A WORD FROM OUR PRESIDENT:
Hello, IGA Membership! For those new IGA Members, Welcome!
It is an honor to have been elected as President of the IGA at the Annual Meeting held June 7, 2023, in conjunction with the Spring IGA Conference. A special and well-deserved thanks and recognition goes to outgoing President, Kathy Eddy, NMG, for her years of leadership on the IGA! The IGA welcomes new IGA Board Member, Jennifer Lee, who is a Guardianship Representative for the Office of State Guardian in Peoria; Ms. Lee was also elected as the IGA’s New Treasurer. Much-deserved appreciation and recognition goes to Erin Nowlan, the outgoing IGA Treasurer! Ms. Nowlan is a Disability Rights Manager for the Guardianship and Advocacy Commission in addition to serving on the IGA Education Committee. It truly is a privilege to serve on the IGA Board alongside such dedicated Board Members intent on upholding the IGA’s mission.
This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the IGA. The IGA Mission Statement is to promote the highest quality of ethical guardianship services through Education, Networking and Advocacy.
To break this down further, the IGA has promoted Education through:
· Website Materials
· Family Guardian Manual
· The Guardian Bulletin Newsletter
The IGA has promoted Networking through:
· Conferences, including a practicing guardian session.
· On-line Resource Information
· Membership gatherings
· Public Guardian Committee
The IGA has promoted Advocacy through:
· Assisting with calls and on-line inquiries
· Supporting and promoting best practices in guardianship
· Reviewing and providing feedback on guardianship-related legislation
These are just a few examples of the many accomplishments of the IGA over these past 25 years. As the IGA moves into future, it will continue to build on its educational offerings, provide meaningful and interactive networking opportunities and help shape the contours of guardianship through advocacy and public policy reform.
If you would be interested in being a part of the IGA journey and serving on one of the IGA committees, we welcome your participation! Current committees include Education, Membership, Website, Public Guardian, NGA Affiliate, and Bylaws Committees. Just contact me at Teresa.Parks@illinois.gov and I will link you to the respective Committee Chair.
Last, but not least, I want to applaud the work of IGA’s Continuing Education Committee! Co- Chairs Deborah Rose and Derick Cummins put together the Spring IGA Conference in Chicago, with the help of IGA Board Member and Cook County Public Guardian Attorney, Thomas Brennan. IGA is grateful for the Office of the Cook County Public Guardian serving as a co- sponsor for this event! The well-received conference included a range of topics highlighting the challenges of elder abuse as part of Elder Abuse Awareness Week. More information about the conference topics and related resources can be found under the Events tab on the IGA website at Illinois Guardianship Association.
IGA is now working on plans for a Fall Conference downstate. More information will be posted online as soon as it is available. Enjoy these Summer months as I look forward to transitioning into the role of the IGA President. I hope to hear from anyone with IGA-related questions or suggestions as we move into the next 25 Years!
Teresa Parks, President
Illinois Guardianship Association
By: Karen Kloppe, Legal Assistance Developer Illinois Department on Aging
At the recent HHS Mental Health Summit, Secretary Becerra announce the launch of FindSupport.gov, a new website designed to help people access to mental health and substance use resources. The concept for this website developed by HHS’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
According to the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, nearly 1 in 3 adults have mental health, substance use, or co-occurring issues that affect their daily lives. See: https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/reports/rpt39443/2021NSDUHFFRRev010323.p df and https://www.nami.org/NAMI/media/NAMI- Media/Infographics/NAMI_Impact_RippleEffect_2023.pdf.
FindSupport.gov offers trustworthy and unbiased information about various treatment options. It explains common warning signs and risk factors for emotional distress; describes how to talk to someone about getting help; suggests coping strategies for various health, drug, and alcohol issues; and provides information on how to pay for treatment with or without insurance.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE IGA CHICAGO CONFERENCE
The IGA Continuing Education Committee held it’s first in-person conference in the Chicago area since 2019. The location for this event was on the 22nd floor at the Cook County PG’s Office and conference topics aligned with Elder Abuse Awareness Month.
The IGA would like to thank all presenters who volunteered their time to present at the conference.
The evening before the conference, IGA members and conference attendees enjoyed a social event at the University Club of Chicago, hosted by Dan Deneen. It was a lovely event; however, we did not manage to snap a photo of everyone in attendance! Next year!!