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Pennsylvania Focuses on Building Volunteer Teams to Expand SHIP

Early this month, volunteers and staff from six AAA pilot sites gathered for two days of training by staff from n4as Volunteer Resource Center.
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging (PDA) applied for and was awarded an Innovation Grant from the Administration on Community Living to enhance the states State Health Insurance Assistance Program, locally known as APPRISE. The training taught staff and volunteers from the six pilot sites to use the latest, research-based practices in volunteer engagement to develop teams of volunteers responsible for increasing the capacity of local APPRISE programs by conducting a new program self-assessment tool, training new Medicare counselors to become trainers of counselors and establishing a state-level coaching team to support the pilot sites.

The AAA pilot sites were selected through a competitive application process administered by the PDA to participate in the Innovation Grant which focuses on the engagement of older adults as volunteers to increase and expand Medicare benefits counseling, while also developing and offering new volunteer roles and strategies that appeal to the latest generation of volunteers (i.e. boomers). Training by n4a staff was built into Pennsylvanias original Innovation Grant application because the state adopted n4as new volunteer engagement strategy of self-directed volunteer teams as a core innovations concept.

Interested in learning more about volunteer engagement training for your AAA or state? Contact Patricia Reid.

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USAging Fact: Learn about your peers’ work—and how it can fit into your agency’s goals! The AIA Awards recognizes successful and innovative programs that USAging members have developed to serve older adults. Get inspiration from our 2022 winners!