Get the Latest News from the Mississippi Department of Human Services
June 2021
Lisa Smith
State Office, AAS

As a hard worker and creative problem solver, Lisa is an amazing asset to the Division of Aging and Adult Services. Through the division's Ombudsman program, Lisa works with nursing home residents to ensure a high quality of care. Lisa also brings a positive, can-do attitude to work every day, and through personal experience, genuinely wants to help Mississippi's aging adult population and improve accessible services for this group. Lisa brings her best self to work every day; she exemplifies the values of MDHS and its commitment to excellence. 
Denae Keith
Field Office, EAE Wayne County

In February 2020, Denae stepped into the role of Interim County Director while the Wayne County Director was on medical leave. Since the director's return in August 2020, Denae has retained her leadership role. Around the office, Denae is always the first to step in and assist the county clerks and her director with whatever they need help with. She works tirelessly to ensure that MDHS clients' needs are met, and is always courteous in both her in-person and over-the-phone interactions. Denae is an amazing employee that any director would be glad to have on their team.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
On June 15th, the Division of Aging and Adult Services observed World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by hosting programming throughout the month. On June 5th, APS Hotline Operator Elizabeth Edwards conducted a training session in Jackson's Police Precinct #3 and provided educational materials on elder abuse and neglect. On June 15th, APS hosted a table in the lobby of the state office, where MDHS employees could pick up informational brochures on WEAAD and elder abuse. Similar tables and events were also hosted by county offices and major cities, including events in Union County, Meridian Activity Center, and a proclamation by Jackson's Mayor Lumumba.
Success in the Refill Jackson Initiative
Workforce Training Program
Charmecia Clemmons is a July 2020 graduate of the Refill Jackson Initiative Workforce Training program. She came to Refill by referral of a family friend and applied for a spot in Cohort 4. She was accepted as a SNAP E&T program participant. Charmecia worked diligently throughout the program to enhance skills needed for the workforce community. After graduating from Refill’s 8 -week program, she interviewed for an internship at Magnolia Senior Care as a Recreational Aide. Magnolia offered Clemmons a three-month-long paid work experience in December 2020. In this role, she greeted residence visitors, facilitated Zoom meetings between residents and their families at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and performed other administrative duties. Through these activities, she provided a sense of normalcy by providing a way to maintain face-to-face conversations in a period of social isolation. After completing her internship in December 2019, she was invited to apply for full-time employment in this role, where she continues to work.
Refill Jackson's emphasis on workforce competencies, including communication, initiative, response to supervision, teamwork, and dress code, along with the incorporation of constructive feedback, have proven to be essential skills for Charmecia to succeed in the workforce. She is an excellent example of how planning and preparation for success can lead to long-term employment stability. Reflecting on her experience, Charmecia stated: “It helps me to forms relationships with others, being able to help others while being able to socialize.”
DAAS Increases Vaccine Access
Pictured from left to right: Kristyn Gunter, SMPDD; Michelle Sperre, CFHC; Dr. Wendy Williams, CFHC Angel Greer MPH, CFH; Marshea Cooper, MDHS/DAAS; Lydia Davis, SMPDD.
On June 3, the Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District (SMPDD) and Coastal Family Health Center (CFHC) met to arrange vaccine access for homebound older adults and adults with disabilities. Also in attendance was Marshea Cooper, MAC Center director. These women discussed partnering CFHC and SMPDD to use a mobile medical unit to distribute COVID-19 funds. This program will be funded by ADRC COVID Vaccine funds.
Trio Community Meals | BeWell Kitchen
National Nutrition Mississippi
At TRIO Community Meals, we recognize the impact food makes on health and wellness. TRIO leverages the role of nutrition education to improve an older adult’s willingness to try, buy and eat more healthy foods. Through our BeWell Kitchen, TRIO combines nutrition education with a hands-on learning workshop that connects food to health.

BeWell Kitchen benefits an older adult with an opportunity to socialize and gain knowledge that improves their health and wellness. BeWell Kitchen is a special event that draws older adults to sites thus boosting participation and socialization. TRIO designed each workshop to connect a food’s ability to prevent a specific health issue that impact older adults. Some of these health issues include brain health, heart health, muscle builder, and immune boost.

At BeWell Kitchen events, attendees are led by TRIO’s Corporate Chef to prepare a recipe using ingredients that impact a health issue. TRIO’s Registered Dietitian provides impactful nutritional information for the ingredients, thus connecting food to health. It is truly a special event that participants enjoy.
Clerical Training Certificates

We made a mistake in our May Newsletter and mislabeled this photo achievement.

