Buckeye Hills-HVRDD & its AAA8 program have a New Name!
We are now Buckeye Hills Regional Council - Aging & Disability.
Monthly News & Updates:
 April 2017
Buckeye Hills Regional Council
(formerly Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District &
Area Agency on Aging 8)

A New Name:

The Board of Directors for Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District is pleased to formally announced our new name and logo. Now called Buckeye Hills Regional Council, the organization continues to provide services throughout the eight county region just as they always have, now with a new, more concise name.
"Buckeye Hills Regional Council has a new name and new look, but underneath it all, we are still focused on doing the work we remain committed to: improving the socioeconomic conditions of our region," said Misty Casto, Executive Director, Buckeye Hills Regional Council. "We are a voice for our constituents," said Casto.

"We promote their interests and needs to the persons and agencies empowered to invest in that positive change." Buckeye Hills Regional Council has provided transportation planning, economic and community development, mapping and data services,
as well as directing programs that assist our most vulnerable populations. The organization will still provide those services, with a clearer connection to "who" provides them.
Previously, clients and partners may have only known the Buckeye Hills organization for economic and community development services, or as the Regional Transportation Planning Organization for the eight counties that make up Buckeye Hills, without realizing that we also administer the Area Agency on Aging services. The Board and Executive staff realized that an opportunity to educate the region about the depth and breadth of services was being missed. With one name, unifying all services and programs, constituents are better able to understand how they all work together.
"We are excited for people to know Buckeye Hills Regional Council as the multidimensional organization that it is," said Ron Moore, President of the Board of Directors, Buckeye Hills Regional Council. "We have a diverse population with evolving needs. We're proud to be able to identify those needs and respond to them. Changing our name won't change that."
Buckeye Hills Regional Council remains at its current l ocation of 1400 Pike Street, Marietta, OH. Over the next few months, we will begin the process of revising all educational materials a nd signage to reflect the name change. For questions, please call 1-800-331-2644. Visit us on online at buckeyehills.org .
2016 Buckeye Hills Annual Community Benefit Report Now Available

The 2016 Buckeye Hills annual report was distributed at the April 7 Semi-Annual Meeting and is also available online. It details a variety of the services and programs benefiting individuals and communities across the region.

Total costs for the 52 community and economic development projects completed over the past year were approximately $34 million, with local communities and private business leveraging $13.6 million (40%) against the $20.2 million (60%) provided through state and federal funding sources.

As the designated Area Agency on Aging (AAA8) and the Southeast Ohio Aging & Disability Resource Network (ADRN), Buckeye Hills also administered more than $15.5 million in aging program services in the calendar year. Read the Report  

Buckeye Hills Attends State and National Washington Policy Updates      

Leaders from Buckeye Hills and from across Appalachia joined the National Association of Development Organization's Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., to learn more about the President's federal budget.

Staff and leaders from the Buckeye Hills Executive Committee met with legislators and their staff in D.C. to advocate for the programs and to provide 2016 outcomes from  
the region.

They discussed programs currently under threat of significant funding cuts or elimination, programs which benefit the communities and citizens of the 8-county region served by the Buckeye Hills Regional Council including the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), the U.S.Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), as well as programs through the Older Americans Act that impact aging Ohioans and those with disabilities. 
Leaders and staff from the development districts serving Ohio's Appalachian region visited with U.S. Congressman Steve Stivers (OH -15th District) in D.C.    
U.S. Congressman Bill Johnson (OH -6th District) also met with Appalachian regional leaders in D.C. to learn more about the region's needs.

Aging Director Jennifer Westfall; State Rep. Jay Edwards;
Development Director Bret Allphin; State Rep. Andy Thompson
and Home Care Director Dawn Weber met to discuss state and
federal programs supporting residents across the region.

Advocating for Ohio's Seniors
Staff from the Buckeye Hills Regional Council have been busy this past month advocating for seniors in rural Appalachia. A variety of meetings with legislators, as well as testimony has been coordinated by Buckeye Hills. 
Housing Coordinator Joe Gage testified to an Ohio House Committee on the importance of the Ohio Housing Trust Fund programs in helping seniors and those with disabilities age in place in the community. 
Providing handicap access and minor repairs in the home, the Buckeye Hills Home Accessibility Modification and Minor Home Repair Program utilized $934,033 in funding from multiple sources to complete 139 projects in 2016. 

