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Pinellas advocate honored for 200+ volunteer hours

Submitted by Summer Lott, Web Producer,
10 News In Your Neighborhood
Tuesday, May 17th, 9:40 am

Carden House assisted living facility
Carden House assisted living facility,

Florida’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program today announced Bob Shiels as Mid and South Pinellas Council’s “Ombudsman of the Year.”  This award is designated to ombudsmen volunteers who demonstrate exceptional efforts, going above and beyond the call of duty, in advocating for long-term care facility residents. 

The program has 17 local councils across the state of Florida, and each council selects an “Ombudsman of the Year.”  The State Ombudsman Council will choose one of these recipients to receive the “Don Hering Excellence in Advocacy Award” in August.

Ombudsmen volunteers are charged with protecting the health, safety, welfare, and rights of long-term care facility residents.  These advocates spend hundreds of hours working to make sure the voices of elderly residents are heard and respected. 

2011 marks Bob Shiels’ second active year serving on the Mid and South Pinellas Ombudsman Council, having been with the program since July of 2009.  His outstanding service is evident in his work and dedication to long-term care residents and has proven to be an invaluable asset to his fellow council members.

Natalie Clanzy, Mid and South Pinellas District Manager said, “Bob Shiels is dedicated to the mission of the Ombudsman Program. He is thorough in his attempts to resolve problems for residents and he truly cares about improving the quality of care and services in long-term care facilities. A resident recently wrote a letter thanking Bob for his professional kindness and time. The resident went on to say that he has never had anybody help him as much as Bob did without asking for anything in return.“

“Bob serves the Mid and South Pinellas District Council as chairman, as a mentor, as interim legislative chair, and he leads our recruitment efforts,” continues Clanzy.  “We are truly fortunate to have such an outstanding volunteer on our council.”

Through their daily activities conducting annual assessments, investigating complaints, meeting with residents to resolve issues, supporting resident and family councils, and providing training to residents, consumers, and facility staff, these ombudsmen volunteers truly provide a shining example of selflessness and public service. When asked what he enjoys most about being an ombudsman, Bob said, “[Being able to] help people in need or who are less fortunate, [and] protecting the rights of long-term care residents and ensuring that residents receive fair treatment and appropriate care.” 

Just this past year, Bob has volunteered over 200 hours working on behalf of long-term care facility residents.  The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program congratulates Bob Shiels as the Mid and South Pinellas 2010 “Ombudsman of the Year” winner!  Thank you for your efforts to serve our most vulnerable population.

Individuals interested in volunteering or learning more about the program may call toll-free 1-888-831-0404 or visit online.


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