COA Ambassadors provide valuable service to the community

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Health care reform, Medicare, caring for aging parents, driver education, help for seniors, fall prevention… These are just of few of the topics people are interested in when they contact Council on Aging’s speaker’s bureau. 

COA’s speaker’s bureau – known as the Ambassador Program – is a service available to businesses and community organizations interested in learning about an aging-related issue.   You might think of it as a speaker locator service.  If you need a speaker on a certain topic, Council on Aging can help you find that speaker.   The Ambassador Program also conducts one-on-one meetings with referral sources and other people who need to know about Council on Aging’s programs and services, and participates in health fairs and other community events. 

Pulling from various sources, including COA staff, board members, partner agencies and community organizations, we are able to fill hundreds of requests each year.   These volunteers – Ambassadors – often give up personal time on weekends and evenings to fill requests.  Without the continued support of our volunteers and community partners, the Ambassador Program would not be what it is today – a valuable resource for people looking for information about services available for seniors in our community. 

During the 2012-2013 fiscal year which ended September 30, Council on Aging’s Ambassadors filled over 200 requests for speakers, information booths and meetings – a 29 percent increase over the previous year.   

A special effort was made during the year to reach out to township trustee and community council members to share information and updates about their county’s Elderly Services Program (ESP).  ESP serves more than 14,000 older adults in Butler, Clinton, Hamilton and Warren counties and is a partnership between Council on Aging, county commissioners, care management/intake agencies and other service providers. The program is supported by taxpayers in each county via a special tax levy and provides essential services such as personal care, medical transportation and meals to eligible seniors who might otherwise be at risk for nursing home placement. 

Volunteers from COA, the ESP community advisory boards and ESP provider agencies worked together to give more than 30 presentations at community meetings across the four counties.   Because of these presentations, leaders in cities, towns and villages across the ESP service area have a better understanding of how their tax dollars are used and how their residents benefit from the program.

Looking for a speaker?  Interested in having a Council on Aging information booth at your community event?  Here’s how:

Visit Council on Aging’s website for information about the Ambassador Program.  Here you will find information about the services available through the speaker’s bureau, available topics and requirements.  The site also includes a form to make a request.

Due to the number of requests we receive each year, we cannot fill all requests.  Here are some tips to keep in mind when requesting a speaker or our participation in your health fair or event.  Please note that each request is considered on a case-by-case basis and our participation is subject to the availability of our volunteers.

  • Provide at least 30 days notice for your event/speaker request
  • For speaker requests, the audience must include at least 30 people. We may make exceptions in special situations, but in most cases, speaking to larger groups makes the best use of our resources. If your group is small, please consider collaborating with another organization to bring in a larger audience. 
  • For event requests, the audience must include at least 100 people and be open to the general public
  • We can most easily accommodate requests for speakers or events that are scheduled Monday through Friday during business hours