applebaum, Ph.D.

Applebaum said a candidate for the Lifetime Achievement Award should possess characteristics including leadership, mentorship, vision, effective administrative qualities, care, courage and humor.

"Pam is so very deserving of this award," he said in the news release. "She exemplifies what is really tremendous about the aging network and leads with both her head and heart. She has had excellent leadership in the field and has served as a wonderful mentor for the aging network and students across the state. In addition, she has been very active in the OAGE organization by providing leadership, mentorship and vision. Knowing and working with Pam for 23 years, it was very meaningful for me to have the opportunity to present her with this very special award that recognizes her work over the years and what she has contributed to the aging network in Ohio. I have had people tell me they are better people for having known Pam Matura."

Matura has been executive director of the Area Agency on Aging District 7 since 1989. Before then, she was superintendent for the Gallipolis Developmental Center from 1985-1989. She earned her bachelor's degree in social work from Rio Grande College and her master's degree in health science from the University of Florida. She has a specialist certificate in gerontology from the University of Florida, as well as a number of other certifications and licensures.

Matura credits the staff and individuals she has worked with over the years for the achievements and successes she has been able to share with them.

During her years at AAA7, Matura recalls the implementation of the PASSPORT program in 1990, which allows older adults with a nursing home level of care to remain in their homes and receive services from a variety of community agencies with whom the AAA7 contracts. There are now around 4,000 individuals being served through PASSPORT in the AAA7's 10 counties -- including Lawrence County.

Currently, the Agency has an overall budget of approximately $52 million with 140 direct-line staff at AAA7 offices in Adams County (West Union), Gallia County (Rio Grande), Pike County (Waverly) and Scioto County (Wheelersburg). Services, provided directly through the AAA7, or through contracted community providers include, but are not limited to: information, referral and assistance; personal care and homemaking; respite care; adult day care; assisted living; caregiver support; case management; home repair; transportation; home-delivered meals; community-center meal programs; and linkage to community services.

In addition, Matura recalls the ten years the Agency expanded its mission with the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Case Management Program, which provided helpful assistance for individuals with HIV who needed to connect with important resources and services in the community. At the time, no other agency was doing this type of service, and the AAA7 agreed to assist until the capacity of other more appropriate agencies could be developed so that individuals in southern Ohio would not go without services or have to drive to urban areas for the services.

Matura said she is also proud of the work the Agency has achieved with the recently launched federal Veteran's Self-Directed Program, through which AAA7 care managers help veterans of all ages, who live with physical and psychological conditions, connect with resources in the community in order to live safely and independently at home. One of only 26 like programs in the nation, after only one year of operation, the partnership the AAA7 has with the Ohio Regional VA Medical Center in Chillicothe is currently the largest rural program of its kind and the third largest in the nation, according to the news release.

Matura lives in Gallipolis with her husband, Ray, a sociology professor at the University of Rio Grande. She has two children, Meagan (Matura) Barnes and Ryan Matura; son-in-law, Chris Barnes; daughter-in-law, Stephanie (Hager) Matura; and grandson, Nick Barnes.