Aging agency promotes Griffin and White, hires Smith
The Aroostook Aging Agency is pleased to announce the recent promotion of two seasoned employees and the hiring of a new staff member.
NEAR ISLE, Maine – The Aroostook Aging Agency is pleased to announce the recent promotion of two seasoned employees and the hiring of a new staff member.
Jennifer Griffin was promoted in June to director of senior services. Griffin started at the Agency in 2008 as a Personal Support Specialist, providing part-time care to Bridgewater, Blaine and Monticello. In 2019, she was promoted to Quality Specialist while continuing to work part-time with PSS, also adding consumer care in the Presque Isle area. For the past two years, she has served as Deputy Director of Elderly Care Services. Prior to joining the Agency, she ran the Bradbury Barrel Company for over 20 years
Chris Beaulieu, Director of Home Care and Nutrition Services, said, “Jenn has compassion not only for our consumers, but she also credits the hard workers at PSS for the real difference they make every day. By combining her business acumen, organizational skills and dedication, Jenn will continue to strengthen the senior care department and our agency.
Griffin oversees about 55 personal support specialists and has the highest regard for each of them and understands what they’re doing because she’s been there. “I am proud of these workers. During COVID, they continued to do their jobs. Some were scared, but they continued to worry as if the consumer was a member of their own family. Seeing the face of the Agency brought some normality back to a difficult time. ”
“My passion is to be of service, with an emphasis on independence and dignity, to the elderly who need support at home. Part of my responsibility is to bridge the gap, to align the heart of management with the caring and hardworking person on the front line. Being a good listener and working together for the betterment of those we serve is the goal, ”said Griffin.
Ruth White was promoted to Director of Service Coordination at the end of July. She started at the Agency in 2012, completing a 1,000-hour internship as part of her Masters in Clinical Mental Health. Upon completing her graduate studies in 2014, and while working full-time as a counselor at Northern Maine Community College, she continued to work part-time for the Agency on Aging.
“Now that I have fully retired from NMCC and moved to a full time position with the Agency, I have found my true passion,” White said. “I realize how important it is to keep seniors engaged and safe in their homes. They need their stories to be heard, to be allowed to age gracefully and to be respected within their communities. It is vital for their well-being.
White oversees three regional coordinators who serve Aroostook County; together, they visit consumers at their homes, arranging services within the agency and the community that allow them to remain living in their homes. A typical visit may include an assessment to determine what services are needed and the navigation and request for payment for those services.
White’s priority and great passion is teaching skills so that individuals can better care for their loved ones, especially those with dementia. She coordinates support for caregivers through Savvy Caregiver and a weekly support group, and hosts the Online Gathering Place, a weekly online session that brings seniors and caregivers together to interact and have fun. White said, “I feel alive. I am excited and have a whole new energy to improve the services to the people we serve, and potentially more.
General Manager Joy Barresi Saucier said, “Ruth White is a welcome addition to our team. She is an extremely caring person with exceptional knowledge of home support and reimbursement options. She is well respected by her internal peers at the Agency and in the community.
Judi Smith, who has worked for many years as a paralegal, comes to Aroostook Agency on Aging to serve as Executive Assistant / Governance Coordinator. In her new role, she works to assist the CEO, support the leadership team and serve as a liaison with the organization’s boards, committees and boards.
“I am excited to work for a community organization where the staff wear many hats, have a variety of responsibilities, and care that seniors are given a personal and caring touch. It’s gratifying to see everything that is going on and how managers, staff and volunteers strive to provide a full range of services that help seniors live independently, ”said Smith.
She added, “I went from a private law firm to a growing agency, it’s like joining a big, welcoming family. I really like it here. The staff are knowledgeable, our Board of Directors brings business and professional talent, and the committee members are in step with growth.
“We are delighted that Judi is taking on this new role to support me as CEO and the many Boards, Committees and Boards of the Agency. His professionalism, attention to detail, organizational skills and experience working with key stakeholders will certainly benefit the organization as we continue to grow in response to the needs of the community, ”said Barresi Saucier.
For more information, contact the Aroostook Agency on Aging at 207-764-3396 or toll free at 1-800-439-1789. A full list of services can be found on their website at www.aroostookaging.org.