California Agency Receives Rosalynn Carter Leadership in Caregiving Award

The Wellness and Caregiver Center of Ventura County Recognized by Former First Lady

AMERICUS, GEORGIA — On October 27, the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI) bestowed the 2017 Rosalynn Carter Leadership in Caregiving Award on the Wellness and Caregiver Center of Ventura County, part of the Camarillo Health Care District, located north of Los Angeles, California.

The Wellness Center was named at a celebratory dinner at the end of RCI’s 30th Anniversary National Summit and presented with a $15,000 cash award, generously donated by Johnson & Johnson. The award, named in honor of the former First Lady, is the highest honor given in the caregiving field. It is awarded to an individual or organization that has taken concrete action in addressing America’s caregiving crisis by working toward six key recommendations outlined by the RCI in its March 2012 paper Averting the Caregiver Crisis: An Update.

In its paper, RCI recommended the following strategies to improve caregiver support:

  • Educate the public
  • Assure caregivers receive evidenced-based, effective support services that target their identified needs
  • Support the translation of evidence-based caregiver programs into community settings
  • Advocate for tax and public policy changes
  • Target investments that lead to sustainable funding
  • Provide leadership for coordination of efforts

Through its work, the Camarillo Health Care District is tackling each of these strategies at a local level. It takes a leadership position in educating the public about the important role of family caregivers. It conducts a Community Needs Assessment every four years to tailor programs to caregiver needs and also implements numerous programs aimed at caregivers. The District’s CEO has served as an Appointee by California’s Governor Jerry Brown to Health Professions Education Foundation Board of Trustees and several state industry associations. And the Caregiver Center has been a model for other Family Caregiver Resource Centers throughout Ventura County.

“The Wellness and Caregiver Center of Ventura County leads the pack in addressing these important needs for our nation’s caregivers,” said RCI’s executive director Dr. Leisa Easom. “They do so much for Ventura County and are advocating for caregivers across the state. They deserve to be recognized formally for their dedication.”

The Caregiver Center plays an important function in humanizing, personalizing, and demystifying the impact of chronic disease and the burden of caregiving. It provides a valuable service to caregivers as part of the Camarillo Health Care District’s broad effort to provide community health, wellness, and safety services to area residents.

In addition to the cash award, awardee(s) received a statuette originally commissioned by former RCI Board member, Val Halamandaris, and executed by renowned sculptor Frank Eliscu, designer of the Heisman Trophy.


2017 Rosalynn Carter Leadership in Caregiving Award

(Pictured L-R: Craig Kramer, Johnson & Johnson; Samantha Carnell, Sue Tatangelo, and Kara Ralston of Wellness and Caregiver Center of Ventura County; Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter; RCI Executive Director Dr. Leisa Easom)