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Inaugural Courage Awards Recognize Efforts to Further Elder Abuse Awareness

Public Date: 6/20/2011 12:00 AM
Contact: Bill Mullan, Media and Communications Officer
Phone Number: 248-858-1048

Pontiac, MI. -- The Oakland County SAVE (Serving Adults who are Vulnerable and/or Elderly) Task Force will present the inaugural Courage Awards to individuals and organizations that have taken action to further awareness of or prevent the abuse and exploitation of vulnerable adults. The awards are part of SAVE’s Elder Abuse Awareness Event to be held noon – 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 22, 2011 at the Oakland County Board of Commissioners Auditorium, 1200 North Telegraph, Pontiac.

This year’s inaugural recipients will be honored in two categories: The Courage to Speak Out and The Courage to Lead. The first Courage to Speak Out awards will be granted to Margaret Vogan as the individual honoree and Comerica Bank as the organization honoree. The first Courage to Lead awards will go to Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Derek Meinecke as the individual honoree and the Auburn Hills Senior Center as the organization honoree.

SAVE’s Elder Abuse Awareness Event is in recognition of 2011 as the Year of Elder Abuse Awareness in Oakland County, declared by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson in February. Featured speakers will include Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Edward Sosnick, chair of SAVE; Oakland County Corporation Counsel Judith Cunningham, representing Patterson; and Dr. Peter Lichtenberg, executive director of the Wayne State Institute of Gerontology.

To register, call the Auburn Hills Senior Center at 248-370-9353.

The SAVE Task Force was founded in 2005 to bring together stakeholders across the spectrum of care services to create a coordinated response to abuse and exploitation of Oakland County’s most vulnerable residents. Elder abuse – like domestic violence and child abuse – comes in many forms. Experts recognize it as a public health issue for which there are no socio-economic borders. Millions of Americans are abused, neglected or exploited each year, with an estimated 84% of cases going unreported.

In addition to much needed financial resources, the effort to end elder abuse is critically dependent on the commitment and partnership between government agencies and community organizations such as law enforcement, adult protective services, aging services providers and faith-based organizations. SAVE fosters these relationships. Dedicated individuals also can play a key role in advocating for the safety and well-being of seniors and vulnerable adults.

The Oakland County Executive Office partners with the Oakland County Circuit Court and the Prosecutor's Office Elder Abuse Section to prosecute abuse and neglect of our vulnerable citizens. Other partners include Oakland County Adult Protective Services and Aging Network Providers. If you suspect that someone is being abused or neglected, make an anonymous report to Adult Protective Services at 855-444-3911. If you are not sure, call and talk with a professional who can guide you.

For more information about SAVE, go to http://www.oakgov.com/health/seniors/Pages/elder_abuse.aspx.

For media inquiries only, please contact Bill Mullan, Media and Communications Officer, at (248) 858-1048.