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International Conference Features Town Of North Hempstead Program

Immediate Release                                                     Contact: Justin Meyers
June 4, 2007                                                                          (516) 869-7610



Supervisor Jon Kaiman announced that North Hempstead’s Project Independence, a cutting edge, senior citizen services program, was featured at an international conference, Strengthening Communities Through Collaboration,” held in New York City in mid-April.

The Town’s Commissioner of Community Services, Madge Kaplan, and Kathy Rosenthal, Vice President for Long Island Regional Operations for FEGS, a large non-profit agency, represented the program at the three-day conference which was sponsored by the Association of Jewish Family and Children’s Agencies (AJFCA) and the International Association of Jewish Vocational Services (IAJVC).

The Town of North Hempstead, FEGS and North Shore Health System are collaborators on Project Independence, a supportive services program designed to assist aging residents to remain in their own homes and familiar surroundings as they grow older.

Jon Kaiman, Supervisor Town of North Hempstead said “We are proud to be the first town government partner in this new and dynamic concept.” After a little more than a year of operation, Project Independence has assisted more than 3000 individuals with services ranging from in-home blood pressure screening to medical transportation to minor home repairs and community education programming. Several hundred local residents have had full assessments of their needs done by Project Independence staff, with follow-up care.

According to Rosenthal and Kaplan, “It was an honor to be invited to explain our collaboration on this wonderful program. Now, service providers from across the United States and Canada can begin to replicate our success with Project Independence.”

Serving a portion of New Hyde Park, demographically described as a NORC (Naturally Occurring Retirement Community), Project Independence is the first program of its kind in which a local municipal government (North Hempstead) is a central partner, along with a social services agency (FEGS) and a major healthcare provider (North Shore)

As Kaplan and Rosenthal explained, the Town provides a home for the program, at Clinton Martin Park, as well as other services through the Department of Community Services. FEGS provides case management, counseling, etc., through its social workers and North Shore provides health care screening and maintenance services through its nursing staff.

Funding for the program comes from the three partners, the New York State Office for the Aging, local legislative initiatives and private foundations.

“This initiative not only makes sense from the point of view of the participating seniors,” said Rosenthal and Kaplan. “It makes good government sense as well, because it allows our residents to avoid costly emergency room visits or placements in nursing homes or other institutional settings. It is really the preferred approach of the future for our quickly growing population of older American.”


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