CenterLight Healthcare’s James O’Neal Wins the 2014 Older Adult Advocate Award from the State Society on Aging of New York

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James O’Neal, Director of Community Outreach for CenterLight Healthcare, was recognized for decades of tireless work on behalf of older adults in New York with this award from the SSA of New York. O’Neal and other award winners were recognized during the SSA of New York’s annual conference this fall in New York City.

CenterLight Healthcare's James O'Neal

“James O’Neal exemplifies in every way what it means to be a successful advocate for older adults and their caregivers in today’s challenging environment,” -- Mary Beth Morrissey, President of SSA of New York.

James O’Neal, Director of Community Outreach for CenterLight Healthcare, has been recognized for his work on behalf of New York’s older adults with the State Society on Aging (SSA) of New York’s 2014 Older Adult Advocate Award. CenterLight Healthcare is an innovative managed long-term care organization on a mission to provide the highest quality long-term healthcare services to older adults, the chronically ill, disabled individuals and others, enabling them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life while living safely in their homes and communities.

O’Neal has worked on behalf of New York’s older adults for two decades. He has been a board member of the SSA of New York since 2001, and he was the organization’s president in 2003. During his time on the board, the SSA of New York developed a 2015 report on making New York State more livable for older adults. The society is measuring the success in reaching the goals of the 2015 report and is developing a new report for 2025.

“James O’Neal exemplifies in every way what it means to be a successful advocate for older adults and their caregivers in today’s challenging environment,” says Mary Beth Morrissey, President of SSA of New York and Program Director, Post-Masters Healthcare Management Certificate Program at Fordham University Graduate School of Business Administration in New York.

O’Neal credits CenterLight’s willingness to let him devote time to these organizations as part of the organization’s commitment to older adults, regardless of whether they are CenterLight members. For example, CenterLight Healthcare opened a Help Desk facility in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens in New York City that provides translations and information support to community members for whom English is a second language. O’Neal has spearheaded educational programs on such topics as senior housing and elder abuse, and helping seniors qualify for Medicaid, as well as promoting awareness of community services to older adults.

“I’m incredibly honored to receive this award from the SSA of New York,” O’Neal says. “Being recognized by others who are devoted to helping older adults is especially gratifying. SSA of New York is addressing the many difficulties faced by the increasing population of older adults in New York State, such as hunger and homelessness, as well as language and cultural barriers.”

O’Neal was among the award winners honored at the SSA of New York’s annual conference in New York City this fall.

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About CenterLight Healthcare
CenterLight Healthcare is a member of CenterLight Health System, a non-profit national leader in providing and coordinating residential, home and community-based long term care for more than 15,000 chronically ill and disabled adults throughout the New York metropolitan area. CenterLight Healthcare is an innovative managed long-term care organization on a mission to provide the highest quality long-term healthcare services to older adults, the chronically ill, disabled individuals and others, enabling them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life while living safely in their homes and communities. Serving more than 3,600 members at 14 centers, our Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) program is the largest and one of the oldest such programs in the country. Learn more at centerlighthealthcare.org.

About CenterLight Health System
CenterLight Health System is a leading non-profit provider of rehabilitation and long-term healthcare services. Its broad scope of comprehensive programs is as diverse as the communities it serves. With deep roots in New York neighborhoods for more than 90 years, CenterLight currently cares for more than 15,000 individuals daily. Programs include managed long term care, short-term rehabilitation, residential nursing homes, music therapy, home care and adult day care. Learn more at centerlight.org.

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Lisa Cesarano
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