BOSTON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--At its annual meeting on Wednesday, December 14th, the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (MassNAELA) honored several individuals for their advocacy of elder services and their commitment to raising awareness of legal issues affecting seniors. Massachusetts State Representative John Fernandes was named the Legislator of the Year for his support and efforts for passage of legislation that protects seniors. Arlene Germain, president of Massachusetts Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, received the Arthur Stavisky Award, an honor MassNAELA bestows each year on an individual who has dedicated themselves to promoting elder causes in the community.
“MassNAELA to NAELA: A Tribute to NAELA’s President-Elect Hy Darling and A Discussion on Tax Law & Practice Management.”
Two special awards were bestowed that were created in 2014 in honor of the leadership and tireless endeavors of two longtime MassNAELA members. The Deborah H. Thomson Advocacy Award, which recognizes a MassNAELA member’s efforts advocating elder issues in state government, was presented to Annette M. Hines, Framingham, MA. The John J. Ford Litigation Advocacy Award, which honors a member’s efforts to protect the rights of seniors and the disabled, was bestowed to Lisa M. Neely, Worcester, MA.
Each year, MassNAELA recognizes chapter members for their commitment of time and energy to the chapter. The 2016 Member of the Year award was presented to Pamela B. Greenfield, Dedham, MA for her work on upgrading the chapter’s website. The President’s Award was bestowed to Jessica S. Batsevitsky, Needham, MA; Josh Greenfield (Pamela’s husband); and Judith McDougall-Flynn, Quincy, MA for their service to and support of the chapter and its president. Maria C. Baler, Dedham, MA; and Jane E. Sullivan, Fall River, MA, were honored as retiring members of the chapter board of directors. Margot G. Birke, Newburyport, MA received an award for her service and dedication as the 2016 chapter president.
The MassNAELA annual meeting also included the election of chapter officers and directors for the New Year. The 2016 officers include president, Laura Silver Traiger, Worcester, MA; president-elect, Karen B. Johnson, Westford, MA; vice president, Matthew Albanese, Milton, MA; treasurer, Steven Mann, Waltham, MA; clerk, Alexis B. Levitt, Norwell, MA; and immediate past president, Margot G. Birke, Newburyport, MA.
Newly elected directors include: Gina Barry, Springfield, MA; Pamela B. Greenfield, Dedham, MA; Paula A. Nedder, Milford, MA; and Natalie A. Simon, Gloucester, MA.
The evening also featured a two-part program entitled, “MassNAELA to NAELA: A Tribute to NAELA’s President-Elect Hy Darling and A Discussion on Tax Law & Practice Management.” Hy Darling is a Boston chapter member based in Springfield who will be serving as NAELA President in April when the national organization hosts it annual conference – and 25th anniversary – in Boston. The first part of the program included acknowledgements of Hy’s contributions to the field of elder law from several NAELA leaders across the country via recorded video clips. The second part of the program focused on updates and practical advice in tax law and perspectives on practice management, emphasizing the value of legal services. The featured a panel of attorneys that included Darling, Holly Lewis of Westfield, MA, and Todd Lutsky of Waltham, MA. Darling also provided an update on current national public policy initiatives related to elder affairs.
The MassNAELA annual meeting was preceded by a vendor fair which featured 20 organizations showcasing their elder care services. The vendor fair provides MassNAELA members with awareness of essential quality-of-life services to which they can connect at-risk seniors and better serve their clients.
The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), the premier organization of elder and special needs law attorneys in the country, is dedicated to developing awareness of issues concerning the elderly and those with special needs. Nearly 500 attorneys are members of the Massachusetts Chapter. Members work directly with the elderly and those with special needs in areas as diverse as planning for catastrophic care costs, disability planning, age discrimination in employment and housing, benefits planning, estate planning, veterans’ benefits and more.
MassNAELA will be the host and sponsor of NAELA’s 2017 Annual Conference, to be held April 27 – 29, 2017 at the Boston Marriott Copley Place, Boston, MA.
For more information about MassNAELA, visit www.massnaela.com.