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Franciscan Health Hammond: Volunteers Commit to Helping Needy Seniors

The Volunteer Advocates for Seniors and Incapacitated Adults organization of Franciscan Health Hammond welcomed its latest members during a swearing-in ceremony recently in the chambers of Lake Superior Court Civil Division Judge Diane Kavadias Schneider in Crown Point. Probate Commissioner American McAlpin, seated, officiated this year. The program, instituted in 2001 and the brainchild of then-hospital president Tom Gryzbek, is a collaborative effort between the hospital and the court system. It provides trained and supervised volunteers to serve as court-appointed legal guardians to assist the elderly and the courts in decision-making regarding seniors’ needs.

VASIA likewise partners with service delivery programs to develop a continuum of elder law advocacy and guardianship services in the region. Shown with McAlpin, from left, are: Tamra Smith, of East Chicago; Patricia Hardison, of Hammond; Ivonne Torres, of East Chicago; Patricia Joshua-Whaley, of Crete, Ill.; Jeff Bles, of Crown Point; Jami Martin, of Cedar Lake; Zanetta Miller, of Gary; Versie Chatman, of Gary. Not shown is Kelly McLin-Shirley, of Glenwood, Ill. For more information on the program, visit:

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