Age & Disability Odyssey Awards

The 2005 Age & Disabilities Odyssey awards have been announced, recognizing individuals and organizations for being leaders and advocates in providing services to older Minnesotans and people with disabilities.

The awards were presented at the Odyssey Conference, held at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center. Sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Human Services and the Minnesota Board on Aging, the conference drew more than 1,000 health and human service providers, educators, planners and other professionals in the fields of aging and services for persons with disabilities. Conference attendees learned more about promising practices, state-of-the-art programs and policy changes.

Six recipients were recognized in four categories: policy, innovation, service and community. In addition, the first Lifetime Achievement Award was presented.

The Minnesota Region 10 Quality Assurance Commission was recognized with an Innovation Award for providing service innovations that enhance the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities. It did so by developing a quality assurance and licensing process.

Alex Bartolic, of Hennepin County, received the Innovations Award for her efforts to improve the lives of seniors in Hennepin County through visionary leadership and advocacy of new service delivery models.

John Tschida and Joel Ulland received the Policy Award on behalf of the Minnesota Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities for their demonstrated public policy leadership, advocacy and education, all dedicated to improving the lives of persons with disabilities.

Service Awards were presented to Linda Morrow, of Elder Circle, for her dedication to keeping elders living at home by providing quality services to family caregivers and to Mark Hughes for his role as role model, creator and host of the television program, Disability Viewpoints.

The Community Award went to Rita Fox, of St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, Wabasha, for that organization’s role in advocating for health care for seniors and for all citizens.

A special Lifetime Achievement Award was presented posthumously to Sharon Zoesch, who served as the ombudsman for aging Minnesotans for many years until her death in 2005. On hand to accept the award were her husband, Terry, and daughter, Greta.