Aging leaders attended both the Ohio and National Association of Area Agencies on Aging advocacy conferences (in Columbus and Washington, D.C.). Shown above are Home Care Director Dawn Weber, LSW, LNHA; n4a Executive Director Sandy Markwood and Aging Director Jennifer Westfall. 
Buckeye Hills Welcomes Ben Carpenter to the Executive Board

Buckeye Hills is pleased to welcome Perry County Commissioner Ben Carpenter to its Executive Committee.

Prior to becoming a Commissioner, Carpenter served Perry County as Perry Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) Administrator for 27 years.

He serves as the Flood Plain Administrator for Perry County. He has also served as the the Flood Plain Administrator for the villages of Crooksville, Glenford, Hemlock, New Straitsville and Junction City. He also served as a Perry County Deputy Sheriff.

After graduation from Sheridan High School, Carpenter enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He graduated from Muskingum Area Technical College (now Zane State) with an Associate's Degree in Applied Science in Parks Recreation and Wildlife. After working for the Muskingum SWCD, Carpenter returned to school at The Ohio State University. He graduated in 1989 from OSU with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agronomy and Ag Business and began his career with the Perry Soil and Water Conservation District.

He and his wife Katrina also own and operate Mt. Airy Beef where they raise and market grass fed cattle. They are the proud parents of Ben (Tammi), Mike (Heidi), Katie (Dave Whitlatch), Drew (Julia) & Izaak, and seven grandchildren.

Carpenter is a member of: Holy Trinity Parish; American Legion; Farm Bureau; FFA Alumni; Perry County Historical and Cultural Arts Society (life member); Buckeye Lake Museum and Historical Society (life member); Rural Action; and the NRA (life member).

He also serves on the Boards of the: Perry County Community Improvement Corp. (CIC); Ohio Hill Country Heritage Area;
Buckeye Lake Museum and Historical Society; The Buckeye Hills Natural Resources Assistance Council; the Ohio Hill Country Heritage Area; the Perry County Parks District; Hocking Athens Perry Community Action Program (HAPCAP); Buckeye Hills RC&D;
Burr Oak Regional Water District; Coshocton Fairfield Licking Perry (CLFP) Solid Waste District and the Perry County Land Re-utilization Corporation.
Senior Farmers Market Applications Now Available
Seniors who meet the income eligibility guidelines, will soon be receiving some welcome relief from rising food budgets. Administered by the Buckeye Hills Aging & Disability program, in the region, The Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) provides income-eligible senior citizens with special coupons worth $50 to enjoy locally grown fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and honey.

The Seniors Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) is a USDA and Ohio Department of Aging program for income-eligible seniors. Program coupons may be exchanged for eligible foods from authorized farmers. Only fresh, locally grown fruits, herbs, vegetables and honey are eligible to be purchased with the coupons.

Each eligible senior receives $50 worth of coupons. Grant funding is limited and coupons are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each person will receive a total of ten $5 coupons. Coupons may only be redeemed by authorized participating farmers who sell produce at farmers' markets or roadside stands. The program will end Oct. 31.
Buckeye Hills will accept applications ONLY BY MAIL. Applications will be available across the region, at the Buckeye Hills office (1400 Pike St. in Marietta) and online at www.buckeyehills.org. Community partners who will also have copies of the applications include the region's Senior Centers and HAPCAP.

Income eligibility requirements include:
1. one person in household with income of $0 - $22,311;
2. 2 people in household with income of $0 - $30,044; and
3. 3 people in household with income of $0 - $37,777;
additional numbers are available on the application.  
Applications must be returned by U.S. mail only to Buckeye Hills 1400 Pike St. Marietta, OH 45750 postmarked on or after the following dates for counties in the region:
  • April 11 for Athens and Hocking Counties;
  • April 18 for Perry and Washington Counties and
  • April 25 for Meigs, Monroe, Morgan and Noble Counties.
Applications will be checked for the appropriate postmark, date-stamped and processed for distribution on a first-come, first-served basis, by county. Coupons will be mailed to eligible applicants as soon as possible after the registrations are processed. Ineligible applicants will receive a letter indicating the reason of ineligibility. Once each county's allocations have been filled, individuals will be placed on a waiting list and receive notification by mail.
In 2016, the region-wide program served 1,525 seniors with another 562 seniors put on a waiting list due to program funding limits. Last year the program was served by more than 50 local farmer and market providers who redeemed $62,795 in coupons. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.     
May Is Older Americans Month
Ohio's Theme: Age Out Loud! 
More than 2.5 million Ohioans are age 60 or older today, and this group is growing more than 20 times faster than the overall population.

