The Volunteer Advocates for Seniors and Incapacitated Adults organization of Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Hammond welcomed its latest members during a swearing-in ceremony recently at Lake County Superior Court in Crown Point in the chambers of Judge Diane Schneider, who has been affiliated with the effort since its inception. The program, instituted in 2001 and the brainchild of former 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 their certificates of program completion are (front row, from left): Carol Talley, of Munster; Lillian Davis, of Chicago; Verenetha Woodfaulk, of Merrillville; Melva Mason, of St. John; Ed Susak, of Hobart; and Julie Mortier, of Valparaiso. Back row, Judge Schneider (seated); Meera Vasquez, of Crown Point; Julie Mortier, of Valparaiso; Verenice Clopton, of Hammond; Gryzbek; Johnnie Williams, of Merrillville; and Barbara Andrews, of Munster. Not shown is Erica Jackson, of East Chicago.