AmeriCorps, State LTC Ombudsman Partner to Increase Access to Services
The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman has partnered with the Ohio Commission on Service and Volunteerism (ServeOhio) to enhance access to supports for long-term care consumers throughout the state. An AmeriCorps grant administered by ServeOhio will fund 11 AmeriCorps Ombudsman Specialists who will help regional ombudsman programs recruit volunteers to visit long-term care facilities and consumers’ homes to answer questions and resolve complaints about their providers and care.
“Through this partnership with ServeOhio, AmeriCorps members will help us bolster our capacity to meet the needs of consumers receiving long-term care services,” said Erin Pettegrew, the acting state long-term care ombudsman. “The volunteers they’ll recruit are a vital part of the ombudsman program. They are the eyes and ears of the program and often make that first contact that can lead to a higher quality of life and care for a consumer.”
Through the partnership, the ombudsman program will recruit 11 AmeriCorps members to serve as full-time ombudsman specialists in regional ombudsman programs throughout the state. They will serve from October 2018 through September 2019 and complete at least 1,700 hours of service. Members will receive a living stipend and ongoing professional development assistance and may be eligible for an education award from ServeOhio.
In addition to supporting volunteer recruitment, AmeriCorps ombudsman specialists will investigate and help resolve consumer complaints, counsel long-term care consumers on benefits and rights, help educate consumers about provider quality, and conduct outreach activities. Candidates must be 18 years old or older, have a bachelor’s degree or commensurate experience, pass a background check and drug screen, and be able to travel throughout the region.
The AmeriCorps grant totals $164,252 and covers the members’ stipends. At the completion of their service, members will be eligible for a Segal Education Award through AmeriCorps. Individuals interested in learning more about the program may contact the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman at AmeriCorpsOmbudsman@age.ohio.gov or apply online at www.aging.ohio.gov/AmeriCorpsOmbudsman through Sept. 20, 2018.