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Press Release

Thursday, July 19, 2004 Contact: AoA Press Office
(202) 401-4541

Twenty-one Volunteers Honored During National Health Care Fraud Conference in Washington, D.C.

On Wednesday, July 21, 2004, the Administration on Aging (AoA), an agency of the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services will honor the contributions of 21 senior volunteers who serve as community educators and resources in the Administration’s effort to fight fraud, error and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Josefina G. Carbonell, Assistant Secretary for Aging, will present awards during a ceremony to take place during AoA’s sixth annual National Health Care Fraud Control Conference being held July 21-23 in Washington, D.C.

When: Wednesday, July 21, 2004
Reception: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Awards Ceremony: 5:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
(Media are welcome to attend.)

Where: Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 215
Washington, D.C.

The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Project grants, originally the “Health Care Anti-Fraud, Waste and Abuse Community Volunteers Demonstration Projects,” were established in 1997 under the Older Americans Act through language in the Omnibus Appropriations Consolidation Act. Administered by the AoA, the projects recruit and train retired professionals such as doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers, accountants and others to work with Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.

AoA’s volunteers have worked in their own communities and in local senior centers, educating more than 1.5 million Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries on how to recognize and report suspected cases of deceptive health care practices, such as over billing, overcharging, or providing unnecessary or inappropriate services. This training also empowers beneficiaries to be better health care consumers.

Senior volunteers being recognized include:

  • Ronald Abrahamson from Cedar Falls, Iowa
  • Sonia Abrams from Sun City, Arizona
  • Dr. Gustavo Acosta from Wilmington, Delaware
  • James R. Barry from Loup City, Nebraska
  • Jane Wheat Bettistea from Washington, D.C.
  • Norm Bungard from St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Madeleine Cote from Greene, Maine
  • Frank Dotson from Modesto, California
  • Bernard Fletcher from Macon, Georgia
  • Betty Goldberg from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Arthur Hardy from North Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Jane Heiger from Crossville, Tennessee
  • Dr. Lonnie Jones from Chicago, Illinois
  • Illa Kendall from Boise, Idaho
  • Gary Kuhnen from Madison, Wisconsin
  • Elizabeth LaChey from Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Norma Patton from Mt. Sterling, Kentucky
  • Ed Petok from Houston, Texas
  • Ruth E. Schumacher from Higginsville, Missouri
  • Jessie Beatrice Thomas from Mobile, Alabama
  • Morris Waxler from Meadows Place, Texas

Additional information about Administration on Aging’s Senior Medicare Patrol Projects is available by contacting Doris Summey at 202/357-3533 or by accessing AoA’s Website at