Michael F. Easley

The Great Seal of the State of North Carolina Dempsey Benton

North Carolina
Department of Health and Human Services

For Release: IMMEDIATE
Date: September 20, 2007

  Contact: Lori Walston

Awards Presented by N.C. Division of Aging and Adult Services

RALEIGH:  The N.C. Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) presented its 2007 Aging Awards at the North Carolina Conference on Aging, held in Winston-Salem, Sept. 10 -12.  These awards are presented annually to recognize individuals, organizations, programs and communities that have made significant contributions in support of the Division’s efforts to enhance resources, services and opportunities for our state’s older citizens. 

The awards include:

  1. The Ewald W. Busse Award, which recognizes an individual or organization that has had a significant impact on enhancing the health status of older North Carolinians through efforts to direct health-related policies and/or to provide leadership in developing innovative solutions to health care problems. 
  2. The George L. Maddox Award, which recognizes an individual or organization in the state that has excelled in creative programming for older adults.
  3. The Ernest B. Messer Award, which recognizes a community (a defined geographic area) in the state that has excelled in addressing the needs of its older citizens. 

“The Division of Aging Awards are given to recognize excellence in addressing the needs of older adults in North Carolina,” said Dennis Streets, director of the DAAS. “And this year’s recipients do just that. Once again we are privileged to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of those serving our citizens with commitment, caring and concern.”     

The 2007 recipient of the Ewald W. Busse Award is Dr. Eleanor (Ellie) McConnell. Dr. McConnell has dedicated more than 30 years to improving the care of older adults, as a nationally recognized gerontological nurse, scientist, educator and clinician. She is currently in a joint clinical and academic appointment at the Duke University School of Medicine and Durham VA Medical Center. Her work has led to many publications and authorship of a pioneering textbook that now bears her name: Matteson & McConnell’s Gerontological Nursing: Concepts and Practice.

By bridging the nursing, academic and policy communities, Dr. McConnell has been able to accelerate the translation of research-based practices to clinical care. She has collaborated with the North Carolina Area Health Education network, the Carolina Centers for Excellence and the North Carolina New Organizational Visions Award program.  Dr. McConnell also developed the Duke Long-Term Care Consortium, to design and evaluate new systems of care of frail elders. While Dr. McConnell’s work has led to national prominence and service on several national advisory committees, she commits a majority of her intellectual, political and practical talents to serving older adults in North Carolina.

Dr. McConnell’s career has been characterized by consistent, outstanding contributions to nursing, and using a creative interdisciplinary approach to research, teaching and evidence-based practice to promote the quality of life of vulnerable older adults.

The recipient of the 2007 George L. Maddox Award is Alice Keane.  Keane has worked for more than 30 years to improve the lives of older people.  From the early 1980s until today, Keane has served as the Local Games Coordinator of the Greenville-Pitt County Senior Games.  She has researched and implemented many programs that enhance the health status of people 55 and older, including athletic events for seniors, the Silver Arts and a statewide walking program.  Keene also served as the first chair of the NC Senior Games Board of Directors and again is serving as chair in 2007, a true symbol of her dedication to the concept of healthy aging. 

Keane has served on the North Carolina Special Olympics Board of Directors, the NC Recreation and Parks Society and the NC Association for Community Education.   When North Carolina was selected as one of 13 states to participate in an Evidence-Based Disability and Disease Prevention for Elders Summit, Alice was one of five individuals from across our state chosen to represent North Carolina.  She continues to serve as a leader of the North Carolina Healthy Aging Coalition.

Keane has left a legacy of hard work and respect for older people across the state. As a part-time lecturer at East Carolina University, a public speaker and workshop presenter, Keane has demonstrated to thousands of people the need for quality health promotion programs for older persons. Teenage volunteers, college students and young professionals who have worked with her Senior Games program and other health promotion endeavors consistently witness her rolling up her sleeves and working diligently to get the job done. 

H.L. McCrorey Family YMCA is the recipient of the 2007 Ernest B. Messer Award.  H.L. McCrorey Family YMCA, named after Dr. Henry Lawrence McCrorey, is celebrating 70-plus years of providing services to the residents of the Northwest Corridor of Charlotte. The Northwest Corridor has several neighborhoods that have been identified as fragile, and these neighborhoods are all within a five-mile radius of the H.L. McCrorey Family YMCA.  Key issues that face these neighborhoods include problems with transportation, housing, jobs and economic development.  The H.L. McCrorey Family YMCA understands these issues and the needs of the community and is committed to programs that build strong kids, strong families and strong communities.

The H.L. McCrorey Family YMCA began focusing on the needs of older adults in 2000.  In fact, out of their 4,500 members, 17 percent are older adults. They now offer classes in chair aerobics, ballroom dancing, water aerobics, a senior walking club, an African drum class, senior praise dance, senior choir, bingo, bowling and many other regular exercise programs.  The H.L. McCrorey Family YMCA organizes an annual Holiday Celebration, monthly birthday celebrations, an annual Black History Program, an annual Senior Day Celebration, a Senior Prom, and the annual Oktoberfest.

The H.L. McCrorey Family YMCA’s Active Older Adult Program has partnered with REACH 2010 and Carolinas Medical Center to help decrease diabetes, improve nutrition and enhance physical exercise among African-Americans in a specific target area.  Due to the partnership with Carolinas Medical Center, the H.L. McCrorey Family YMCA is able to offer older adults the resources of a full-time Registered Nurse and a Health and Wellness Director, along with a range of health and wellness services. Without McCrorey YMCA, many of the older adults in the Northwest Corridor would never have the opportunity to become more active, establish a support system and understand the health benefits of physical activity. The H.L. McCrorey Family YMCA truly excels in addressing the needs of its older citizens.

The Busse Award recognizes an individual who has had a significant impact on enhancing the health status of older North Carolinians through efforts to direct health-related policies and/or to provide leadership in developing solutions to health care problems. Dr. Busse was president emeritus of the NC Institute of Medicine and the founding director of the Duke University Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development.

Dr. Maddox is a noted gerontologist and director of Duke University’s Long-Term Care Resource Program.  This award is presented to an individual, organization or agency that has excelled in meeting the needs of older citizens in the community.

The Ernest B. Messer Award, given to a North Carolina community, is named for the late North Carolina legislator and assistant secretary of the Division of Aging.



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