AUSTIN, TX, February 21, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The WellMed Charitable Foundation and WellMed Medical Management have been named winners of the 2014 AGE Awards in the Philanthropy category.
AGE of Central Texas (formerly Austin Groups for the Elderly) will formally honor WellMed and the WellMed Charitable Foundation at the 20th annual AGE Awards Dinner on Thursday, April 10 at the Driskill Hotel in Austin.
AGE of Central Texas is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving older adults and those who care for them. Among its many services, the agency operates the only two state-licensed adult day care centers serving Travis and Williamson counties.
"We are proud to honor WellMed and the WellMed Charitable Foundation with the AGE Philanthropy Award," said Joyce Lauck, Executive Director of AGE. "Through their generosity, WellMed and its employees have made an impact on the lives of older adults and their caregivers in our community."
AGE officials noted WellMed's commitment to giving back to the communities it serves through its annual employee contribution program called GIVE (Generous Individuals Value Everyone). WellMed operates more than 60 senior-focused primary care clinics in Texas and Florida, including 11 in the Austin area.
Through GIVE, WellMed employees choose to donate to national and/or market-specific charities, often using payroll deduction. WellMed matches these donations dollar-for-dollar. Additionally, the Rapier Family Foundation has in years past also matched WellMed employee donations, tripling the impact of the employee gift. The Rapier Family Foundation is the personal charity of WellMed Chairman and CEO Dr. George Rapier and his wife Kymberly.
In 2013, the GIVE campaign raised more than $780,000 for 25 charities, including AGE. Since its inception in 2008, the campaign has raised more than $1.7 million for charities.
The non-profit WellMed Charitable Foundation, the philanthropic partner of WellMed, serves older adults in Austin through the WCF Senior Community Center at 706 Ben White in South Austin. The center offers complimentary services for seniors including exercise and nutrition classes, a computer lab, access to workout equipment and social programs, and more.
The WCF Senior Community Center, which opened March 2012, has become one of the most popular senior destinations in South Austin, with more than 800 registered members at the close of 2013. The center is open Monday-Friday from 8 am to 4 pm. More information about WCF senior center programs in Austin, the Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio is available at http://www.WellmedGives.org.
The WCF is a partner with the Capital Area Agency on Aging to support family caregivers through two Foundation-based initiatives -- the Stress-Busting Program for Family Caregivers and the Caregiver Teleconnection.
The Stress-Busting Program is an evidence-based program that provides support for family caregivers of those with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia. These free classes are offered over a nine-week period using a curriculum developed by researchers at the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio.
The Caregiver Teleconnection is a complimentary tele-learning program, a confidential service connecting caregivers and family members to information and support using the most common tool available to caregivers - the telephone.
More information about these initiatives is available at http://www.CaregiverSOS.org.
Also being honored at the AGE Awards dinner are Anna Gatti (Willie Kocurek Vital Aging Award), a 91-year-old volunteer at the non-profit group; Samantha Young (Bert Kruger Smith Vision Award), who started a company assigning social workers to work with seniors; Registered nurse Patricia Ward (Rose Professional Spirit Award), who spearheaded an innovative project to improve health outcomes for hundreds of diabetes patients; and Susie Lightfoot Scherr (Community Service Award), past president of the Capital Area Parkinson's Society.
The WellMed Charitable Foundation (www.wellmedgives.org) is a non-profit 501(C)3 organization that supports seniors and their caregivers with special emphasis on wellness, prevention and living with chronic illness. Established in 2006 by Dr. George M. Rapier III, a noted physician and the Chairman of the Board, the Foundation has contributed more than $3 million to Texas-based non-profit groups. The Foundation oversees several initiatives benefiting seniors and caregivers, including Caregiver SOS resource centers, the Caregiver Teleconnection, and senior center health and wellness programs.
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