Jennifer Jones (left) from Warren County recently completed clerical training under the supervision of Lisa Coats (right). In addition to completing the training, Jennifer also passed her final exam with a perfect score! Ms. Coats and the training team would like to thank Ms. Jones for her hard work and wonderful achievements.

Congratulations Jennifer! We apologize for the error.
Eligibility Worker Training
Trainees for this class (pictured above) were Rhonda Hamilton (Coahoma), Willie Smith (Coahoma), Kayce Conley (Desoto), Yolanda Bradley (Desoto), and LaWana Hoskins (Sunflower). The trainers were Pattie Wallace and Khadijah Anderson.
Eligibility Workers have been working hard this month to get trained for their new positions. Our Training Unit has visited Coahoma, Hinds, and Harrison Counties this month. Thank you to everyone for your hard work
The EAE Training Unit would also like to recognize Brenda Bryant (right), Coahoma County Director in Region 3, for hosting the EW training. Brenda was an amazing host, and repeatedly went out of her way to ensure the training went smoothly. Thank you so much for your hard work, Brenda!
Trainees for this class are Patricia Hamilton (Copiah) and Charles Williams, Ericka Hubbard, Kiara Stimage, Nakita Barnes, Talia Sword, and Sandra Truss from Hinds County. We expect to see amazing things from this group. The training was conducted by Khadijah Anderson and Pattie Wallace. 
Pictured left and above is Eligibility Worker Training held in Harrison County.

On the left, Khadijah Anderson is pictured conducting training.

Pictured above is Staci Balsan from Jackson County, Milton Britton from Pearl River County, along with Sandra Hayes, Henry Boyd, and April Kersh from Harrison County.
Case Manager Training
Marquita (right) is pictured here with her supervisor, Pamela Barnett (left), County Director for Lamar County.
Charlotta (right) is pictured here with her supervisor, Kate Powell (left), County Director for Sharkey County.
Marquita McLemore and Charlotta Collins recently completed their training for Case Manager. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they had to complete their training via Zoom. Despite the many challenges of remote learning, they finished their training and are excited to serve the citizens of Mississippi in their new role.
Welcome New Ombudsmen!
MDHS is pleased to recognize two Long Term Care Ombudsmen who have completed their training. Nicole Hamilton (left) is District Ombudsman for East Central AAA, and Robin Hopson (right) is Local Ombudsman for East Central AAA. They are excited to advocate for aging residents in their area!
Thank you!
The Older Adult Nutrition program would like to thank the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District for opening a new congregate meal site for our aging and vulnerable adults. This new site is located at the Golden Key Activity Center in Jackson.
Pictured above from left to right: Marshea Cooper, MS Access to Care (MAC) Center Program Manager; Penny Burns, Site manager; Amy, Intern; and Benae Jackson, Nutrition Manager.
We Miss Seeing You!
We would love to highlight photos of the county office and shine a light on the fantastic teams throughout the state. 

Please submit your photos here 
Belinda Moore
20 Years
Mark Chambliss
20 Years
Sandra Hodges
35 years

Rosie Levy
34 Years

Lealor Turner
34 yrs

Lenette Williams
32 years

Gloria Sanders
32 years

Robbie Westo
31 years

Mary Moton
29 years
Delena Baldwin
28 years

Mary Vick
27 years

Nannette Young
25 years

LoAna McLaurin
25 years

Shirley Wright
22 years

Michelle Haynes
21 years

Donna Nicholas
18 years
Sheri Connor
16 years

Angela Flowers-Peters
15 years

Sally Chambers
14 years

Linda Odies
13 years

John Townsend
8 years

Tracy Wimbish
8 Years
Mrs. Michelle Haynes is retiring from her position on June 30, 2021. She has served as Case Manager for 21 years and has dedicated a total of 25 years to Amite County.
Kim Price is retiring from her position of County Director in Neshoba County. She served a total of 35 years and 11 months with us!
Region 4 hosted a retirement ceremony for 3 county directors on Wednesday June 23, 2021, at the Lee County office. 

From Left to Right:
Lealor Turner, 34 yrs
Benton Co., Retiring - 6/30/21
Delena Marka Baldwin, 30 yrs Pontotoc Co., Retiring - 6/30/21
Tracy Wimbish, 24 yrs Tishomingo Co. Retiring 6/30/21
Donna Nichols, Director for Lawrence County, is retiring after 18.5 dedicated years of service!

Thank you!
MDHS holds ribbon-cutting ceremony for new Resource and Referral Center
Bob Anderson: MDHS comes through for Mississippians during pandemic
Over the past year, the Mississippi Department of Human Services has made concrete, positive changes in both our organization and in the lives of Mississippians. Whether it was navigating the pandemic, increasing internal accountability, or executing community improvement projects, MDHS has achieved some great successes, and we have set high standards for the year to come. Read More
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