This brings many challenges for our communities, but it also presents some exciting opportunities. More than ever, older Ohioans are working longer, trying new things and engaging in their communities. They're taking charge, striving for wellness, focusing on independence, and advocating for themselves and others.

What it means to grow older in Ohio and America has changed, and Older Americans Month helps us celebrate those changes. The 2017 theme, Age Out Loud, gives a new voice to aging - one that reflects what today's older adults have to say about it. Now is the time for all of us to replace outdated views with perspectives that are based on facts and experiences instead of fear, and shine a light on many important issues and trends. Ohio has a tremendous opportunity for the future when we embrace our growing and changing population. It is time to Age Out Loud!
Source: Ohio Department of Aging 

Brandi Hesson, CIRS-A
Medicare Counselors Can Help Secure Savings 

Across the country, thousands of benefits counselors help people with Medicare find benefits that help them pay for prescriptions, health care, and other necessities.

Since 2009, benefits counselors, supported by the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA), have helped more than half a million vulnerable seniors and adults with disabilities apply for over $1.6 billion in benefits, and learn about preventive services that can help them stay healthy. 

Gerri VanNoy, SWA, CIRS-A
In Southeast Ohio, Buckeye Hills Regional Council Aging & Disability
counselors Brandi Hesson, CIRS-A, and Gerri VanNoy, SWA, CIRS-A, are professional Information and Referral (I&R) Specialists in
Aging (CIRS-A).

Many Ohioans on Medicare with limited income and resources may qualify for the Limited-Income Subsidy (LIS), also called "Extra Help," and the Medicare Savings Program. LIS helps seniors pay for their Medicare Part D premiums, annual deductible and coinsurance for prescription drugs.

The Medicare Extra Help Program can save individuals an average of $325 per month on costs associated with prescription drugs.  
In rural Ohio, many seniors are eligible for these programs, but are not enrolled. AAA8 wants to help spread the word and help Ohio's aging residents get the help they need for prescriptions. There are many reasons that folks who are eligible do not apply. Some simply don't know about the program or know how to apply. Many also assume that they make too much and are not financially eligible.
You can find the 2017 Medicare "Extra Help" eligibility.

If you know someone that may qualify, please ask them to call us toll-free at 1-800-331-2644 and ask for the Screening Department. In a matter of minutes, the staff at Buckeye Hills Regional Council can assist them with a free, over-the-phone application.  
Dates to Remember:
May is Older Americans Month!
May 5
- Buckeye Hills Regional Council Executive
Committee Meeting   
Ohio Arts Council creating new opportunities for elders to thrive through arts 
Funding available for projects that promote artistic expression throughout the lifespan

By Stephanie M. Loucka, Director of the Department of Aging

Aging well isn't just about eating right, exercising and maintaining social connections, though all of these are important. Doing things that make you feel good and that help you continue to grow emotionally and spiritually can be just as important. Research suggests that active participation in the arts and learning results in improved physical health, improved quality of life for those who are ill, better community and social engagement, and reduced risk factors that can lead to the need for long-term care.

The Ohio Department of Aging is proud to support the Ohio Arts Council and its Creative Aging Ohio Initiative. Since 2013, the council has been part of the National Center for Creative Aging to promote community programming in the arts, health and aging. The Creative Aging Ohio Initiative works with a variety of state and local partners to support creative, participatory arts experiences based on best practices for adult learners.

The council is seeking partners for the Creative Aging Ohio Initiative. Specifically, they are looking for teams who are implementing or would like to begin programs that support healthy aging through the arts, help caregivers and add to the growing field of research about the arts and aging. Project ideas include engaging older adults as artistic mentors to youth, physical fitness programs that use creative movement or dance, creative writing or theatrical activities, musical performance, painting, sculpture and more.

Grants range from $1,500 to $15,000 and require a 1:1 cash match. The deadline to submit proposals is Monday, May 1, 2017, at 5 p.m. Learn more and find out how to apply.
We are very excited about the potential that the Creative Aging Ohio Initiative holds for improving the overall health and wellness of our older Ohioans and encourage all interested organizations to apply for this great opportunity.

Buckeye Hills Regional Council

 740-374-6400 | 1400 PIke St. - Marietta, OH  45750 | www.buckeyehills.org

Misty Casto: Executive Director
Rick Hindman: Assistant Executive Director
Jennifer Westfall: Aging Director
Dawn Weber, LSW, LNHA: Home Care Director 

Buckeye Hills Regional Council is organized as a voluntary organization of local government political subdivisions to foster cooperative efforts in regional planning, and implementing of regional plans and programs.