Recently, the Ohio Association of Gerontology and Education (OAGE) honored Nina R. Keller, MSW, Assistant Director at the Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7), as a “Practitioner of the Year” at its 40th Annual Conference at Youngstown State University. Keller was presented with the individual award at the conference and United Church Homes was presented with the group version. This competitively-selected award from OAGE recognizes individuals and organizations that either have improved services to older adults through research and evaluation or have developed noteworthy partnerships with institutions of higher learning for the betterment of Ohio’s elders.
OAGE is an association of educators, researchers, professionals, and students in Ohio dedicated to gerontological education, research and practice. OAGE promotes gerontological education, supports Ohio’s aging network as a resource for research and practice, and provides professional development for students, faculty and professionals.
The AAA7 provides home and community-based long-term care options and resources for ten counties in southern Ohio, including Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton.
Keller was selected for the award due to the important contributions she has made to improve services to older adults. OAGE officials acknowledged her skill with establishing a plan of short-term and long-term goals for desired outcomes, and her rigorous evaluation of program effectiveness to respond to challenges. Keller was recognized for effectively orchestrating her staff and their talents to fulfill AAA7’s Mission and Vision Statements.
Her work in services for older adults spans over thirty years and includes both institutional and community-based settings. She has presented on various topics related to programs and services at both state and national professional conferences and continues to engage in policy development with regard to service delivery for older adults in rural areas. She received her undergraduate degree from Rio Grande College (now University of Rio Grande) and her Master of Social Work degree from The Ohio State University.
Keller began at the AAA7 December 1, 1990, and last year, celebrated 25 years with the Agency. Over her years at the AAA7, she has held several different positions which has given her an overall better understanding of all aspects of the organization and how it works to meet its’ mission of serving others.
In the words of Pamela Matura, AAA7 Executive Director, "Nina has worked at the AAA7 for 26 years and serves as my Assistant Director. There literally is nothing that she hasn't exponentially been a part of in our operations over the years. Nina is a great value and continues to serve diligently.”
“My goal has always been to be of service in whatever arena I find myself,” Keller shared. “I am deeply grateful and humbled to receive this honor from OAGE – it was totally unexpected. While I am the recipient of this award, it really represents to me the many, many people along my career who have challenged me, supported and mentored me, and trusted me to do my job. I will think of them every time I look at this award. To them, I owe my deepest gratitude.”
Keller resides in Jackson County with her husband, Steven.
Your local Area Agency on Aging District 7, Inc. provides services on a non-discriminatory basis. These services are available to help older adults and those with disabilities live safely and independently in their own homes through services paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, other federal and state resources, as well as private pay. The AAA7’s Resource Center is also available to anyone in the community looking for information or assistance with long-term care options. Available Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm, the Resource Center is a valuable contact for learning more about options and what programs and services are available for assistance.
Nina Keller (second from left) recently was named “Practitioner of the Year” by the Ohio Association of Gerontology and Education (OAGE). Keller is the Assistant Director of the Area Agency on Aging District 7, which covers ten counties in southern Ohio. Also pictured are, left to right, Tina Lightcap, QA/QI Manager at the Area Agency on Aging District 7; Keller; Pam Matura, Executive Director at the Area Agency on Aging District 7; and Diane Ramey, President of the Executive Committee of OAGE.