‘Meals on Wheels’ draws one bid


By Gary Huffenberger - ghuffenberger@civitasmedia.com



Ken Wilson, vice president of program operations for the Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio, listens during a Monday appointment with Clinton County commissioners.

Ken Wilson, vice president of program operations for the Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio, listens during a Monday appointment with Clinton County commissioners.


From left, Clinton County commissioners Patrick Haley and Mike Curry chat with Wilmington Parks and Recreation Director Lori Kersey Williams as she prepares to depart after a discussion with them about the state’s 2016 capital improvement budget bill.


WILMINGTON — There reportedly is one response to Council on Aging’s request for bids from businesses wanting to home-deliver meals for senior adults in Clinton County.

The interested business is local, said Ken Wilson, vice president of program operations for the Council on Aging (COA) of Southwestern Ohio. He and Suzanne Burke, who is president of the COA of Southwestern Ohio, visited Clinton County commissioners Monday and gave an update on the Elderly Services Program.

The COA of Southwestern Ohio, which provides services to the elderly in five counties, is contracted by Clinton County to administer the Elderly Services Program to county seniors.

Wilson said the COA is currently evaluating proposals for contracts. He did not identify the local business interested in the new home-delivered meal contract in Clinton County.

Data on service trends in Clinton County were given at the appointment with commissioners, including numbers concerning home-delivered meals. In third quarter 2015, there were 81 clients receiving home-delivered meals. In third quarter 2014, there were 115 clients.

In third quarter this year, there were 5,526 home-delivered meals in the county. In third quarter last year, there were 8,615 meals delivered.

In an Executive Summary handout, one of the “highlighted findings” reads: “… this quarter continues the trend of slightly decreasing cost per client, likely as a result of disenrolling consumers ineligible for home delivered meals between 2014 and 2015.”

In 2014, Clinton County Community Action sued the COA of Southwestern Ohio, contesting the council’s cancellation of home-delivered meals to 34 Clinton Countians. Later, 37 other elder Clinton Countians were advised their Meals on Wheels service would be stopped.

The COA attributed its actions to the affected seniors not meeting eligibility rules for home-delivered meals. At the time, Clinton County Community Action was under contract with COA to do care management, which included determining eligibility.

The lawsuit was resolved earlier this year. According to federal court records, confidential terms were set and an order of dismissal was entered. Judge Timothy S. Black retained the right to enforce the terms.

For the third straight quarter, there is nobody on the wait list for Elderly Services Program services in Clinton County, according to data provided by the COA. At the end of third quarter 2014, there were 27 people on the wait list.

Wilson and Burke said they are happy to report a Care Transitions program, based out of Clinton Memorial Hospital, will continue after four years there. Funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the goal is to reduce hospital re-admissions by providing a better transition of care for seniors discharged from the hospital back into the community, according to Wilson.

Many hospital re-admissions are preventable, Wilson said, citing difficulties in the transition process as factors for why seniors land back in the hospital within 30 days of their discharge.

COA of Southwestern Ohio ranks second in the nation for reducing re-admissions to a hospital, the COA officials said.

On another matter, Wilmington Parks and Recreation Director Lori Kersey Williams approached commissioners regarding the state’s 2016 capital improvement budget bill. Among the types of community projects funded in prior capital bills are natural resources as well as parks and recreation facilities, including playground facilities.

If the city and county were to propose a project together, their “unified front” could help secure funds, Williams said.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.

Ken Wilson, vice president of program operations for the Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio, listens during a Monday appointment with Clinton County commissioners.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2015/12/web1_ken_p_f.jpgKen Wilson, vice president of program operations for the Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio, listens during a Monday appointment with Clinton County commissioners.

From left, Clinton County commissioners Patrick Haley and Mike Curry chat with Wilmington Parks and Recreation Director Lori Kersey Williams as she prepares to depart after a discussion with them about the state’s 2016 capital improvement budget bill.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2015/12/web1_lori_at_commish_f.jpgFrom left, Clinton County commissioners Patrick Haley and Mike Curry chat with Wilmington Parks and Recreation Director Lori Kersey Williams as she prepares to depart after a discussion with them about the state’s 2016 capital improvement budget bill.

By Gary Huffenberger

ghuffenberger@civitasmedia.com