Evan Gold April 12, 2013 0

For the second year, this group wins Statewide Award

for Excellent Service to Medicare Clients

At an awards ceremony celebrating the contributions of more than 500 statewide volunteers, the Florida Department of Elder Affairs’ SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) Program honored volunteers in Pasco and Pinellas counties with the “Planning and Service Area of the Year” award. For the first time, this same area won in back-to-back years.

The Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc. needs SHINE volunteers. Please email Susan Samson, SHINE program manager, at to investigate how to become part of the special team.

SHINE volunteers in this area completed 13, 500 client contacts between October 1, 2011, and September 30, 2012. Of these contacts, nearly 40 percent were completed in assistance to clients with low incomes for savings on their Medicare costs. Additionally, they spent almost 7,500 hours with their clients during that timeframe. These SHINE volunteers provided outreach and education to more than 8,000 people in Pasco and Pinellas counties.

“The SHINE volunteers in Pasco and Pinellas counties are dedicated to serving Medicare beneficiaries and caregivers in their communities,” SHINE Statewide Director Anne Rogers said. “These volunteers are committed to the program, dedicated to their clients, and have a strong sense of volunteerism. Together, they have worked hard to educate beneficiaries, easing their way through the complexities of Medicare and helping to improve the lives of their clients.”

The SHINE program is measured annually by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on eight performance measures, including total client contacts, hours spent with clients, contacts through outreach and education, and contacts with low-income Medicare beneficiaries. As the winners of the SHINE Planning and Service Area of the Year, volunteers in Pasco and Pinellas counties shined brightly in all eight performance measures.

SHINE is funded by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, which is operated throughout the state in partnership with the Area Agencies on Aging. If you wish to volunteer outside of Pasco or Pinellas County, call 1-800-96ELDER.  Volunteers statewide operate out of the Area Agency on Aging.  The program provides free and unbiased education and counseling for Medicare beneficiaries and caregivers. Trained SHINE volunteers help elders understand and receive the health insurance coverage they need through Medicare, Medicaid, prescription assistance, Long-Term Care planning and insurance, and other health care issues. If you are interested in volunteering for the SHINE program, please contact Sue Samson, SHINE Liaison, at Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc. by calling 727-570-9696 ext. 234 or via email at

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